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6 Things No One Told You About Entrepreneurship

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No one ever said that starting a business would be easy. However, even if you understand there will be challenges when you first start to develop entrepreneurial aspirations, you can’t be completely prepared for what lies ahead.

Before they reach success, every entrepreneur finds there are certain lessons which can only be learned the hard way, Here are a few of them:

1. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward

The world is a dynamic place, and nothing is ever standing still. You have to constantly push forward and advance just to avoid falling behind. Change along with your environment or exert the strength necessary to change your environment to suit your needs. Either option will require a commitment to innovation.

Unwillingness to change doesn’t necessarily equate to perseverance; it just means that you’re going to follow your set path regardless of whether it leads to success or failure.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

2. Some people won’t like you

Setting a goal to avoid having any enemies seems like a really nice idea. However, it’s not a particularly realistic one.

The truth is, some people simply aren’t going to like you. Bending over backwards to please everyone will only strain your quality relationships and exhaust energies on people who won’t appreciate the effort. When you are faced with someone who is committed to disliking you, it’s best to just come to terms with that fact and move on.

 

3. Your priorities will probably change

Many people assume entrepreneurship and ‘being your own boss’ means exponential amounts of free time. In reality, your new business venture will likely demand more of your resources than your previous work life. As a result, some of your priorities will need to change. It’s important to recognize early on what you are and aren’t willing to sacrifice.

It’s also important to realize that just because relationships and activities change, doesn’t necessarily mean the change is for the worse. For example, occasionally, a Saturday morning with the kids might be an all-family envelope-stuffing party rather than lying on the sofa watching cartoons. That’s ok. Look for ways to maintain quality time in light of your new situation.

 

4. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun

Yeah, it’s going to be tough, but that’s what makes entrepreneurship so great! If the path to success were a gentle, consistent upward incline, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. And if it weren’t a challenge, you wouldn’t feel the sense of accomplishment or self-worth.

Remember that concept when you’re confronted with the constant highs and lows. When the going is good, take the time to look back and see how far you’ve come. When you’re feeling down and out, focus on the inevitable highs that will accompany your determination and perseverance.

 

5. Your ability to be a team player is one of your most valuable assets

Personal development author Brian Tracy said, “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’

Teamwork is essential for success. Look for opportunities to connect with other people and strengthen both your efforts. That might mean mentoring someone, attending local networking events, presenting at industry conferences, or spurring on your coworkers and employees.

You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you accept the fact that two minds are better than one.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobbs

6. Consider ‘expert’ opinions, but stay true to what you know

New entrepreneurs often follow the advice provided by ‘experts,’ then later realize that advice is faulty or impossible to implement. When that happens, entrepreneurs often blame themselves. Could it be that they’re simply not good enough to make a foolproof strategy work for them? Not necessarily.

Taking advice is not a bad thing, however, you shouldn’t blindly follow what someone else says simply because they have more years’ experience than you. Take your own experiences, capabilities, and preferences into consideration. Then, use your own personal insight to evaluate the effectiveness of any suggestion before you put it into practice.

If you know something is true—whether based on your own past experience or a gut feeling, act on that knowledge. Don’t disregard what you know for what someone else says. Your own intuition, first-hand experience, or hunch got you into this situation; don’t disregard everything you’re passionate about on a whim.

There are probably hundreds of realities you’ll uncover during your entrepreneurial adventure. However, you’ll only make those revolutionary discoveries if you take a chance. Don’t sit on the sidelines, afraid and guarded, just because you are uncertain of what the future holds.

Get out there and experience life. Make your own mistakes along the way!

What did you learn about entrepreneurship when you jumped into it? Leave your thoughts below!

Monica Eaton-Cardone is an author, speaker and entrepreneur. She currently serves executive roles at three different companies, all of which she’s founded in the last five years. Her internationally-recognized risk mitigation and chargeback management firm, Chargebacks911, manages more than 200 million transactions each month and helps some of the biggest brands in eCommerce. In addition to being a friendly fraud expert, Monica also shares her expertise regarding eCommerce stability, threat metric analysis, and much more. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make

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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.

Get more leads and referrals

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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By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.

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