1. It takes longer than you think. It seems like entrepreneurs of all varieties think three weeks after business opens they’ll be rolling Ferrari’s and Crystal. Its going to take time, most likely a year or several, so be in it for the long game and continue to build of the value of your brand, every day take one step forward. The path to success isn’t paved in gold, rather blood and sweat. Be ready to be in it for the long hall, change course if you need to but don’t quit if you don’t see results right way.
2. There’s a lot of wantrepreneurs out there. I think this has been a problem, but also in the 2010’s its been a bit of a cultural thing as well. There seems to be this psuedo-entrpreneurial segment of society out there right now, I feel like I don’t have to do much to describe it because you probably have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about. The guy giving millionaire advice, but he doesn’t have a job and lives in his grandma’s attic. We all know what I’m talking about, it’s all over social media, and they’re all experts; its one of my biggest pet-peeves. The thing I can say is to be true to your level of success, don’t post pictures of Rolexes and Bentleys if you don’t own them. It’s in bad taste, and it kills the longevity of any brand that you could build.
3. There’s a lot of people with fake businesses. This really has a lot to do with number 2, and I guess the best way to say that is there’s a lot of people out there claiming to be experts. They claim to know all the tricks to SEO and social platforms, but they actually know less than your Grandmother knows about SEGA Genesis. There’s not much to say about this, rather it’s a good practice to overpromise and over deliver, it will make you very successful. There’s a difference of taking something to a higher level of expertise or figuring out somethings, as compared to saying you will build an Audi when you haven’t the slightest idea on how to build a soapbox derby car. In the internet space, there’s a lot of that right now. My advice: be ethical and its fine if you have to figure some of it out, but always have in mind how you will deliver on promises.
4. Some people will be critical “because they care.” This is one to really be careful of, people that tell you to do things because they care, are most likely trying to stunt your business growth like Starbucks on a third grader. I always tell people to remove the “because I care” portion then recite it again. If it sounds like a mean statement telling you not to work your butt off to succeed you’re probably right. This is the one that you need to be most careful of.
5. Your circle of friends will likely change rapidly. The people that surround you now will not be the same ones that do once your new venture is successful. Some because they saw drinking bear and watching NASCAR as a goal to reach for, others because they may not be able to handle the new you that cares more about planning and metrics that the latest thing that Kardashians are up to. If your group of friends doesn’t positively change in your entrepreneurial journey, then it may be time to reevaluate the game.
6. You will be working long hours. Yes! I’m a business owner, no I don’t do that, its too hard; I’m going on vacation. I’m broke. You’ll learn to understand that when you’re the captain of the ship, it doesn’t mean easy street right away, but rather it means less sleep, a bit more irritability and a strange addiction to different forms of caffeine. If you want that live later on, then be prepared for 18 hours a day of grinding it out to create something that didn’t exist before you created it.
7. Not every coach is in it for you. If someone wants to coach me, then I want to see their stats. We seem to live in a day and age where everyone is selling a $5,000 course of coaching program. Little do we know that after they collect the money, they are trying to figure out how coaching works. Do some research first, but also look at your sources. There’s a lot of great and very successful people out there that want success for you more than for themselves. Also, remember that internet research is not always the most accurate form of opinion forming. IF you look hard enough online someone may have something really horrible to say about Gandhi, and something great to say about Stalin; understand where your research is coming from.
8. You must learn from failure. You will not win every time, but the important part is to use the losses to sharpen your skill set and ability and become better at your craft. It may not have worked, but know you know why and you’ve eliminated a way that will not work. Learn from the losses, but don’t dwell on them so that they pull you down.
9. You only have to be right once. If you knew all the bad business deals that all the uber successful entrepreneurs had made you’d be floored, but at one point, they were right. In order to make a billion dollars, not that I have, you only have to right once. Keep working on figuring out how right you have to be.
10. Its worth it. In the end, your only security is in your self, your own skills and what you have created. You could get fired from your job tomorrow, but several streams of income and your own business will likely not fire you. Unless of course your Steve Jobs, in which case they will, but when they realize they suck without you, they’ll ask you back. The point here is that truly creating something as an entrepreneur is more valuable that $50,000 a year and health benefits will ever be; go make it happen.