The very first thing my investor said to me while discussing my business plan was not to get discouraged if after a year I haven’t realized my business’ true potential. It was wise advice. The majority of businesses succeed or fail within the first 24 months. There are many factors that go into why a business fails, but I would like to touch on the perseverance that is necessary to succeed.
Being self employed isn’t the rose colored lifestyle that many imagine. It takes planning, hard work, and perseverance. Many people underestimate just how much work is needed to get a business off the ground. There is always something unexpected and there are factors that will change even the best thought out business plan.
But as an entrepreneur, you have to learn to take it on the chin. You’ve got to roll with the punches, and most importantly… you’ve got to stay in the ring. The hardest thing for any new business to do is to attract customers. You may have worked on a marketing strategy, but most often they are fluid documents which are constantly being revised until you find your niche and clients. Your business isn’t changing, although your marketing plan should always be evolving.
You can’t be a quitter. You can’t change your focus and business model from season to season if you’re not getting the results you want. The most well know businesses do one thing, and do it well. They’ve stuck through the uncertainties and built a foundation through customer loyalty. That simply takes time to establish.
You have to learn to deal with disappointment. It is not going to go as planned. It is not going to be what you expect, and you have to have the moxie to be able to handle those situations while still maintaining enthusiasm to see through to the end your goal. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from working in the corporate world is that knowledge doesn’t pay nearly as well as responsibility. Most CEO’s may not be the most knowledgeable in their respective companies, but they certain shoulder the bulk of the responsibility if the company takes a downturn. You’re a hero when things are great and a zero when things are not. That’s the nature of business.
If you’re flippant with your aim, and directives, you’re going to be in serious trouble and eventually you’ll lose credibility. People are secure in companies that provide stability. You must be stable and consistent in your efforts if you want to attract a loyal following. I know a few people who seem to start a new endeavor every year. How are they going to be successful if they never let their seeds take root? How are they going to attract investment?
Being is business will ask of you things working for someone else never will. The challenges are great, yet the rewards are immeasurable. You need determination, perseverance, strength, and focus if you truly want to be a successful business owner. You must seriously consider these factors before deciding to embark on the rewarding yet perilous world of being an entrepreneur.