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4 Tips for Entrepreneurs When Starting a Business

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“I just kept telling myself, ‘Man, someone out there is making me earn this right now.’  I get up there and just kinda chuckled.  I was like, ‘If you want to be a major champion, this is the kind of stuff you will have to deal with.’ “

These are Xander Schauffele’s words after a near comical 4th round at this year’s PGA Championship.  This is a blueprint if you want to be an entrepreneur.  You will encounter obstacle after obstacle, you may come close to losing everything you have worked for, you will have early and late successes, and you won’t succeed without grit.

Here are 4 tips to help you along the way:

  1. Focus on your passion.  When those late hours turn into early mornings, when 8-hour days turn into 15-hour days, when there is no such thing as a day off, money will not be the motivating guiding principle that sees you through.  Unless you are passionate about what you are doing, you will not traverse the last 10 feet to success.  Without passion, it is just a job.  With passion, it is a mission – your mission.  Pick something you love.
  2. Build a safety net.  Cash flows are king.  Without them, bills don’t get paid, and you don’t get paid.  Being in business means exactly that – being in business.  You must be able to weather the storm, survive the unexpected, and be ready for that rainy day.  The minute your cash flow stops is the minute your business stops.  Plan, plan, plan!  Your time to reap your rewards will come.  Until then, sow the seeds, water the garden, and pray for good weather!
  3. Expect the unexpected.  That means be prepared to pivot!  My businesses have gone through 5 iterations, 3 metamorphoses, and 2 ‘back-pedals’.  Don’t be afraid to take half a step back, to take two steps forward.  Pivoting and changing means you are making moves to do something right.  Those that refuse to change soon find themselves out of business.  When you pivot it means you are listening to your clients, your customers, and the market, and you’re adjusting your strategies and efforts into providing the products and services that are in demand.  You are following the money, and you are not only on the right track, you’re now back on track!
  4.  Branding is Key.  What you are, Who you are, and Why are you are, are the 3 most important questions to answer.  How is your brand different?  Why should people do business with you?  Why are you doing this?  Answer me these questions three, and I will show you a successful Entrepreneur.  Branding is not just about your image and your marketing.  It is about doing a deep dive into your values, and your value system.  What do you stand for?  Are they mere words on the page?  Breathe life into your company through branding.  Without it, you are just another Widget Store, selling Widgets, to people who have already got one.

Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur, but if you have the drive to be your own boss, you’re going to have to bring more than just your good looks to the table.  Take your great ideas, your determination, and your work ethic, and add in the four smart business tips above.  That combination will set you up to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams!

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