Entrepreneurial Skills—Do This, Not That

Entrepreneurial Skills—Do This, Not That

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Developing entrepreneurial skills isn’t easy. I know what it’s like to experience the entrepreneurial road blocks, the beat down. I know what it’s like to want to quit. I’ve wanted to walk away, turn in my keys, let someone else run it. Other times, instead of walking away altogether, I just wanted to shrink the business. Make it more manageable. Smaller business—smaller problems, right?

Only it’s not that easy and I don’t really want to quit. Because I know that quitting now won’t get me where I want to go. Quitting now only means starting again somewhere else with something else. And while that can be exhilarating at times, it can also be a beat down. I’ve had enough of that. Have you?

Now, when I feel like quitting, I remind myself:

  • I am stronger than this challenge.
  • I have been here before. I’ve overcome lots of challenges in the past and I am battle-tested.
  • I will be even stronger when I overcome this challenge.

If you ever feel like quitting, here’s what I recommend:

  • Set goals.  It could be something as simple as “I am going to learn how to keep my WordPress site secure so I never get hacked again. Then I will take what I’ve learned and turn it into a series of blog posts.” If you don’t have a specific goal related to this current challenge, you are less likely to see it as an opportunity to grow.
  • Keep your goals in mind, the short term and the long term.  If you already have a specific goals, you need to keep them in mind so you don’t get weighed down by the day-to-day of your work.  Keep Post-Its on your computer screen, put little pictures or other memorabilia around that remind you of why you’re doing this is the first place.
  • Be flexible.  There’s not a one-size-fits-all method to success; you might have to try a lot of things before you find what’s right for you.  The key is to be flexible and willing to try new things when things aren’t working for you. Iterate, pivot, do whatever you need to do to move forward. Getting bogged down in a problem can feel like quicksand if you’re not careful.
  • Be persistent.  If you know something isn’t working, change it. At the same time, be careful that you don’t give up on everything too quickly.  You have to be willing to keep trying and keep going even if things don’t go well initially.
  • Find supportive people.  It’s a lot easier to stay committed to something if there are people on the sidelines cheering you on.  Take time to talk to people who are supportive of you and your business.  If you don’t have many, try finding people like you at local networking/industry specific organizations or even online. I’ve found a bunch of super supportive folks in entrepreneurial groups on Facebook.
  • Get help.  If you’re like most people, you probably think you can fix your problems and get your business going on your own.  And if you’re like most people, you probably can’t.  Starting and running your own business is a big job, and it’s perfectly normal to need a little help or guidance.  Try to find a mentor who has already been successful in your area to guide you and give suggestions.  They will also be a constant reminder that what you’re trying to do is achievable.

If you have questions about how to deal with a specific problem or would like to talk about whether a mentoring relationship might be beneficial, please comment below or email me.

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