[From Struggle to Success] What They Don’t Tell You About Entrepreneurship
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business and being your own boss? Making your own hours, working when and where you want—sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, the good news is that it’s a better time than ever for entrepreneurs to get started, with so many options available online to reach customers.
However, what all big influencers and famous entrepreneurs don’t tell you are the many daily obstacles that they face on their journey toward building their business and growing their brand.
But that’s why I’m here—to tell you all the behind-the-scene secrets behind the success.
In this article, I’m going to be telling you exactly what you need to look for to prepare yourself for the hurdles you will face and to give you the confidence you need to follow your dream.
Is Entrepreneurship Right for You?
So many people dream about being entrepreneur, but unfortunately, it’s not for everyone. Before you make the big switch to pursuing your entrepreneurial goals, you need to ask yourself: Is entrepreneurship right for me?
The biggest quality you need is the ability to force yourself to become comfortable with the discomfort of risking failure. Unfortunately, one of the things you are almost guaranteed to experience in your journey is failure, so that means you need to be ready to crash and burn sometimes. Taking harsh criticism and constantly releasing your creations into the world before they feel “ready” are not easy to do, so you need to be prepared.
The most successful entrepreneurs are those who think that failure is just part of the process of succeeding. That means your mentality and ability to roll with the punches and to keep pushing forward will greatly determine your level of success as an entrepreneur. That’s why you need to make sure you’re ready. To determine this, you should ask yourself a couple questions, and be totally honest in your answers:
- Am I in the right stage of my life that I can handle risks?
- Do I know enough about my business?
- Am I able to step outside of my comfort zone?
- Do I have the mental fortitude to deal with failure?
Budget More than You Need
One of the main reasons why business endeavors don’t work out is because the owners don’t know how to properly budget and price their services. To give yourself enough of a cushion, aim to generate double the amount of revenue that would cover your monthly expenses like rent, food, gas, car payment, etc.
You can’t forget to budget expenses that will help you set up your business, such as tools, software, office supplies, and any other equipment or resources you will need to keep your business running smoothly. You also need to consider the extra things that may come up, and prepare yourself for having to be pay out of pocket for things that will help your business in the long run but don’t count as overhead. Put enough wiggle room in your budget for things like taking out a potential client for lunch or coffee, and don’t underestimate how much these little things can add up. A $5 cup of coffee or $15 lunch multiplied by 12 months can turn into a bigger expense than you might’ve initially thought.
I also cannot stress enough how vigilant you need to be about taxes. Many new entrepreneurs do not factor that into their budget and are thrown into chaos once tax season rolls around.
Prepare for Obstacles
As much as I’d love to tell you that your journey toward success will be a breeze, that’s just not going to be the case. Things will not always go smoothly, and to be successful you must allow for certain hurdles to get in your path
Prepare as much as you can for unplanned situations such as:
- A client backing out and not working with you.
Never move forward with a client unless there is something set in writing—even if there’s a verbal agreement and you’ve got a good feeling about the client, you need to be certain. No matter how often you’ve met with a client, you need to understand that there’s always the possibility that you won’t land the customer. In some situations, you might even have a prospective customer agree to work with you, but then you never hear back from them or they’ll contact you again and tell you they’ve changed their mind. Prepare for this obstacle by constantly searching for new clients.
- A project being delayed.
Not everything is going to go at a pace that you’re comfortable with, and this means you can’t rely on the same payment schedule you’d get by working for someone else. If a project is delayed, that means might not come in for months at a time—or sometimes even years! Plan for this obstacle by ensuring you have a contract that clearly states a timelines and that stipulates what will happen if the project does not stick to that time period.
As I’ve said many times, obstacles and failure are inevitable. The key to success is being able to realize that failure is all in your head—if you pick yourself up, make adjustments, and keep moving forward, then you’ll truly fail.
Cover Yourself Legally
It’s practically impossible to avoid all obstacles, but you can decrease the likelihood of encountering huge issues by making sure you’re covered legally. Make sure your contracts are as concrete and clear as possible so there is no question of what needs to be done and what is expected of all parties.
If a client agrees to getting started with a project, make sure there is a contract and be clear that it is your company’s policy that states that no work will be started without a signed contract. Hire a lawyer or attorney to review your contract, as it’s better be safe than sorry.
Focus On Your Skills – Outsource the Rest
Many new entrepreneurs feel like they need to be in control of every aspect of their business, especially in the beginning stages of growing the brand. However, the most successful entrepreneurs know that in order to grow and be the most efficient, they need to actively outsource, hire help, or completely avoid doing tasks that aren’t within their core skill set.
Successful entrepreneurs know that the more time they spend doing only what they’re best at (and investing in building up those strengths), the higher their chance of success. When you first start out, you’ll be wearing many hats, but you need to be able to manage your time wisely and focus on the activities that will keep your business moving forward. However, you can’t do everything, and if you try to then you’ll eventually burn out.
How well you allocate your time, especially in the beginning phases of growing your business, will have a huge impact on how quickly and effectively you’ll be able to scale the company. This not only includes choosing to do only the highest-impact activities—the ones that will move your business the furthest toward your goals—but also includes learning how to say ‘no.’
Price Appropriately – Discount Discreetly
Ineffective pricing is one of the biggest factors that stop would-be business owners from reaching their goals. Avoid this by setting a base price and then offering a rate that’s slightly higher than your minimum requirement. This will allow for a certain amount of haggling and give you the ability to offer discounts if needed to land a client.
However, make sure you do not fall into the trap of constantly discounting your rate to get jobs. Consider offering discounts only if the customer is really pushing back, because once you start doing low-paying jobs it is difficult to get out of the cycle to pursue high ticket clients.
While the reasons people want to pursue their own businesses are different for each person, there are some universal experiences that are practically guaranteed once you start out on this path. Your first year as an entrepreneur will almost inevitably be messy, but so long as you’re prepared to face the challenges that come your way, then you’ll be fine.
Remember, too, that the true measure of success in business is how much you’re able to use your skills and strengths to help others. Allow yourself to be surprised, consistently check out new avenues, try new things, and experiment, and you’ll never be a failure.
If you’re ready to get started on your dream career as a business owner, then enroll in our Personal Branding & Influencer Marketing course today! You can also find educational information on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. We also offer helpful FREE training on our blog.