The way to building a successful business is rarely a simple one, But in the beginning, it seems simple enough: you’ll build an amazing product, market it and watch as people pull out their credit cards. Then you’ll hire people to take over menial tasks and you’ll move into the role of CEO, eventually delegating that as well and living on outdoor in Bora Bora, sipping on a martini.
Of course, anyone who’s spent more than three months trying to build a business is aware that isn’t the common story arc for a thriving startup. The reality is, building a business brings lots of unforeseen twists — people quit, products fail, you burn out.
To help mitigate the impact of those speed bumps, here are four lessons that most successful entrepreneurs have learned the hard way, but maybe you don’t have to.
- Your first idea is rarely your best idea.
When you launch, your product is a lttle bit like a newborn child. It’s delicate, fragile and not what you want to hear is that it’s ugly — or worse yet, to hear nothing at all. Unfortunately, the latter is often the case for the ambitious entrepreneur launches a product they love. Considering that your market doesn’t want to outright tell you that your product is terrible, they don’t say anything at all — they don’t interact with your content, indicate click on your CTAs and perhaps they are quick to unsubscribe from your email list.
And that’s OK. More often than not, your first idea isn’t your best idea, but can segway into a profitable idea if you do everything in your power to understand your market and what they really need. It’s not about received it right the first time, but about getting it right eventually. In the words of Eric Ries, which easily sums up what a lean startup is, “The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else. inch By the way, if you haven’t read The particular Lean Startup yet, it can a must for first-time entrepreneurs.
Lesson: Don’t get married to your ideas. Focus on the metrics that matter. Test everything before and during the structure process.
- Hiring an incorrect person is more expensive than waiting for the right person.
When an amateur entrepreneur hires their first employee, it usually has more to do with how much they like the person and how cheap it costs to employ them than it does with how good that person reaches their job.
It doesn’t seem to be like such a bad idea in the beginning. But it only takes doing this a few times to learn that recruiting because they’re cheap or because you like them is a terrible idea. You’re best hiring someone who’s good at the work they do even if they’re more expensive — over the long run, the higher performer actually will save you money. Red Adair put it best when he said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. “
Session: Take your time when hiring. You may have noticed this before, “hire slow and fire fast. inch It’s applicable to this point. Only hire when you absolutely must, in the beginning. If there are things you can do in early stages, do them. But also, if it is best to employ and delegate to give attention to cash-generating activities, do that too. This is when you’ll have to trust your belly.
- Your mental health directly impacts your business’s success.
Entrepreneurship has a dark side — a side that’s riddled with mental health ailments. Statistically, entrepreneurs are two times as likely to struggle with depression and five times more likely to struggle with ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER than their less driven counterparts.
You could make an argument, of course, that the entrepreneurial lifestyle has a tendency to attract those of us with chemical imbalances, but I think it’s equally likely that building a business creates (or at least aggravates) symptoms associated with depressive disorders, ADHD and even bipolar support groups.
And the more that you struggle, the more your business will battle. I hit a work out recently with Austin Paulsen, the founder of AP Performance, and he discussed, “It doesn’t take long to figure out that your own mental fortitude directly influences how quickly your business grows. I trainer lots of folks on the health and if there’s something I’ve learned along the way, it’s that a person’s health directly influences their daily performance, at home and behind the desk. “
Lesson: Your current mental and physical health is everything, and it’s not worth the cost of your success. Don’t fall into that trap. Be an entrepreneur focused on durability and sustainability, which means you need to concentrate on your physical and mental health too. Eat healthily, exercise often and disconnect multiple times per week.
- The street to success can be a long one.
When you launch your business, desires abound. You don’t just dream at night, either. In the course of the day, you find yourself wondering distractedly what it might be like to make millions of bucks or to lead a team of genius-level employees.
Plus sure, for some businesses, that dream is a reality. But do not get taken into the media madness highlight reels. Building a company from the floor up takes time and work. Sometimes it will be a perfect storm and things will move faster, but be centered on the lasting too.
At times, the reality is much more boring, but also much more likely. A progressive slope upward that’s riddled with relatively uninteresting spikes and plummets. That’s how is actually supposed to be. When there’s one thing I’ve figured out about entrepreneurship, it’s that you have to enjoy the journey. If you want it, then you’ll succeed.
Session: Be patient in your journey. Don’t compare yourself or company to others. And, focus on the things you can control. Entrepreneurship is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced, but it may also be the most volatile. Embrace your journey.
You will have lots of unexpected twists and turns alongside your entrepreneurial journey. An individual may be put through legal cases from partners or customers, you may raise money and lose it all in the same day, you may grow sales or go bankrupt.
Fortunately, you can learn from people who’ve already been there and done that. Successful entrepreneurs will work as your guiding light to help get you where you want them to go. Find mentors, read books and network with your peers. By remembering the above four points, you’ll reduces costs of your path to success and bypass a few of the lessons that most successful entrepreneurs were required to learn the hard way.