5 pieces of advice for successful entrepreneurship in the coming year
1. Regulate Yourself
There’s a reason we say entrepreneurs think and act like small business owners, even if they work for themselves and hire few employees: They set the pace and do more than is required of them, which can lead to burnout. It becomes harder to manage yourself as time goes on because you’re constantly looking at the long-term picture – your vision.
But as an entrepreneur, you must also be able to regulate yourself and keep an eye on what’s going on around you in the present moment. You’ll find that when you can step back from your work and take care of yourself by taking breaks when needed, getting enough sleep every night, exercising regularly, etc., you will have more long-term success and not burn yourself out.
You’ll also have a clearer head, which will help you see the big picture better.
2. Cut Your Losses & Fail Faster/Smarter
As per Paul Haarman, one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is not being able to cut their losses and fail faster and more intelligent when they know it’s time to move on from an idea or venture that isn’t working. I know a lot of people who have been working on a business for 2-3 years only to shut it down because they realized it wasn’t going anywhere (not including those who had put in money with hopes of making it work).
When you’re spending every waking hour working on something, it’s hard to step back and realize there probably isn’t a market for your product, or the market is already dominated by an established player with which you’ll never be able to compete. Entrepreneurs should spend more time on a few ideas instead of spreading their resources and time too thin (and not spending enough time on any of them).
I’ve learned that there is value in knowing how big the market is and what your competitors are up to, even if it leads you down a different path or requires you to pivot. The faster and wiser you can fail and ride along this journey, the quicker you’ll find success.
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3. Be Willing to Accept Help & Solicit Feedback
On the business front, we know that having access to quality advice from people who have been successful before us goes a long way and the impact others’ feedback and criticism have on our business. But as an entrepreneur, it can be hard to receive this type of information because we don’t want to hear anything negative about what we’re doing or how we can make it better.
You need those closest to you (friends and family) and your potential customers for this, and they’ll likely offer different perspectives than people with expertise in the industry may have since they aren’t entrenched in the day-to-day happenings like you are – that’s why you must continue asking for their opinion and feedback over time.
If you apply all the feedback you get from these groups, not only will they appreciate your willingness to listen, but you’ll most likely end up building a better product or service for them that everyone can benefit from.
4. Be Willing to Let Go of What No Longer Works for You
There are some things about your business you’ll need to let go of because they’re not working anymore, either because the market has changed, the way you do things hasn’t evolved with it, or there is better technology available now to enable you to grow your business. But as hard as it may be, letting go of these elements of your company are necessary if you want to succeed long term.
Paul Haarman says, going back to number one on this list, monitoring yourself and regulating yourself will allow you to realize what’s not working before it starts an effect on your bottom line. Still, it’s easier said than done, especially for entrepreneurs who are passed out what they do.
I’ve seen some great companies die because their owners were too emotionally attached to them and couldn’t bring themselves to make decisions that would have improved the business long term. Sometimes you just need to step back and consider what you’re doing, whether it’s the right move for your business or not – if not, then you can just move on arid start something new.
5. Be A Must-Have Resource for Your Customers & Community
I think everyone knows that marketing is essential in growing your company. Still, one of the best ways to market yourself as an entrepreneur is by creating value for those around you (which could include your customers or your community).
You can accomplish this by breaking down the barriers between you (and your company) and the people who use your product or services, going out of their way to provide excellent service to them and show that you care about what they think.
Some entrepreneurs do this naturally, which is why I believe they’re successful in business because it’s not something they’ve learned (which you could); it comes naturally because they enjoy doing it.