Keys for Success for Entrepreneurs — 3 Roadblocks to Avoid!
If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m passionate about entrepreneurship. What’s more, I’ve written quite a bit about the keys to success for entrepreneurs in blogs like this one. So, if you desire to be an entrepreneur…CONGRATULATIONS! The path you are about to pursue can be both exciting and freeing.
But don’t kid yourself, the entrepreneurial road is not only challenging, it can also be frustrating and downright scary.
If you’re interested in pursuing the path of entrepreneurship, here are 3 roadblocks you want to avoid. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that one of the keys to success for entrepreneurs is making sure you steer clear of each of these significant pitfalls.
Roadblock #1: Living in Fantasy Land
This might be the most common roadblock — dreaming, or should I say fantasizing, about what it is like to be your own boss.
Sure, working for yourself gives you freedom and flexibility; but let’s get serious for a moment … freedom and flexibility are challenging. As my friend and best-selling author Dan Miller says, “If you are going to work for yourself, you MUST be your own, best taskmaster.” Yes, you have more freedom and flexibility, as well as more control of your time. But you also have to work harder and, at least for the first few years, longer. Additionally, the “weight” of working for yourself feels light when things are going smoothly and the revenue is flowing. Yet, when things are challenging and revenue has slowed to a drip, the “weight” can feel overwhelming.
So, if you want to be an entrepreneur, stop vacationing in Fantasy Land. Instead, take a trip to the real world and look at self-employment through crystal-clear lenses. Owning your own business is awesome, but it’s also challenging — significantly so — and coming to grips with this reality is one of the keys to success for entrepreneurs.
Roadblock #2: Not Enough “Net” in Your “Work”
There are many slogans associated with networking, such as:
- Your net worth is only as big as your network.
- Network your way to success!
- It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.
Yes, phrases like these can sound a bit cheesy, but don’t throw out the nuggets of truth with the Cheese Whiz. Networking is a key to success for entrepreneurs. I’m not referring to the practice of attending meetings where the primary objective is to talk about yourself and pass out business cards. I’m talking about authentic, relational connections with other individuals you respect, value, and trust. For instance, how well are you connected with:
- Individuals in your field — experts, competitors, affiliates, and partners?
- Vendors who provide services you need — IT support, accounting, and legal advise?
- Advisers and supportive friends with whom you can mastermind?
You will need ALL these people if you plan to still be in business 12 months after you start. So if you don’t have a strong “net” in your “work,” start sewing these relationships today. Down the road, you’ll discover that this solid network is one of the best keys to success for entrepreneurs.
Roadblock #3: Working “IN’ Your Business Instead of “ON” Your Business
When starting a business, you will wear many hats. Let me be more realistic … you will likely wear ALL the hats! This means you’ll be establishing relationships with suppliers, marketing and selling products and services, taking and fulfilling customer orders, answering phones, dealing with customer complaints, setting up websites, and much more.
However, if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur over the long haul, you have to move from spending all your time working “IN” your business to spending significant chunks of time working “ON” your business. Here are two very practical things you can do from the start to help make this happen sooner rather than later:
Write a Solid Business Plan. Writing a business plan helps you know where to start and how to start. Additionally, if done correctly, it will also enable you to forecast where your business should be in a few years and how you plan to staff for growth.
Give Time Everyday to Growing Your Business. I try to give at least one hour a day, if not two, to what I call “revenue generating initiatives.” In other words, instead of answering emails or doing administrative tasks, I spend an hour or two every morning doing work that grows my business. It might be developing a new product, working on a marketing letter, or reaching out to prospects. This simple principle, applied every day, is one of the greatest keys to success for entrepreneurs and will create huge dividends in your business over the long-term.
Wrapping It Up
Obviously, more than 3 entrepreneurial roadblocks could have been listed. For instance:
- Pricing your products and services too low
- Pricing your products and services too high
- Wrong location
- Taking on too much debt
The point of this post is not to write about every potential roadblock, but instead to focus on 3 of the most common roadblocks that all entrepreneurs must understand before traveling down the “owning my own business” road. My hope is that if you are pursuing the entrepreneurial path, these thoughts will help you experience success along the way.
Travel on, my friends!
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