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5 Promises Entrepreneurs Should Make for a Robust Business




I remember reading a brilliant piece titled “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship”. It resonates because it forces us to look at entrepreneurship for what it really is. It talks about the secret demons, we entrepreneurs carry within us. Entrepreneurship is a scary territory because it is filled with doubt. And here, erring gets easily magnified because everything is out there for everyone to see.

But, as entrepreneurs, we all share a common passion and love for what we do. So despite all the fear, we take the plunge because we want to leave great stories behind us.

In this journey, there are some promises that can make life easier. So let’s make these promises together:

1. I will acknowledge failure and learn from my mistakes

50% of all new business fail within five years. Such failure is more likely to happen when you don’t learn from your past. In your entrepreneurial journey, failure is bound to show up. And it can be crushing, especially when it comes unannounced.

So the first promise you should make yourself is this: “I will acknowledge my mistakes and learn from them.” Letting your mistakes create inconsistency problems is bad for your business. Remember that failing isn’t bad so long as you don’t get stuck. So when you encounter failure, be quick to move on. And carry your lessons with you.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson

2. I will be a better listener

The entrepreneurial landscape often stresses on the importance of good public speaking. But it is crucial to remember that great leaders are team players, and they always listen. Listening helps you see things from a different perspective. And in business, this is important.

When you are just starting out, you may view yourself as the only point of command, however, every business, big or small, is run by a team of people working together. Each person adds his/her own value.

Listening helps you understand the intricacies of your business- the problems, the challenges and even the good side. This helps you fine-tune your strategies in a way that is more meaningful to your audience. So, promise to listen to your inner hunches. Promise to listen to your investors, your teammates, your customers.

3. I will be flexible and open to change

It is important to learn to embrace change at the right time. If your idea doesn’t have fruitful translations for the industry, it might be time to bring a change. This change can be in the form of rebranding or something more drastic, like chucking the actual idea and building your business on a different one.

Change comes with its own set of challenges, but well-executed change creates better results. There are several stories of successful pivots in the startup history. Twitter, for instance, started its life as Odeo which was a podcast subscription network. A few months later, Apple announced that iTunes  will have an inbuilt podcasting platform. Competing against an established brand was a big risk so Odeo took Twitter as a side project; the same Twitter which now has 330 million monthly active users.

4. I will create long-term strategies

As an entrepreneur, you are a part of a marathon, not a sprint. From scattering the seeds of your business to finding visibility and getting real results, the journey can be long and arduous. In order to build your brand, you need to create long-term plans which are based on a certain set of values.

Think of Apple, from its very inception, Apple promised to deliver something that has elegance and simplicity. And those core values are still intact. When you think long-term, you are more likely to emerge as thought leaders who shape industry trends. Additionally, long term thinking helps in brand positioning as it helps you craft strategies which make your brand memorable.

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” – George Bernard Shaw

5. I will stay curious

Entrepreneurship is risky and it may seem a good idea to stick to what you know, but that defeats the very purpose of taking the risk. Also, this mindset prevents you from finding good opportunities because your field of view becomes narrow.

Learning new things helps you to see the various possibilities that exist and reap benefits from it. The dynamics of almost every industry keep changing and there is a constant need to adapt. And adaptation becomes easier when you are curious. Curiosity demands time but the investment is always worth it. So promise to learn something new every day and get out of your comfort zone.

Promises, small or big, mean a lot when they are centered around things we love. These promises ultimately become our driving force. So, let’s pledge to listen more, be more flexible and keep our curiosity alive. Also, let’s make sure to learn from mistakes instead of taking them as setbacks and use them as stepping stones to success.

What promise are you going to make today? Share with us below!

Deepasha Kakkar is a visual marketer, founder of Crackitt, and a consumer behavior aficionado. She helps businesses & organizations hone their identities, craft their brands, and share their truths using beautiful handmade animated videos and compelling infographics. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

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This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

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