As an entrepreneur I spend a lot of time with other entrepreneurs and there is no secret to the struggles that we endure. Firstly, there has been the removal of the ‘security blanket’ offered by corporate positions with guaranteed holidays, vacation pay and benefits packages. Then there’s the fact that (in the beginning at least) you are no longer responsible for just doing the work that you are naturally gifted at but you have to pony up to the plate – marketing, sales, product development, management, book keeping, accounting, payroll etc. Then of course there is the inevitable mind games that your ego will try to play with you about whether you’re really cut out for this or who do you think you are? No easy task to tackle.
The stats speak for themselves. Many new businesses suffer in the first year and many close up shop. The times get too tough, the money starts to run out, you lose your momentum and enthusiasm for starting the business in the first place and before you know it the doors are shut!
So what’s really going on here? How can you go from hero to zero within a matter of months?
I think one of the biggest challenges for people is they stop asking the right questions? They forget what their vision was in the first place, they don’t have a series of goals they are working towards, they get lost in what action steps to take and eventually are taking no action. (We all know what happens when you don’t take action!)
So what are the right questions? Well, here’s a few to get you started.
1. What do I do? – It is important to be clear about what product you are brining to the market.
2. Why does it matter? – What is the underlying ‘need’ in the market that you are now filling?
3. Who cares? – Who is your target market? Who is going to really get juiced about what you are doing?
4. What does success look like to me? – Create the vision of the successful company you are trying to build.
5. What are my monthly, quarterly, yearly goals?
Here’s some questions to watch out for because they will not give you the answers you are looking for:
1. Does anyone even care about what I do?
2. Why is it so hard to build a business?
3. Would anyone even notice if I closed the doors tomorrow?
4. Where is my next paycheck coming from?
5. Am I even good at what I do?
Don’t get discouraged and don’t buy in to why things are hard. Your attitude will determine whether or not you will make it or not. If you give up mentally; you’re done! You have to be the driver of your bus. You have to know where you’re going and you have to be prepared to cope with the inevitable pot holes that will get in your way.
I recommend insulating yourself with mentors, coaches, and advisors who are experienced and have walked the talk. They will be able to provide you with objective insight and support you during the “tougher” days. But, at the end of it all, it’s up to you. You have to believe in yourself and you have to believe in your business. If failure is not an option – what’s the question?
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
You were Born Rich – Bob Proctor
The E-Myth – Michael Gerber
The 4 Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss