While experience certainly doesn’t hurt, you can launch your own business even if you don’t have much of it. The key to being successful is to do a lot of preparation before you get going. Remember: once you start, it is very hard, or at least inconvenient, to have to stop and go back to correct what you neglected to do in the beginning. Below, you will find some suggestions from successful entrepreneurs about steps to take so that your own business endeavor finds the success you dream of.
Remember that problems never go away unless you solve them
In the beginning, which can last a long time, you will have a ton of problems, and really, that probably never changes. So, keep in mind two things: you will be the only one who can solve them, and you are going to need a strong system for prioritizing them and not letting any escape your notice. Develop a way to monitor what needs attention, be it a whiteboard, a spiral notebook, a Google doc, or something else. Each day before you dive into your work, revisit the issues and decide which ones need to be addressed today. Have a step-by-step process for solving them, monitoring their progress, and moving them out of your life.
Do everything in order
Every entrepreneur dreams of fame and fortune and wants thousands of social media followers. That’s a given. But, you won’t get there without a business plan or a social media marketing strategy first. Accept the process: sit down and map out all the steps you must take in order to get to your goal, then knock out one at a time. Entrepreneurs who try to skip ahead will find out very quickly that this is a recipe for disaster.
Avoid obsessing over failures
Here is another suggestion: learn what you can from your failures but do not dwell on them. Even the most successful billionaires have messed up, so you will, too. When you make a mistake, own it. Make no excuses for it and apologize to anyone you need to. From there, analyze what happened and see what you did wrong. Then create a new path forward and get going. Leave your mistakes in the past and focus only on today and the future.
Be careful who you surround yourself with
You already know that you are going to face a lot of naysayers, those people who don’t believe you can succeed. Here is an important point: you don’t have to listen to them. As a startup founder, you need individuals who will tell you what you don’t want to hear. What you don’t need, however, are people who are trying to tear you down simply because they don’t believe in you or your dream. Be very choosy about who you admit to your inner circle so that you are surrounded by positive, realistic people who can help you to get one step further in your entrepreneurial dreams.
Combine realism with unrelenting optimism
To be successful, take off the rose-colored glasses and be honest about the challenges that you face as a business owner. Those challenges are not going to go away, so you need to see them realistically. At the same time, remain positive about your ability to overcome them. You face a tough road, but you can navigate it if you remain optimistic. It is only when you get negative that you will have difficulty persevering, and that will be the end of your startup.
Admit what you don’t know and go find someone who does
Set aside your ego and write down a list of everything you would like to know about running a successful business. Marketing, accounting, product design, website development – whatever it is, admit that you don’t know it. Then, find a way to get your answers. Ask the CEO of a friend’s company, email the professor of a course – do whatever it takes to get the answers you need. Remember to thank people for the information and to help another entrepreneur someday who may be in the same boat that you were in.
Place your health first
You will face a lot of long nights and even longer days as you run your startup. No one said it was going to be easy. But, no matter how tough it gets, never stop taking care of your health. Get enough sleep, don’t forget to exercise each day, and always eat well. Your body is the only one you get to have, and if success comes at its expense, it isn’t worth it.
Last, remember that as soon as you become the owner of a startup, you begin accumulating experience. Every day you will learn something new, so reflect on every experience and let it make you a better business person.