Being an Entrepreneur is not for sissies! It’s tough – really tough! Especially when you are starting out. You have to be all that there is and more.
You’re the person in charge of operations, administration, bookkeeping, compliance, HR and Marketing. Then you usually have to be the cleaner, the delivery guy and the tea person too. Don’t forget all the research and legal stuff and legislative stuff that also has to be done not to mention procurement and . . . . and so the list of things that have to be done goes on and on! Yep, the life of an Entrepreneur is often very hard and often very lonely.
It gets even worse though when you experience a problem that you are not sure how to deal with because it is outside of your realm of experience. You will often feel that the weight of the world and your burdens are crushing you, squeezing all of your inspiration out of you and killing your spirit.
It can get so bad that you get to the point where you are ready to just throw in the towel and give up. The angst, the uncertainty and sheer enormity of the undertaking before you is just so overwhelming, it’s just too much!
Believe me when I tell you that we have all been there at some point or another!
The reality of course is that you don’t have to isolate yourself and do this all on your own. Ask for help – what’s the worst that can happen?
In my experience the worst that can happen is that that particular person cannot help because they themselves do not have the experience, but believe me when I tell you that there are always people out there who are more than willing to help.
Let’s take it one step at a time.
Firstly, as you are starting out, get advice from the start and I am not talking about advice from your mates who are all working for other people and who have never run or started a business themselves. I am talking about help from Entrepreneurs who are already up and running and who have already gone through (and survived and prospered) what you are currently going through.
Understand also, that in all probability you will need advice of one kind or another all the way through the rest of your career as an Entrepreneur. Even the most successful Entrepreneurs still have mentors and advisors, why would you be any different?
When you start out and are still in the planning stages and you are confused about the ‘how to’, differentiate your product or service from your competition or how to ‘price’ yourself, the easiest way is to actually use your competitors to improve your products or services. What are they selling that you can improve on?
Once you are up and running you need to measure on a regular basis. What are your customers experiencing? Are they satisfied with the experience? Are they happy with the product? What or how can you improve?
As an Entrepreneur there will come a time when you have a difficult or disgruntled client. That is just the reality of doing business. As difficult as it may be for you to deal with angry or upset customers, it is something that you need to do and please understand that it should be done sooner rather than later. Making an angry customer ‘wait’ before you contact them is not going to endear them to you in any way – if anything it will fuel the fire.
Keep yourself up to date with social media channels, especially those that are the home for complaints. Often this is the first place where you will become aware of a problem.
Keep yourself informed – you need to know what is happening in the markets around you. Depending on what industry you are in, it will often give you an advantage.
Finally, talk to your mentors and coaches – the people who know you best. The people whose ‘common sense’ (although that is a very rare commodity these days), or logical type advise is just what you need to hear and then really listen to what they say.
Often when you are not talking to them it is because your sub-conscious is telling you that you are doing something wrong – something that they would advise you against.
So listen to and really ‘hear’ what is going on around you – it may mean avoiding a world of pain further on down the line.