When deciding on the route of entrepreneurship and running a business, there are factors that must be considered and assumed when you start your journey. Going into running a business is not an easy task to embark upon so you should most certainly be proud of yourself for going for it and actioning what you want, but being prepared is key to setting yourself up for success. As there is a range of business opportunities and ideas, the range of entrepreneurs is also diverse, so fitting your assumptions to the type of business plan that you have will ensure that everything remains personal to you and aligned with your business.
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What is an entrepreneur?
Before delving into what assumptions you must make when starting a business, you need to outline what kind of entrepreneur you want to be and if you have developed and worked on the traits it takes to be a business owner or entrepreneur. This is not to say that you cannot develop in your own way, but that there are some traits that align entrepreneurs and allow them to be successful. With over 15 per cent of the USA alone being involved in startups, many people around the world are delving into the world of entrepreneurship, so making sure you know yourself and the risks that are involved is key and you can most certainly succeed.
An entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business and in turn bears many of the risks that come alongside it, including financial and personal. It can be extremely rewarding and constantly developing, being open to criticism and having the drive to upskill will keep you in the know and remaining innovative within your business sector. Working out what skills you need to develop and establishing a style of working is very much part of the battle when it comes to being an entrepreneur, so don’t skip out on working on yourself as a person.
Never underestimate the power of pressure
Steering away from the assumed and traditional model of business owners outsourcing every part of their business, entrepreneurs are very much involved with the development of their idea and of course have people who rely on them. From customers, to staff to even themselves, and entrepreneurs will never fall short when it comes to feeling pressure.
When setting out on the route of entrepreneurship, you must be acutely aware that you are inviting pressure to join the party. As an otherwise rational thinker, factoring in pressure may affect your thought process in a way that you may never have encountered before. Creating an opportunity to see how you navigate pressure is something that you should maybe consider. Whether that be taking on more responsibility at your current job or confiding in an entrepreneurial mentor about the realities of working under pressure, knowing how you operate under pressure is key to knowing how to work with it and implementing the things you need for when you do start your own business.
Learning how to manage and compose yourself when feeling under pressure is vital as it’s not an easy feeling to navigate. Creating healthy wellness habits for yourself can help you alleviate how pressure makes you feel, and perhaps even take it to fuel your drive. With the increase in wellness apps being at an all-time high, the graph below shows us the increase in wellness app downloads in the past three years and shows how many more people are taking their wellness into their own hands. As an entrepreneur prioritising your wellness, particularly under pressure is something that is often neglected and can lead to the downfall of your being successful as a business owner. Factoring in the things that you need to do can help you not let the pressure get on top of you.
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Paying yourself is harder than you think
When you see successful entrepreneurs, you often see the end result and reaping the rewards of their business, but more often than not people forget to see the initial sacrifice and struggle that comes when starting off as an entrepreneur. As you are putting your own finances at risk when starting a business, your job security is not the same as when you are working for someone else so this is something you must bear in mind and in turn expect. It is ok if you need job security, but just know this will not always be the case when working as an entrepreneur.
As a result of the uncertainty that comes with entrepreneurship, paying yourself might have to be your last priority at the beginning as you will be paying for everything else first and a lot of your profit will be going back into your business. Your take-home income may be small to start with and this is something you will have to persevere through. Being acutely aware that this will not be easy will only work in your best interest and know that it is part and parcel of building your own business before you reap the full benefits.
A lack of income at the beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur is something that you will have to expect and navigate through. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but being consistent and solution providing will result in good things for you in the longs run and this is the stage that many business owners give up, so staying consistent and accounting for this in your expectations as an entrepreneur is something you have to do.
Persistence is Key
Consistency and persistence is key to building up resilience when it comes to entrepreneurship and the way that you develop these traits can make all the difference when it comes to addressing your conduct within the business.
When starting off in a business, whether that be securing your funding or ensuring that you have enough launch products you have to be ready to stick to your guns. Persistence is not only a common trait amongst entrepreneurs but also something you have to expect when starting your business. Remaining persistent takes a great deal of hard work and determination. You can expect that not everything will be as plain sailing as you perhaps thought it would be and the key is to stick with it and navigate your company in the right direction. Although remaining persistent may seem somewhat obvious, for some people the reality of putting in hard work with less reward than in an employed situation is an extremely difficult position to be in so you have to be prepared and willing to do so.
Putting in the hard work and becoming more resilient will allow you to market your business, its services and products for what they are worth and by sticking with it, you will have the right traits to back that up. To ensure that your persistence gets results means that you have to be prepared for your failures and setbacks and be ready to process them in a healthy way. You will most certainly be up for the challenge if you are ready and prepared for it.
Alongside maintaining resilience, the uncertainty and instability that comes paired with starting a business is certainly an emotional and stressful thing. In the beginning, you may be fighting an uphill battle and people telling you how they think your business should be run and facing problems that you need to find the solutions to for your business. This will become a catalyst for emotional stress, so finding ways to combat that and not get overwhelmed by it is something that you definitely need to be ready and prepared for.
A few things you can ask yourself when it comes to identifying your emotional stress, is what triggers it and how do you deal with certain situations? As an entrepreneur, you will have to remain calm in the face of crisis and understand that if you give in to the emotional stress that you are feeling in front of any potential employees or people involved in your business you could be projecting onto them without even realising it. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be feeling emotional stress or blocking it all out, but you should be aware that feeling this way is something you can expect and must learn how to navigate it.
As you may encounter emotional stress on a daily basis, keeping yourself in check can be managed in many ways. By investing in therapy to talk out your emotions or committing more to exercise to have a positive release you can see what aids you and helps you to manage your stress.
