We have both been entrepreneurs for quite a while and over the years we have learned a lot. We have made mistakes, struggled at times, and ultimately found success. But it would have been nice to have someone give us advice on entrepreneurship back when we first started.
In this episode that is exactly what we are doing, we are sharing six things we wish we would have known when first starting our journey as entrepreneurs. Hopefully, you can learn from our mistakes and struggles without having to go through them.
Being an entrepreneur equals running a business
You will have to wear many hats as an entrepreneur. When you work for yourself you have to know how to negotiate contracts, hire and fire people, file taxes, create a website and so much more. Don’t just assume that you can start a business as a graphic designer and only have to worry about graphic design.
You have to become interested in things that don’t come naturally to you. And while you can hire other people to help you in some of these areas later on, you still need to be involved and aware so that you can protect yourself and the business.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
As an entrepreneur, it may take time to start making the income you are happy with. It will take time to grow your business, so you can’t get stuck focusing on the short term. Remember that it is a marathon and you have to look at the long term.
Try not to get upset when losing out on one project or making some mistakes. Just learn from your experiences and realize they are meaningful steps in the process.
It is also important to come up with a long term vision for your business and keep that in mind in every decision you make. Don’t just do random work to make money. Make sure that the work you take on aligns with the overall vision you have.
Keep your skin on
While being vulnerable can help you make connections with customers and clients, it is important to protect yourself as well. Don’t give everything to everyone, in business you need to keep some things close to your vest. There will be people who do not have your best interest at heart and you don’t want to give them too much.
You are not an imposter
A lot of entrepreneurs feel imposter syndrome in the beginning. And it is okay to recognize those feelings and know that it is normal to feel that way. But try not to compare yourself with others and let it affect your work or your confidence.
Everyone is human, we all have successes, failures, and insecurities. Realize that you are great and that you are doing what you should be doing. Focus on your strengths and successes. If you catch yourself spending too much time on social media looking at what others have that you don’t, walk away and focus on yourself. Spend time bettering yourself and don’t worry so much about what others are doing.
Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up
The people around you have a huge effect on your mood, your personality, and how you act. Be careful about who you surround yourself with. Spend your time with people who are positive, encouraging, and happy. Stay away from people who tear you down, discourage you, and who bash every idea you bring up.
If you have friends or family in your life who bring you down, don’t be afraid to let them know how they make you feel. Maybe they will change. If not, either walk away or take space when you need to. Life is too short to let others affect how you feel in a negative way.
Don’t feed the trolls
Over the years we have had trolls. Whether it was someone posting a bad review for something that was out of our control or someone posting a hateful comment on social media, we have seen it all. In the beginning we would engage them, but we would always end up wasting time and energy fighting with them.
What we have learned over time is to just let it go. Don’t worry about these people. If you don’t engage with them they will eventually go away. Try not to let them upset you. We usually end up laughing about their comments now. But talk to a friend or a loved one if you need to vent about it or take some time away from social media or meditate. Do what you can to take your mind off of the negativity and focus on the positive things.
This episode is sponsored by GoDaddy.
Meet everyday entrepreneurs and learn about the hustle behind their business in the School of Hustle podcast from GoDaddy. Host Sarah Funk, NYC tour company owner, producer, and YouTube Creator, chats with everyday entrepreneurs about their successes and struggles and gets real strategies you can use to help your business thrive. Listen on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.