Lessons Learned from Entrepreneurs

Starting your own business and embarking upon your own entrepreneurial venture can be daunting and filled with uncertainty. But, we have collected advice and wisdom from over a dozen entrepreneurs in our Fireside Chats series to guide you, our entrepreneurial-minded reader, to the next stage of your professional career.

  1. You’re bound to lose friends. When it’s all said and done, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. You will have to work long nights and make tons of sacrifices. Many people will mistake your ambition and tunnel vision towards your goals as you leaving them behind, even if that’s not the case.
  2. Create actionable and measurable goals. Avoid being ambiguous at all costs. Your goals are your compass, guiding you towards success. Thus, you must be specific when setting expectations for yourself. Figure out what you want, claim it, and make sure that the work you are doing will get you closer to your goals.
  3. Building a business from the ground up is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. It’s not all glamorous. In fact, in the beginning, nothing is glamorous. You will have to put the pedal to the metal and make your business your first priority. Be sure that you are passionate about what you are doing to avoid getting burned out in the beginning stages.
  4. You’re going to have to pivot…a lot. Sometimes what you think your target audience/ market needs and wants is different from what they actually need and want. In order to stay relevant, you will need to adapt your services to meet their needs while maintaining the essence of who you are as a company.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say no. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to become comfortable with telling people “no”. Do not waste your time, energy, or resources doing things that you are not passionate about or that do not add value.
  6. If you’re good at what you do, your work will sell itself. Most startups have a very small marketing budget and gain new customers through word of mouth. Have a good product and treat your customers well. As long as you do this, you will never be out of business.
  7. Just do it. Sure, planning is important, but at some point, you have to take a leap of faith and just get it done. There will never be an ideal moment to start your business, so just do it, planning where you can and figuring the rest out along the way.

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