How to thrive as an entrepreneur
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
Have you ever wondered how visionaries like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerburg were able to get through the first years of their startups? Or what the success formula is for those seemingly impenetrable individuals who were able to withstand the years uncertainty as they started and scaled their businesses, despite the haters and the naysayers?
This blog post if for you if you are going through a season of doubt and need some encouragement to remind you why you are on this #Entrepreneurship journey, and action steps you can take to remind yourself that you got this!
Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest journeys you will ever undertake. It is filled with loneliness, doubt, insecurity and constant attack of you idea, qualifications and viability of your business model. When looking at all the odds stacked against them, you have to wonder how these visionary individuals survive.
According to Investopedia, 30% of businesses fail within the first 2 years, 50% in the first 5 and 65% in the first 10. Yikes.
Despite understanding these odds, there are still over 28 million small businesses in the United States. That means that you are NOT ALONE in this crazy journey, in fact there are millions of risk takers and people who believe in their dreams enough to invest their lives in them out there. That means that you can take some comfort in the fact that even though you may feel like this is a lonely road, there is someone out there, right now, going through the same thing you are.
While comfort in numbers is great, that's not going to be enough to get you through the valleys of heartache and depression you are going to face when you get your first rejection from an investor, or a close friend confesses they don't believe in you, or you receive a packet from the government informing you you owe more in taxes than you made in revenue last year.
So what can you do to ensure that your dream is protected while you face the hurdles that life throws at you?
You need to create what I call a victory vision.
A victory vision means believing that you will achieve longterm success no matter your current situation looks like. Despite what your external circumstances look like, you will choose to CREATE YOUR FUTURE and let that victory vision guide the choices you make now.
You didn't get funding to scale your production? Big deal, you will at the right time. For now, you can keep pitching your idea until the right person invests in you.
That big client fell through? You'll get another soon through your demand generation marketing campaign.
You just found out that you need to redo your website to make it more SEO friendly? You can look up a web designer on AngelList or Upwork.
Entrepreneurs who make it past the valley of death ( what Forbes defines as 'a start up term referring to the difficulty of covering the negative cash flow in the early stages of a startup before a new product or service is bringing in revenue from real customers') only survive by creating a life vision for themselves that defines their current outlook.
You need to understand that you are GUARANTEED a hundred no's before you get a yes. People love to hate new ideas, especially investors who are risk averse. Take it as fact that very few people will believe in your idea until you PROVE it is successful, meaning that you will have to achieve profitability on your own before people start flocking to your business with wads of cash.
'No' is much more certain than 'yes' at this point in the game, and you need to be comfortable with that.
Steven Bartlett, founder of the $500 million dollar social media marketing agency Social Chain, gave an incredibly inspiring interview with #Bossbabe via their podcast all about how to define your vision of success and how to set your own boundaries for yourself that aren't limited to what conventional wisdom tells us.
Some highlights of this interview (courtesy of Bossbabe.com) are:
Failing forwards, pivoting, direction and the mindset requirements of succeeding in life and business
The importance of living your truth and the difference between quitting and pivoting
Following through on your goals and how the most value you can bring to the world is by being your true self
The importance of self-belief and how to fulfill your true potential
If you need a bit of encouragement (or to get PUMPED like I did, listen to the podcast here.)
So, what are those aforementioned action steps that you can take to believe in yourself enough to withstand all the trials you face on a daily basis?
1. Define what success looks like for yourself and remind yourself of it everyday.
Create a Pinterest board or a vision board that will encourage you and remind you that you have the means, intelligence and willpower to achieve your goals. Create your idea future and count it as your source of truth at all times.
2. Write down every success as a reminder of how far you have come.
It's so easy to forget what has brought you to where you are, so note every accomplishment, whether that is a completed website, your first customer, a just quote from someone who said you did a great job.
3. Tell yourself what you are capable of and believe it.
The only boundaries you will ever have in life are mental. If you tell yourself you can't, you won't. If you are convinced you can, you WILL be able to accomplish whatever you set your mind to. I have seen clients scale from under $10k to over $1 million, start a business in India with nothing and find massive success in the US after only a few years in business, move from the US abroad and start a successful enterprise with nothing but a recipe and a dream, and so much more. As cheesy as it may sound, YOU determine what you are capable of with your belief. So what if it hasn't been done yet? You simply need to do it yourself, and even if that takes years, you will only achieve that goal if you stay the course and don't give up on yourself.
Keep checking back in weekly to stay up to date on all the latest content, as well as to get inspired as you grow what you love. If you liked this post, please share it on your social media accounts, and leave a comment below! Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions, or are interested in working with me to help you build what you love.