Here are 11 Essential Life Skills For New Entrepreneurs
1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet
One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make as new entrepreneurs is quitting their day job. I am all for following your dreams but it has to be done with minimal risk to yourself and your future. Unless you have prepared 100% for the foreseeable future that you can sustain yourself without a job then that is entirely your decision. Obviously you still need to eat, sleep and some clothes on your back. Not to mention the expenses of living. If you’re in a job at the moment then try to work it around your business as much as possible. It can be tricky if you’re working full-time. Depending on your situation it might be worth having a chat with your employer/colleagues if you can. At the same time if your job is getting in the way because of it’s demands then your business will continue to be a hobby for a very long time. In this case you might want to consider another role/job to make things a bit more flexible for you. I am not saying quit your job, what I am saying is that you need to learn how to manage it so it fits your business.
KEY QUESTION: How much time do I need to spend on my business each week/day/month to see the progress needed?
2. Budget, Budget & Budget
You must know how to budget your money and finances even more as a new entrepreneur because of two major reasons. Number one you”re new to this and you might not have managed to save a significant amount of money. If you have kudos to you. Number two you’re spending your time on a business that might not bring a regular stream of income in the beginning. The very first thing you need to do before anything it look at your current financial situation. Where is money coming in from at this present time? What are you spending your money on? Do you need to add an extra part time job? Whatever your situation is you still need to learn how to budget. Speak to people around you like your friends, family and peers. There are also professional bodies who can give advice about budgeting. If you don’t budget you will get stuck.
KEY QUESTION: Where can I cut down and how can I add another stream of income without affecting my business?
3. Anticipate Opportunity and Challenges
Having the knack for seeing opportunities and dealing with challenges before they blow up is a skill you need to develop as a new entrepreneur. The enthusiasm from being new, inspired and full of ideas can often turn into naive decision making. During your entrepreneurship journey you meet hundreds of people who want to buy from them (vice versa), collaborate, partner or support their business. You will need to be able snuff out people who are serious and people who frankly waste time or do you not have your best interest in mind. This is business so you have to learn to have a little bit of a ruthless streak. What you constantly need to ask yourself is ‘Is this going to help enhance my business or is it going to take me off track?‘. If you have even a little inkling of feeling in your gut telling you something isn’t right then you probably should go with your instinct. The best way to approach is to find people who are at least willing to meet you half way. It is your responsibility to anticipate and opportunity and take on the challenge.
KEY QUESTION: Where will this opportunity take me?
4. Adapt To Unforeseeable Circumstances
Unforeseeable circumstances are inevitable in life. So this means they are even more common in entrepreneurship. Remember you have decided to embark on a journey that is full of risks, external factors out of your control and things are always as unpredictable as the whether. So you have to know how to navigate and change according to what is happening. If your internet cuts off and you have a client deadline due within an hour where else can you go? It might seemed far fetched but believe me it happens. So get your mind into this way of thinking now and you find things a little bit easier. For everything you do get a Plan A, B. C AND D ready. The best entrepreneurs have the techniques to adapt and change when needed to get the job done. You will certainly need it too.
KEY QUESTION: What is my plan when things do not go to plan?
5. Build Relationships
Your communication has to at it’s best. Look at the top entrepreneurs that you admire. I can almost guaranteed that most of them will be great communicators too. One of your priorities as new entrepreneur is to build business relationships with people you can assist and whom can also support you. I believe business relationships are your biggest resource when you start out. So leverage business relationships with people who have the expertise, resource, know – how, skill and contacts. It could mean that you need to spend some money and you will have to if you want the best.
KEY QUESTION: Who do I need to get in touch with to take me to the next level?
6. Guard Your Reputation With Your Life
Your reputation will be key to how smoothly things go for you as a new entrepreneur. Your main tasks at this point should be to build an excellent reputation as part of your personal and business brand. You have to persuade people to trust you, like and vouch for you. Right now people will not have a clue who you are but one day they will and you will want good things said about you when you’re not present in the room. Deliver on the things you said, always aim to give the best, listen, be respectful, humble and courteous. The former could seem a bit condensing but you would be surprised how many people underestimate what tact and care can do for your reputation. At the end of the day you want people to be attracted to your brand story and your business. If you want people to recommend you and put you forward they have to have confidence in you and they can only do that if you have a great reputation.
KEY QUESTION: Who is able to recommend me or write testimonial for me?
7. Ask for Help/Support
One of the dangers in being a new entrepreneur is believing you can take on the world all by yourself. You can’t. Simple. Ask for help and reach out to people. Entrepreneurship can be lonely, stressful and really disheartening at times. So please do not isolate yourself. Go and seek the assistance you need. Join a networking club, space hub or group. You need something that involves you interacting with people. The last thing you need is things affecting your mood and this will come across to other people without you noticing.
KEY QUESTION: What/who is my support network when I am stuck? Where can I go for support?
8. Take Action
Inaction will be an obstacle to your business if it becomes a habit. Positive and negative things will constantly occur in your surroundings. Sometimes fear of failure or even success can stop you from acting. You have to take action as action is what often leads to progress or improving circumstances. Without action your business will not exist. That doesn’t mean that you have to make rash decisions it means you have to make a decision. Your biggest challenge will also be taking action when your confidence is low and motivation has gone out of the window. It will come because you’re a human being and cannot operate at 100% all the time. The difference will be how proactive and reactive will you be to it.
KEY QUESTIONS: What happens if I don’t act?
9. Know When To Take Break
Yes you’re new to this and you’re an entrepreneur but again that doesn’t stop you from being a human being. Always have planned breaks in your routine. This also includes getting away from a business completely. People have their own preferences. Some like going for a walk, getting something to eat, reading, sitting in silence, taking naps or having a few weeks on holiday. Whatever it is find your thing. That is not to say you will not have long nights where you have no choice but to knuckle down to get things done. Yes your business can start to dominate but you cannot allow it to take over your whole life as this can be bad for your health and mindset. If you feel you’re no good to yourself then your body will tell you. Listen!
KEY QUESTION: Why am I feeling moody? Are my concentration levels where they should be?
10. Accept Failure & Move On
Having thick skin will be the difference between giving up and continuing with your entrepreneurship journey. In order for things to work out for you you must learn to accept failure as part and parcel of what you do. You will have disappointments. A person that doesn’t keep to their side of bargain, a client that doesn’t end up buying but wastes your time, that huge contract that went to your competitor or your ideas being picked apart by funders. It happens but don’t give up. Change things, take action and make it better. As human beings we are so harsh on ourselves and I believe as entrepreneurs it is made ten times worse because of the pressure and high expectations. Accept failure and move on please do not dwell on it. This is how you develop resilience.
KEY QUESTION: What or who can help me bounce back when I feel low? Where can I get a mentor?
11. Focus On Process Goals
Setting goals is vital to what you would like to achieve. We often tend to set more outcome goals which are results driven. Here the most obvious result is turning a profit. There is no denying that you have no business if it is not financially viable. However by also setting process goals which are must more about the progress you’re business is making towards the end goal it is a good way of keeping tabs on how things are going overall. This is significant when you start as you’re not likely to hit the big outcomes straight away. So set process goals as well as outcome goals. You will see that even if you didn’t hit specific goals it can do wonders for your confidence that you’ re moving in the right direction.
KEY QUESTION: Where do you want your business to be in one years time? What action do I have to take now to get there?
If you’re interested in receiving guidance on this topic or a talk contact us via our website www.runfunstarz.co.uk/contact/