The road to becoming an entrepreneur isn’t as glamorous as the #entrepreneur side of Instagram makes it seem. The key to success is not jets or expensive clothes or cars, but a lot of grit and determination. Growing a business from two people to thirty was not easy. Things like making changes to the product, getting money, and even hiring people to join the journey were all obstacles that our team had to overcome. You’re in for a wild ride if you want to start a business.
I’m not saying I’m an expert, but I wanted to share these ideas to help business owners who are in the thick of things. (Or even on the verge!)
Read our Blog – Seven ways to become a Healthier Entrepreneur.
Here are Five things I’ve learned as an Entrepreneur
1. Don’t wait until it’s “perfect.”
It’s a waste of time to wait until the stars are in the right place to start working toward your business goals. You may feel like you’re overthinking, but when you’re building a business, speed of iteration will be your best friend. Start with something. No decision is perfect, and only a small number of decisions will kill your business. To reach your goals, you need to take small, doable steps every day.
The enemy of progress is perfection. The product’s first versions are likely to be rough. But using beta testers to get your product out on the market helped us make a product we are very proud of today. Iterating won’t work well if you don’t get feedback. I often ask myself, “What can I do today to make things better than they were yesterday?”
2. Get the right people together.
Right? Excellent people build good teams, which make good things. Teambuilding is crucial to corporate success. Our team drives Smartrr’s growth. Finding that ability from scratch was my biggest task. I advised you not to wait for perfection. Still, it’s crucial to define your company’s culture and hire people who will enrich it.
Startups are difficult. If your staff doesn’t agree, they’ll hold you back. Pick your inner circle wisely. Your staff and all stakeholders—investors, partners, and customers—are included. Surround yourself with knowledgeable, motivated, good-intentioned people who want to solve the problem you want to build around, and success will follow.
Next, encourage customer-first collaboration. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest interesting gadget or finest marketing effort. Focus on your clients and prospects, not your competitors.
We keep our mission and aims in mind while we generate new concepts. If you remember only one thing from this essay, it should be that everyone in your organization, no matter what product or service you provide, must have a laser-like concentration on the ultimate consumer.
If you execute this correctly, your team will develop something amazing and encourage each other daily. Culture, business, and productivity will improve.
3. Reflecting is Important.
Everyone will have a different way to deal with the different levels of stress that everyday business tasks cause. Sleeping and thinking about it help me. Sleeping is more of a short-term fix, but thinking about it helps me in the long run.
Blocking bad calls, days, etc. is easy. So, facing both the good and the bad through reflection lets you grow and become more mature. With time, you’ll be able to look back on the same thing that made you sick and laugh at how silly it was. Believe me, we’ve all been there. You are not alone.). Every time you mess up, something bad happens, or you make a mistake, it makes the last one look less bad.
As a founder, you don’t have much of a choice when things get hard. Again, I’ve been there. Once you’ve gotten through the next challenge, you can look back and see that it made you stronger. Make peace with the bad things, and if you can, even laugh at what upset you in the past. When you face a new challenge, take those steps forward and focus on what you can control. The challenges you’ve already faced will help you know that you can get through another one. Most of the time, you’ve done bigger and better things.
4. You can gain money for things other than Capital.
I could write a whole other article about how to get money for your business, but for now, just know that you can learn a lot from being in the same room as investors who have been in your field for years. I don’t think that money is the most important part of a good relationship with an investor.
At this early stage, our “best” investors are those with whom we have a real partnership. We can call them if we need help for any reason. They aren’t investing just to fill a bucket for an investment thesis. They are interested in what you are doing and take the time to learn about you and your plans for the company. They don’t wait until you reach out to them. They’ll go out of their way to connect you with a potential client or just check in on you to see how the founder’s life is going.
When you are trying to raise money, keep this in mind: just as much as you tell them what you want to do, they should tell you what they want to do. Do your research and ask tough questions. Find out who they are back, what companies they are currently investing in, who they can put you in touch with, and what they think about trends in your market.
5. Create goals outside of your business
You will definitely be tested, pushed past your limits, and asked to break through a lot of mental barriers. Getting things done outside of work is another helpful way to grow. When I’m working on Smarter, I’ve found it helpful to push myself to find a purpose outside of work. Since we are so focused on growing what we hope will be a successful business, short-term wins are very important.
One example of this is going hiking on the weekend. Getting some fresh air is great, but “winning” a hike by making it to the top, in a way, is a great win that helps me get ready for the week ahead. Even though it’s hard to believe when you’re in the thick of things, your business won’t always win. Set goals and reach them, both inside and outside of your organization.
As a first-time founder, these five lessons have made the journey both fun and successful. This is not your “success formula,” but I hope you can take away lessons you can use in business and in life to help you grow. Remember that success isn’t linear and doesn’t always look the same, but please use these ideas in your daily life as you see fit. Get clear on your goals, and I hope that you have a great start to 2023.