The word “entrepreneur” has come to mean many things. The commonly accepted definition is that such a person organizes and operates a business or several businesses, thus taking on a greater financial risk than the average person. But in reality, this is a simplistic version of the story.
These ambitious titles inspire many to want to step out on their own and join the entrepreneurial world. Many people will focus on persistence, organizational skills, responsibility, and patience.
However, being an entrepreneur also involves plenty of sacrifice, discomfort, insecurity, and failure.
I refer to the kind of grueling, painful and heartbreaking failure that has the potential to shape and strengthen your character.
Here are some tips to help entrepreneurs stay ahead of the game:
1) Embrace Failure
My path to entrepreneurship was not glamorous. It was full of disappointments, letdowns, frustration and fear. While I love what I do because I cannot imagine a more rewarding experience, it took a lot of hard work, planning and faith to reach this point.
2) Plan Effectively
Regardless of whether or not you plan and anticipate multiple and diverse aspects of owning a business ahead of time, problems will still arise. Complications are inherent in the nature of the business. For instance, regardless of whether you have a plan for how you want to account for taxable income you receive from your business, you will be liable for those taxes.
Regardless of whether you clearly plan out your marketing campaign, a lack of concise and clear marketing will affect the growth of your business. These problems will all catch up with you eventually. However, effective planning will put you in a better position to address the new issues that arise.
3) Consider the Big Picture
As a corporate attorney who advises new and experienced business owners, I find it interesting how shocked my clients sometimes are when I begin to list all of the different considerations they need to take into account.
Since my firm focuses on supporting the business of clients as a whole, the list of considerations is not solely limited to legal issues. In fact, it also includes accounting, tax, marketing, supply and logistical concerns.
4) Ask the Tough Questions
My objective is not to discourage future entrepreneurs, but it is to demonstrate the importance of asking the difficult questions early on. It is imperative to the process that you ask the question for which you do not necessarily have an answer to, and seek out those professional services or colleagues who may have some advice or answers.
In the entrepreneurial world, ignoring the necessary considerations for business operations does not make them go away, but rather exacerbates their impact on your business.
As a result, when the time comes to address the problems, you may be impeded or inhibited from adequately resolving them.
Thus, I think it is fair to say that there is no set definition that can truly capture what it is to be an entrepreneur. It is an experience, a lifestyle, and a state of being. It is one of the most difficult and uncomfortable tasks you can possibly take on, but it is also the most rewarding and gratifying experience you will have.
I would encourage anyone who is considering a path toward entrepreneurship to just take the time to research the relevant aspects of the industry or field they are planning to enter and ask the hard questions.
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? What piece of advice have you found helpful along the way? Comment below!