Everyone likes to glamorize being an entrepreneur, and making your own way through life playing by your own rules, but the truth of the matter is that most people who try to become entrepreneurs fail. Why is that exactly? Honestly, it tends to come down to one main factor, that is not being mentally prepared for the challenges that come with the entrepreneur lifestyle. Let’s look at the four rules for being a successful entrepreneur, and how they can help you stay mentally strong when you’re struggling.
1. Find Support in the Right Places
It takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur. You have to be willing to disregard the 9 to 5 lifestyle that you’ve been taught to embrace your entire life, and take it upon yourself to create your own success. Most people simply can’t identify with this mentality, and as a result, many entrepreneurs must press on without the support of their friends and family.
Now, this isn’t necessarily because your friends and family want you to fail, but rather because they simply can’t wrap their head around what it means to be an entrepreneur. That said, there are some legitimate crabs in the barrel out there that will try and drag you down, and they should be avoided.
If you’re looking for moral support as an entrepreneur, you should find groups of entrepreneurship online to associate with. They know what you’re going through, and can identify with your struggles. Best of all, you’ll probably learn something from each other, making it a win/win for everyone.
2. Learn to Be Self-Motivating
What makes you get out of bed in the morning? If you work a normal job, then it’s probably because your boss says you have to be at work at a certain time. When you’re an entrepreneur, you won’t have anyone setting your schedule for you. Your time will be your own, which is a good thing, but can also be a liability if you don’t learn to be self-motivating.
The ability to be self-motivating can be what makes or breaks many entrepreneurs. Throughout our lives our time is dictated to us by others, such as our parents when we’re very young, the school system in our childhood, of of course by our boss when we have normal jobs. Initiative is punished while obedience is rewarded in most cases, crushing any sense of self-motivation we may have.
The best way to learn self-motivation is to set a strict schedule for your daily activities, including a wake up time, bed time, and of course, free time to enjoy away form your entrepreneur activities. This may sound restrictive, and you may even be thinking that what’s the point of being an entrepreneur if you can’t do what you want when you want, but the fact is, as an entrepreneur you will have much more free time to enjoy as a whole, so the trade off is worth it.
3. Learn to Manage Your Finances
There are a lot of upsides to being an entrepreneur, but there are downsides as well. One of the biggest downsides is the fact that in many cases you will not have a reliable income. Your cash flow will instead tend to come in cycles of “feast and famine,” which can be stressful to say the least. The obvious answer here is to save up when the money is flowing so that when it isn’t, you’ll have enough to tide you over until times are good again.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to managing your finances as an entrepreneur though. You’ll also be in charge of paying your own taxes, finding adequate health insurance for you and your family, and handing your own retirement savings fund. If you don’t have head for finances, this can be a real pain, and could come back to bite you later if you don’t get it taken care of.
If you simply can’t manage your own finances, your best option is to hire an accountant, and/or financial advisory. They can help you with a variety of tasks from doing your taxes, to helping you plan your budget, and of course, telling you how best to invest your profits back into your business. For example, if you run a Shopify store they could help you come up with Shopify business ideas that you may not have considered on your own.
One important thing to be aware of is that there are shady individuals out there who have scammed their clients, so make sure you hire someone you can trust. When large sums of money are involved, you can never be too careful.
4. Expect Failure and Embrace it
Most people can’t handle failure, and it isn’t a mystery why. Failure in life is often met with ridicule, hostility, and shame. We’re taught all our lives that failure is bad and should be avoided at all costs. However, when you’re an entrepreneur, your views on failure are going to have to change if you want to be a success because failure is an important step on the path to success.
Plan for failure. You’re not going to get everything right as an entrepreneur on your first try, and instead of letting it tear you up inside, you should use these failures as learning experiences. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you become at running your business. When you fail, learn from your mistakes, make adjustments, and continue forward. That’s how you will reach the success you’re looking for.
Staying Strong in the Face of Adversity
Being an entrepreneur will test you in ways that you can’t imagine. If you are unprepared mentally then you will never be successful. You have to be willing to endure an onslaught of mental challenges such as the pain of failure, lack of support from your friends and family, the headache of having to handle your own finances, and of course, the urge to screw around when you should be working on your business.
The good news is that once you master the mentality of an entrepreneur, these things will not phase you in the slightest. Your mental strength will be one of your most valuable assets, and will carry you through adversity towards the success you’re dreaming of. Stay mentally strong, and you can accomplish anything.