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6 Challenges Every Entrepreneur Faces and How to Conquer Them

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Are you a new or aspiring entrepreneur?  Are you driven to become an entrepreneur and doing it because you have a vision to “save your soul”, gain freedom, make more money, or all of the above?

Many who make it through the growing pains of entrepreneurship never look back, make more money, and have a higher level of fulfillment and satisfaction.   Can this happen for you?

Of course it can! Yes you will face challenges as an entrepreneur but there are ways to conquer them and prosper.  But remember: your success will not be an accident.  It will happen on purpose because you will make it happen.

To be successful, you need to first condition yourself and your mindset for and work make it happen every single day.  And the first step to success is being clear on your mission -- your why -- and integrate it into everything you do.

To help you anticipate your journey, here are the six meta entrepreneurial challenges you are most likely to face and how to overcome them:

1.     Your Passion + Desired Product or Service + Transaction = Business

 90% of businesses fail the first year because they are only delusions of a business.  A business is a two-part transaction:

●       You have something people want (product or service) that you feel passionate about it.

●       People want this product or service and are willing to give you something you want ($$$) in return for it.  If your business doesn't help people, doesn't provide a solution, or doesn't give people something they want, then your business will not make it.

Pick a business that is transactional and about which you feel passionate and your work as an entrepreneur will be easier.  Remember one very important thing: your customers aren't buying a product, they are buying you.  Always remember to deliver what you have promised and add value at every step.

 2.     Find and Keep Customers

 Do the work necessary to identify the type of person who will be your customer.  Be very specific on your potential customers’ traits so you know where to find them

Remember that you are solving your potential customers’ problems.  Listen to their stories and learn how to show them how you can solve their problems.  Don't waste your time trying to convince somebody to buy something they don’t have an interest in.  Remember people want to buy, not to be sold. 

 Remember this equation from a highly successful entrepreneur, - Victor Pride.

Pushy salesman = buyers remorse = refund requests = smaller profits = bad reputation = failed business

You will want to network like crazy online and offline to build your relationships and expand your exposure with the right audience.  This also happens on purpose!

3.     Learn to Manage your Money

To finance your business, you can either borrow money or bootstrap it and be creative.  Illinois has a lot of resources for small business owners to obtain funding.

Whichever approach you follow, managing your money can be a real burden if you don't know what you're doing and if you don't know when your next paycheck is coming. Buy only what you need, pay your bills on time, and hire a professional to help you with your taxes.  If you can, have a clear plan with a few months of savings before quitting your day job.  Having said that, you really can’t build the sustainable business of your dreams on a part-time basis.  It will require your full commitment and engagement.

 4.     Expect the Rollercoaster

No matter how committed and motivated you are about your dream, you will likely experience one or all of these conditions:

●       Feeling confused, having self-doubts, or not knowing what to do next: This is part of the journey; you will not always have it together.  Don't worry about having it all figured out to get started. Most entrepreneurs don’t.  Get clear on what you want, follow your intuition, and move forward

●       Being disappointed with “slow progress”: Remember, it will take longer than you think.  Have patience, stay true to your mission, and don’t quit.

●       Getting tired too quickly: Remember, this is a marathon not a sprint.  Take care of yourself mentally and physically so that you can stay focused and get back on track after a setback.  No one is telling you what to do and when to do it.  You’ll need to create the structure and business time tables to get things done, keep things in check, stay motivated, and make forward progress one step at a time.  Allow yourself to chill out and take a break and put yourself first at times.  But, get back into it.

●       Experiencing loneliness:  Yes, this really happens.  Your typical friends and patterns will change, and you will experience loneliness.  Find like-minded “besties” or join groups and networks of people who share your dreams and experience.  You need people to turn to and share experiences with, to cry together with, and to help you get back on track.

●       Anticipating negativity or criticism: At times, some friends and relatives may foster your internal “doubting voice.”  Give these people and that voice the boot -- ASAP.  Whenever you need to, revisit your dream and mission with a mentor or trusted friend.

●       Feeling anxious about making a living:  You will have  weeks and months during which you make multiple deals. Just like there may be weeks and months when you make no new contacts or contracts.  That’s all part of entrepreneurship.  Follow frugal practices, continue to build your list, network like crazy, and keep going!

●       Being critical of yourself: Don’t compare yourself to others.  You are on your own journey and at a specific point in that journey that  is unique to you.  Work  consistently take steps toward success each day.  Value yourself and don't give up!

●       Dreaming small or playing it safe: Put yourself out there in a big way even if it feels scary.  Some entrepreneurs have a consistent habit of listening to guided visualizations to reconnect with their vision and goals to help them get back on track.  Try this everyday! You will be amazed of the benefits.

 5.     Build a Team

 You can’t do it all on your own.  You either will build your own team to collaborate with partners and contractors or grow your business. You will need to be great at getting good talent or finding the right partner that you can trust, building a vision that people want to be a part of.  Focus on creating amazing experiences for yourself, your partners, your team, and your customers. Be kind and care for people.  When you do that, people will be attracted to you.

6.     Make Decisions

Believe it or not, this is probably the most stressful challenge on this list. New entrepreneurs are forced to make hundreds of decisions a day, from big, company-impacting decisions, to tiny, hourly ones. Decision fatigue is a real phenomenon, and most new entrepreneurs will experience it if they aren’t prepared for a new level of stress. 

Conclusion – This is the Experiment of your Life

Taking the entrepreneurial journey is not easy and never pre-determined.  Your will make success happen taking steps toward achieving your goal every single day.  Take action,  experiment to learn  what does and does not work, and learn and grow. Remember, being an entrepreneur is a daily adventure, so don’t be afraid to experiment. 

Submitted by:  Elaine Mikesell, PhD, Managing Partner, Mikesell Digital Consulting-WSI,

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