There it is…your dream has come true! You have the breakthrough, million dollar idea. You have set up your corporation. You have a bank account. Your brilliant web site is beautiful and waiting to collect orders and money. It is time to sit back and enjoy life as an entrepreneur, right? Wrong, unfortunately. This is just the beginning of the hard work and ingenuity it takes to keep yourself and your company on the road to success.
After that first magic burst of energy and effort, the entrepreneurial life with its demands for effort and consistency may become a little discouraging. It is extremely important to recognize that even an “overnight success” may be several years in the making. If you want to succeed you just have to keep at it. As Woody Allen said “90% of success is showing up.”
A successful entrepreneur will push through discouragement, distraction and even failure.
He or she will transform adversity into the platform for the next success. Here are some proven strategies for increasing your resilience and enhancing your ability to turn lemons into lemonade.
Seek the company of other entrepreneurs
Human beings are hardwired to be part of networks and communities. And who can you relate to better than someone doing the same thing you are? There is a reason why areas become entrepreneurial hubs and entrepreneurial incubators exist. You need to connect with people who are in the same situation as yourself and create quality relationships. This will pay off in new friendships and useful advice from folks who have “been there.” It may also result in mutual business opportunities.
Set intermediate goals which can be achieved
Of course you know what your big picture is. You know what your overarching goal is. That’s great. Without that you wouldn’t have gotten as far as you have. But to keep yourself motivated day to day, you need to set a series of smaller, achievable goals. Break them up in to steps that are of meaningful and manageable size to you. The ambition of Alexander the Great was world domination, but on any given day he may have sought to advance 20 miles into Thrace. Or, as Mao Tse Tung said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Have a plan
After all the goals, both large, small and in between, have been established, make a plan.
And start carrying it out. Do not be paralyzed with indecision. If the plan turns out to be not so great, it can be changed. Sometimes people are reluctant take action for fear of doing the wrong thing. And they may make an error, it is true. But it also true that without a plan and without action absolutely nothing, good or bad, will happen.
Maintain your self esteem
The entrepreneurial life can be very lonely. Success may seem far in the future, if not completely elusive. It is easy to start doubting yourself. A little uncertainty is not bad, you are challenging yourself in a sense. However, it is absolutely crucial to maintain yourself esteem. Spend a little time everyday reviewing your triumphs. Think about all your assets. Think about how much your dog loves you. Understand that you are the kind of bold and enterprising person who can take on the awesome challenge of starting a new business. And that you will succeed, because you have to succeed!
Learn from your mistakes
We all hate mistakes. Especially our own, because they remind us that we are all too human. Mistakes can be a blessing. We enjoy success, but we learn nothing from it. It may even cause us to be set in our ways, fearful of breaking out of a successful pattern. This reluctance may shut us off from an even greater success. When we make mistakes, however, we are forced to examine the issues and the circumstances more closely. We become a little smarter and next time we will respond in a way that shows more intelligence and understanding of a situation. Embrace your mistakes!
Think of all the elements of your success. You take care of them. You maintain your website. You keep your corporation in good standing. Your bank account has a positive balance. Your clients feel well cared for. Your employees never have to worry about their paychecks. What is missing here? Oh…YOU! You are the single greatest component of this picture. You are the instrument of your success. Take care of yourself. It is easy to get physically and mentally depleted. Do not let this happen to yourself anymore than you would allow your bank account to become overdrawn. Without you in good form, your business is going nowhere. So take the time and make the effort to take care of yourself!
Being an entrepreneur can have moments of incredible elation. At other times it can be tiring and discouraging. An important element of success is developing and maintaining the resiliency to meet all the challenges that are a part of your life as an entrepreneur.