Say goodbye to employee benefits
Just as paying yourself in the initial stages of starting a business can be a difficult thing to grapple with, so can losing the typical benefits you may receive from being employed. For example, when you take holiday when working for an employer, typically it is paid, but when you are your own boss you do not have this type of certainty that you may be guaranteed when working for an employer. Although working for yourself comes with another set of positives, being aware that you will be losing the traditional expectations of being an employee at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey is something you have to assume.
Benefit packages such as health benefits or travel perks that you may have received in the past may not be an option for you now in your own business and something you have to wait to reap the rewards for. Because of this, it is extremely important to remain persistent and resilient. Even if it takes years for you to get to a point when you can give yourself these benefits, if you truly believe in your business idea then you should take the time that it deserves. Just as with many businesses, taking the time to get to where you want to be, will only benefit you in the long run.
The last year alone has shown us that even the most traditional of industries can still be affected by something like the pandemic and this future uncertainty is something that is not a new concept to entrepreneurs. When setting up your own business, you don’t know what the future holds for you and bearing this in mind is something that you need to do when starting a business. You are not promised as much stability as you may be when employed by someone else and you need to have the trust in yourself to work with that. IF you are someone who likes to plan far in advance and be in control over the tiny details of your work-life balance, you will have to come to grips with the future uncertainty that comes with starting your own business and future uncertainty, across different areas of your life, is bound to come paired with being an entrepreneur.
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The future uncertainty that comes with starting a business and being an entrepreneur is something you have to combat. Can you upskill and grow yourself alongside your business as a way to keep yourself in the know? If you feel yourself stagnating, what can you do to help change that? Just because your business may have an uncertain future, what are the things that you can control? The answer is yourself. You can control what you are putting in and how you are navigating yourself or plan to navigate yourself when it comes to your business. Can you ensure that you are growing as an entrepreneur? Asking yourself these hard-hitting questions will allow you to be as prepared as you can be for any hiccups on the road when it comes to your business. Speak to experts in the field, maybe even reach out and find yourself a mentor who may have encountered certain problems that you can avoid if they are happy to share their advice with you.
It’s a risky business
Paired with future uncertainties and lack of income, you have to be aware that becoming an entrepreneur is ultimately a risk. It can be easy to get lost in the romanticised version of entrepreneurship, but ultimately there is a lot of unseen hard work and graft that goes into the results you see. The rewards and risks of being an entrepreneur are endless and the effort that you put in and the goals you have in mind will definitely pay off in the long run.
Ensuring that you have properly evaluated the risks of your business, you will have a sound understanding that you will be sacrificing. Not only will you take on the stresses that go into maintaining and running a business, but you will be your first point of call for when things don’t go the way that you had planned for. You will be taking a pay cut as well as giving up the regular monthly income you may have once received from working for an employer. You will be giving up a lot of your personal time because you will not be able to spend your days off in the ways you may be used to in the early days of your business. It’s important to ensure that you are as prepared as you can be. If you can establish multiple sources of income for yourself before making the big leap into entrepreneurship then you can at least know that in terms of financial stability those remain in place for you. Taking into account the risks you will be taking by starting a business is something you must assume like an entrepreneur and with resilience, preparation and dedication you can give your business the best chance to be successful and relish in the results.
Taking risks is not for everyone, but it is something that goes hand in hand with being an entrepreneur. It is up to you to decide if the risks you are taking for your business are going to be worth it to you in the long run. Think about the financial collateral you will be offering. Can you stay in employment and work on your business at the same time until it’s in a position to run on its own? Analyse every part of your business plan and decide what you will have to risk and plan for the worst-case scenario within your sector. By being prepared with a backup plan, you are getting mentally ready to take on the risk of running a business.
Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle
When you decide to commit your life to be an entrepreneur it can become difficult to separate and compartmentalise your work and your personal life. Being an entrepreneur is very much a lifestyle and you will find that your daily habitual routines are centred around your business and this is something you must assume when starting a business. You can create really healthy habits for yourself and relish in what you can control as much as you can becasue entrepreneurship can bring about a lot of uncertainty.
Recreating your day and how you want to function is key to you living and working as an entrepreneur so keeping up your high standard of work is on your shoulders. You won’t have to worry about being disciplined by someone higher up than you because you will very literally be your own boss. This is both a blessing curse, as you need to make sure you are showing up every day for yourself and your business. The discipline you need to put into your business is something that you have to commit to within your personal life too. You won’t be able to relax and decompartmentalise for your business as easily as you may think that you will. You will be in constant identification mode and subconsciously noticing business opportunities for your product or service because this is your livelihood and something that you have created because you believe that it will succeed.
Although it is difficult to stick to any form of rigid schedule when you are your own boss, there are ways that you can manage your schedule so you are not so switched on all the time. You must establish your dedicated hours to work and focus and actually focus. It can be difficult for your mind to wander into the realm of all the things you have to get done that day, so ensuring that your dedicated time to a certain task is used for you to focus on that will improve your productivity in the long run. As much as you will want to multitask within your business, defining set time, even if just 20 minutes, to dedicate solely to a task will mean that you can tick off more completed things on your to-do list rather than be left with a list of half-finished tasks to finish off. By optimising the time you have and channelling your focus on one task at a time you will be surprised at how much you get done with the good quality compared to trying to multitask and get everything done all at the same time. As much as you will want to dabble your hands across the board this is where your discipline will most come to the test and something that you need to practise as an entrepreneur.
As a business owner, these are just some of the things you can assume when starting your own business. Ensuring that you have a sound understanding of the risks, hard work and dedication that you will have to put in to make your business be in the running to be a success will ensure that you are not caught off guard when you finally make the plunge into entrepreneurship. Being a business owner is not easy, so hats off to you for going for it and believing in your skills.