More and more people are interested in setting up their own business as it is hyped as being the only way to achieve freedom and financial independence.
Being an advisor to companies over the years, managing my own business and being the CEO of a company, I have seen first hand and in others what should be done if you want to succeed.
WARNING: Entrepreneurship is not for everyone
Let me first warn you. Being an entrepreneur is not easy and it most definitely is not for everyone. It is hard, stressful and required an absolute dedication in the beginning (and the beginning can last a while) that not everyone can do.
If you do choose that that is the path you want to take, here are some tips for how to deal with everything on your path to success.
1 – Keep an emotional detachment
You are not your company. Yes, it is your baby. Yes, you want it to succeed. But keep in mind that even if for some reason it fails or stumbles on its way to success it does not make you a failure. This is important to remember because entrepreneurs are, understandably, very connected to the business we have ventured into. We have poured our blood, sweat and tears into it and if someone says something bad about it or rejects the idea then it’s easy to take it personally.
The problem with that is that getting emotional about this and not being detached keeps you from being able to use the best tool you have. Instead, take the rejection and ask for feedback on it. Either it will teach you how to deal with objections better or it will give you ideas on how to improve.
2 – Have a Plan B
Have a vague idea of what will be your plan of action if your initial actions do not bring the desired results. But don’t work on the details and don’t work on a Plan C until you realize your initial Plan should be dropped. There are a few reasons for this.
a) you should be spending that time making Plan A work
b) it gives you an out. Keep your focus on Plan A. Make it work. Only if really, truly impossible start working on Plan B.
3 – Don’t look for who/ what to blame
“It is what it is”. I love this phrase. Here’s why. You can spend time and energy looking for who or what is to blame for a problem that happened. You can spend time and energy venting to and about it. Or… you can accept that it happened and look for a solution. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hold people accountable. It simply means that it should be part of a solution and not just to let off steam. If an employee made a mistake (or heaven forbid you did), make sure everyone knows how not to let this happen next time and fix it. Once it’s done, move on. The amount of energy that people go to find who’s to blame is an absolute waste of time.
Focus on a solution. Focus on setting up a process to avert such problems in the future.
4 – Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
People are afraid of making mistakes, of being rejected. Why? Because it hurts and humiliates us. Or they perceive it that way. Change the way you perceive it. When creating something there are plenty of mistakes made because it’s something new. It is impossible to do everything right, always, from day one. I once sold insurance in France. We would get our leads by setting up a booth at a mall, getting people to agree to be called about insurance and then calling them. I would “attack” each person that passed by me. I would then call them all. My associates would pick and choose. They filtered who to interest and they then additionally filtered who they would call. Their success ratio was higher than mine. But my overall numbers were much higher than them. Simply because I wasn’t afraid of being rejected.
Same thing with dating – I’m not afraid to go to the best looking girl in the room. Sometimes I get shot down, sometimes I don’t and that’s how I get dates with girls who are way out of my league. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or to be rejected – it’s the only way to get the big successes.
5 – Move to the big pond
I have cold called or cold emailed my way to the executives of some of the biggest companies in the industries I have dealt with. How? I try. At worst, they don’t answer or they say no. But don’t stay in the small pond just because you’re the big fish there. Jump over to the big pond and go after the big fish there.
6 – Keep moving
I used to study martial arts for many many years. One of the things ingrained in me is that no matter what happens I need to keep breathing. Same thing in business, no matter what happens, keep moving. There’s a setback? So what, keep moving. Something painful happened? That definitely is annoying but keep moving. Continuing with your actions is the bet way to remedy any setback. The reason for it is simple – if you don’t keep moving you won’t succeed. And success is the best therapy for all of the pain you endured on your way there.
7 – Remember that it will never be easy
It never becomes easy. There will always be problems. Problems don’t go away, they just get better. What does it mean? Maybe the problem at first was getting enough clients. Now the problem is hiring someone to help manage the clients. In the future you’ll realize that you have a problem – the revenues and expenses aren’t being managed properly so you need to hire someone for that. So again, there will always be problems. Don’t get discouraged because of that.