When we look at the life of an entrepreneur, we always use individuals like Mark Cuban or Mark Zuckerberg as examples for the overall field. In reality, the truth of an entrepreneur is not mentioned nearly enough. The reason for this is that our society craves on instant gratification. Simply put, we want things now and we want them fast. As much as we would like to see this type of change, especially for an up-and-coming business or company, the reality of it is that success (for an entrepreneur) will be a long and arduous journey.
As an entrepreneur, there really are no shortcuts or magic formulas you can do to make this type of turnover overnight. You have to work immensely hard each and every day until things start to develop. Below, you will find the six hard truths that every individual learns during their first year as an entrepreneur. While the lessons themselves are a roller coaster, they are ones you need to learn from so that your company can grow in the future.
1. Failure is Inevitable
Without risk, there is no reward. As an entrepreneur, you will be asked to make a variety of sacrifices. Whether that is your time, your money, or your life, everything will be put on the line if you are expecting to succeed. Now as much as you expect success, there is a high probability that you will experience failure at least once within your business’s life. Why does this happen? This happens simply because entrepreneurs are curious. Entrepreneurs pursue their interest and passion at a means to create an opportunity. As much as curiosity is a means to fuel entrepreneurs, it can lead them to failure. Take for example you are look into promoting a new an innovative product for your company. As great as your intentions were, the path itself leads to failure. When this happens, do not look at this as a chance for you to quit. See the failure as a way to set your new expectations for success. Learn from it and accept it as a way to evolve over the course of your career.
2. Expect Long Hours and Hard Work
While shows and movies such as Shark Tank and Social Network have displayed an imaginative world of ‘golden tickets’ and easy opportunities, the reality of it is that you will be expected to put in a lot of work if you are looking to succeed in your field. Remember, no matter what the name is or what the product, you company and your service is new to the market. In order to establish your ideas and your company, your work will never stop. To accept this, you have to understand that it is not simply the 9 to 5 where your only responsibilities are the task given from the powers above. Rather, you yourself are responsible for every decision and choice set for your company’s future. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have attested countless times to working around the clock in order for their businesses to succeed. While you may not be running Facebook, the same idea can be applied here.
3. You Have to Constantly Learn
A successful entrepreneur will tell you that they are never done learning. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task that can be learned overnight. In fact, in reality, we cannot learn success. Rather much of it can be attributed from trial-and-error decisions. When you are working to build your company, you will find that you will have no free time to spare. Much of your time, if any, will be spent learning how to improve your network, market, or finance your company at the most optimum and effective way. This ability to ask questions, understand the answers, and absorb the necessary skills will be the ace up your sleeve.
4. The Trials and Tribulations of Marketing
When we think of marketing, we think immediately of getting our name out of there. Well for those who have tried, you will find out that the idea of selling yourself is not always that easy. The best way to market is to focus solely on the product and service itself. Allow the customers to make the connection of how it can benefit them. This type of customer interaction will allow you to branch your product to the right demographic. Keep in mind that there is a cost to your marketing endeavors. Be financially savvy with your money. Find the most cost effective strategy that can set your company for success.
5. Strategy Does Not Equate to Success
The process of thinking strategically can be a challenge especially when you are starting your company. There are various avenues and options you can take lead you to your objective of establishing your company within its perspective field. As much you want to believe that your strategies will take you to your end goal, you need to realize that you will have to inevitably revise, edit, and change your strategy time-and-time again. This happens because, throughout the course of your business, things will change. Because of these unknown changes, you have to be malleable and adaptive to this type of change. Make sure you are able to keep up the pace by changing your strategy when needed. It is that type of change that can lead to a groundbreaking success for your business as a whole.
6. Focus on What You Can Affect
There will be a time where you feel that everything will come at you at once. As much as you want to slow things down, the life and expectation of an entrepreneur will always demand more from you each and every day. That being said, remember that you are human. The best way to handle these tasks is by attacking them one at a time. Focus your energy on projects or objectives in which you can have the most impact. It is that type of strategy that will allow you to get the most ‘bang for your buck.’