Life as an entrepreneur, or even just in general, inevitably will be filled with peaks and valleys. You’re going to have times when things are going as planned and everything is happening right on schedule. You’re also going to have times when things are going at a snail’s pace and you can’t really see any progress. Don’t worry! A lack of tangible success all the time isn’t a sign you should stop moving forward.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
We’ve all heard the success stories infiltrating every stream of media. A great idea is spawned and BAM… the next millionaire is born. These stories might even be what actually got our own fires burning to take the leap into the entrepreneurial world in the first place. However, keep in mind that overnight success isn’t the norm.
Hard work and dedication are your best bet for a successful entrepreneurial enterprise. Don’t get discouraged and stop before you really even get started. You’ve got to keep pushing and keep moving toward your goals.
Be Deliberate in Strategy
The people who are deliberate in their strategy will have the best chances for success. Luck is a big part of any business venture (although more as a skill in making the most of opportunities, not just blind gambles), but depending solely on luck isn’t the best option. If “winging it” is your strategy, don’t count on success. Take the time to build a plan. Your moves should be strategic and well thought out.
They say to win a game of chess, you’ve got to be aware of your next three moves. The same is true in business.
Lay the Groundwork
If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time so you don’t have to go back and waste time fixing mistakes that could have been avoided. The importance of laying the groundwork for the long-term can’t be stressed enough in a solo entrepreneurship. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on running your business for the rest of your life or if you’re simply creating a business to sell off – you want it to last the test of time. This takes time and attention to details.
Skipping a step, no matter how small it may seem, could be what brings your business to its knees in the very near future. A strong foundation is key to success.
Know Your Business
A lot of the time we think we’ve got a great idea and then jump without really doing much research. It’s something we feel passionate about or think could be the next big thing. It’s exciting, but it’s also one-sided. The fact is, you need market research and you need to know your customers. Whether your plan is to offer a service or sell a product, you need to know the people who will actually pay money for it.
Research shouldn’t stop at your friends and family either. You need to go outside your immediate contacts and see if your idea could really take flight outside your circle and become successful.
Rely on Your Vision and Principles
When you started your entrepreneurial adventure, it likely started with a vision. You saw something great and went for it, dove in head first and reached for the stars. That’s pretty amazing in itself, because a lot of us don’t have the gusto or gumption to take an idea and turn it into reality.
However, don’t lose sight of your vision. You might find yourself going back to the drawing board more than once and redesigning your strategy for success. Don’t allow bumps in the road to deter you.
Likewise, you will need to keep a tight hold on your principles and values. You are going to be faced with decisions every single day, and taking the easy road isn’t always the best road. It’s incredibly tempting to maybe skip a little red tape here and there, thinking you’ll go back and fix it later. The best of intentions, right?
These types of decisions could make or break your success. Don’t look for the quick fix if it challenges the very core of your principles and values. If you’ve got a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, it’s probably not a good idea. It’s better to take the long road and have a better chance of success than opt for a shortcut you’ll inevitably regret.
Building a business isn’t for the meek and tender-hearted. You’ll need tough skin and a ton of patience if you want sustainable success. You’re going to have to think critically and avoid emotional, spur-of-the-moment decisions. Take the time to build it right or you’ll spend more time repairing your mistakes than enjoying your success.