We live in a time in which anyone with a good idea and the drive to bring it to life can find success. However, it’s not as easy as putting your idea out there and waiting for the money to start rolling in. There’s a lot of tough work involved, especially when starting your own business. While it can be intimidating getting your business off the ground, keeping the following maxims in mind can help get your entrepreneurial excursion off on the right foot.
1. Wade in, don’t dive.
This is not to say you shouldn’t put your all into your business venture, but you definitely do not want to overwhelm yourself to the point of giving up before you even get moving. Learn as much as you can, but do so systematically. There’s a lot to know about running your own business, but you should gain a strong foundational knowledge of entrepreneurship before you tackle the more advanced techniques and ideas. Set intentional daily, weekly, and monthly goals for your education, and keep track of what you’ve learned on a daily basis.
2. Be frugal.
We’ve all heard the saying “You gotta spend money to make money,” but that shouldn’t persuade you to go broke chasing your dream. You definitely need to invest in your business venture to get it off the ground, but don’t assume you will be an automatic success and spend all your extra cash on frivolous items. A year or two living in a studio apartment might be rough while getting going, but it will make for a good start to your biography when you’re 40 and own a home in the Hamptons.
3. Invest in yourself.
Like I said, you are definitely going to have to shell out some cash to get moving toward success. But spend that money wisely. Spend it on your education and your future. You don’t even necessarily need to have a four-year degree to gain the knowledge to be a successful businessman. Check out online courses and workshops. Many are available for free, or at the fraction of the cost of tuition at a large university. Even though you might start out your career in the red, you shouldn’t put a price on your education.
Many successful businessmen have discussed the benefits of meditation at length. Meditating calms the mind, body, and spirit, and allows you to spend time in deep reflection. Use this time to clear your head of all the nagging issues which plagued you throughout the day. After you have spent time calming your nerves and mind, come back to the pressing issues that were causing you trouble before with a fresh head and new perspective. It’s a much better strategy than plodding through and burning yourself out.
5. Stay healthy.
Speaking of avoiding burnout, you can’t be productive if you’re bedridden. It’s good to be ambitious, but it’s not good to neglect your body’s needs in favor of your business. Take time to do some exercise on a daily basis. Don’t skip out on meals, no matter how much work you have to do. And get enough sleep. Your body will thank you for going to bed at a normal hour by waking you up earlier than you expected. Listen to what your body tells you, and don’t put it off. You could end up doing much more damage to your venture than will be done if you just call it quits early for a day.
You definitely can’t go it alone in today’s business world. You have to make connections in order to help your business, and your own self, grow. Of course, it’s incredibly easy to hop on LinkedIn or Twitter and connect with hundreds, if not thousands, of other likeminded individuals. But the most worthwhile connections you’ll make will be the ones you’ve made in person. These are the people you can really learn something from, and who will take your business venture seriously. Put yourself out there and find people who you can truly connect with.
7. Be innovative.
If you don’t want to create another middle-of-the-road company whose mantra is “reach the status quo,” you’re going to need to be an innovative thinker. Analyze common problems faced by people of all walks of life, and attack the issue from a variety of perspectives. Try to come up with new, inventive solutions that use resources differently and more effectively. Accept that entrepreneurship involves a series of trials and errors, and it will take time and effort for you to make your first breakthrough. When you do get there, it will certainly be worth it.
8. Keep pushing.
Like I said, it’s highly unlikely your first major breakthrough as an entrepreneur will come immediately. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Use the information you gleaned through your failed experiments and trials to make more informed decisions during subsequent attempts. As long as your knowledge and understanding continue to grow, your failures aren’t truly failures at all. It’s when you stop trying altogether that you’ve truly wasted your talents.
Featured photo credit: Steven Depolo via Flickr via farm7.staticflickr.com