8 Things Learned In My First Year Of Entrepreneurship
The day is gloomy and miserable to you. People around you bicker, fight or even make demands that only benefit themselves. You feel that there is no real way out of this negative situation you are in and that the only true way to "happiness" is what others believe you should do. "Stick to the safe route of the traditional 9-5 job", they say. "Go up the corporate ladder." "You are stupid for not doing this! Be realistic!"
This type of mindset is one out of many why many of us are not ahead in life or happy with the way we live now. Which is why entrepreneurship is looking good for many individuals. It is, in a way, the 21st Century's Gold Rush. I am certainly one of those individuals that is exploring a way out of such a negative rut to realize my capabilities. Through my first year of doing photography I have certainly learned a lot of lessons and still learning more to this day, which is why I am listing the main points I have run into while trying to get started.
Here are a few things to keep in mind during your first year of entrepreneurship.
1. Have Patience
Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk said it best: the reason people are unsuccessful is the lack of patience. It take time and work to get towards that destination you want for yourself. Anyone that promises an insanely easy way to success is only trying to earn some extra cash off of you. It will take lots of hard work, studying the market and networking. There is no shortcut. Instant success is a myth. Everyone that has achieved "instant success" were working behind the scenes gruelingly with no attention paid to them whatsoever until their projects became popular. Not something a lot of people like to hear, but this what I find true. You want it? Be prepared to go the long haul with near and far future goals to keep you going through those entrepreneurship years. Even then...
2. There Is No 100% Guaranteed Instant Success
The popular buzzword these days is entrepreneurship is the only way to be happy and make it big. This has a lot of people quitting their day jobs early and going full out with their dreams. A lot end up losing for various reasons. Not doing the proper research, not surveying if this is even a viable idea. Thinking that once it's out that they will achieve success instantly. This is very closely tied in to the first point, as in they believe jumping in blindly is the only way to go. The key is not to take risks but to take strategic risks. But one thing to keep in mind when doing this...
3. Don't Plan Forever
This is a step that a lot of people get stuck at. They keep doing the research and constantly search for more info. The problem is that the entrepreneur landscape is always evolving so by focusing on that only, you are stuck in a never ending cycle and never do anything. DO SOMETHING. Keep an eye out on the trends, but it is just as important to take action. So what would prevent you from taking that action?
4. Don't Let Fear Fuel Your Lack Of Action
This is probably one of the biggest reasons a lot of people never jump on achieving that lifelong dream that they feel deep down they wanted to do. Fear of what others would think. Fear of failure. Fear of losing everything. A lot of this comes down to one thing: your own mind is your greatest barrier to success. While there are a lot of things that will try to convince you to quit, in the end you make that final decision in what you will do in life. Be true to yourself instead of living someone else's perspective of what you want to do. So how do you figure out what you want to do or what you want out of life?
5. Take Time To Self-Reflect
You have carried quite a number of years of baggage that has dragged you down. Time to sift through it all. Whether by motivational speeches from people (Such as Tony Robbins or Kyle Cease) or even meditation sessions, you need to find that drive and passion that will act as your fuel to not only go through the rough years ahead, but also find out more about yourself and become a much more positive individual. Simple law of attraction. Negative people will attract other negative people. You shouldn't however use this as an excuse to not even try. Which leads to...
6. Hold Yourself Accountable
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. You need tough skin, be able to move on despite the downturns, and most importantly hold yourself accountable for all of your actions. You are not going to advance in business early on if you invest in extravagant coffee shops and fancy office equipment. You need to invest properly that helps jump your business to where you want to and keep working hard for it. You need to hold yourself accountable for your own actions. Discipline yourself to do the necessary work. No one cares that you don't like the financing part of running a business. Unless you are able to afford someone for that position, you will have to do it yourself and there are plenty of tools out there to help out with that. People working for you are dependent on you to succeed and to lead them with you on the road to success. Time to be a leader and in charge. And in order to do that...
7. You Must Be Consistent
When you are your own boss, you are accountable for everything, including your actions. This also includes being consistent with your work schedule and getting things done. Designate work time periods where you throw out all distractions and focus. No getting sidetracked and goofing around. We are creatures of habit, and in order to change ourselves to this new entrepreneurial lifestyle you must break this into habit form and knock out the old. And throughout this journey there is one harsh truth you will have to face...
8. There Will Be Failures
You will occasionally face failure, especially early on. One thing to keep in mind however: when there is failure, there is opportunity. To learn from the mistakes made and rise up again like a phoenix. Each failure is merely another step towards your ambitions. Whether you take that step up towards a positive fueled future or sit at your current step depressed that you have messed up is entirely up to your mindset.
Everyone has their own reasons for traveling the road of entrepreneurship. Mine are more personal. I have always felt I was stuck for the life of a 9-5 job like everyone else in my family and that there was nothing to look forward to. Since trying to start this business avenue, despite the struggles I have faces, I wouldn't change it any other way. This difficult challenge of succeeding as someone with Asperger's Syndrome is daunting, yet it also makes my soul feel so blissful when I do get to work. It feels as this was what I was meant to do all along. I only need to continue to move forward and push my limits.
What has inspired you to go an entrepreneurial route?