As a fellow entrepreneur I can tell you without a doubt that there will be tough moments as you pursue your startup endeavor. Challenging moments are a part of life and are definitely a part of pursuing something like a business. How can you maintain your course and stay effective? There are 6 ways that come to mind.
Whether you’re building your overall business plan or marketing strategy, or thinking of how to focus on a niche market; why you are in business is the foundation of your strength. Faith in your business idea will not disappear; it’s comparable to a compulsion, your mind and body can’t help but acknowledge it. When you keep your ‘Why’ in the forefront and when it is literally a part of your being, it will help you overcome any challenge you may face.
Even as a newly registered startup you know the importance of your network. Your network can help you in your online marketing, in your potential client base, in whether your message holds validity to the outside world. Your network is your starting point and can make a huge difference in the success of your business. However, that’s not all it can do. Those who you surround yourself with and who you reach out to can also give you the support you need to know that when the going gets tough, you can do it and that you have a support system in place who will help you reach your goals.
Some people think inspiration is overrated, I couldn’t disagree more. Whether it’s a leader who inspires you or a quote that you keep posted in your work station, those feelings of being inspired can uplift you more than anything else can when you are at your lowest. It is by being inspired that entrepreneurs decide to take action; it is through the belief in your idea that you decide to move forward with your startup. Yes, validating your business idea to ensure it’s something the market needs is part of the process; but if you didn’t feel inspired you may not have even thought about your business idea.
If you’re looking for ways to know your ‘Why’ and build a positive network, plus where you can find some inspirational content, look no further. I have some helpful tips and links that have proven quite successful. And remember, you can apply these three things to any area of your business. It sounds silly, but if you think about it, a business plan needs a ‘Why’; and your social media marketing needs to build a supportive network; and inspiration, well, who doesn’t like to talk or read about it.
Here goes the list of helpful things you can do or use to stay strong in those low entrepreneurial moments.
The reason behind why we do something isn’t always as obvious as we think, especially when trying to figure out how to turn it into a business. Since your why could be hiding behind layers of other information and/or emotions finding it can be like outlining your business plan.
Ask yourself questions like: What problem am I trying to solve or what am I trying to achieve? Follow your what with why questions. Why do I feel this is important to me? Use adjectives to answer your questions or identify the feelings behind your words. The deeper you dig, the more layers you remove and the closer you get to your ‘Why’.
Building a network isn’t easy, but it starts with your friends and family, at least from an emotional supportive standpoint. Surround yourself with people that build you up, not those who bring you down. Find associations or groups of likeminded people, with likeminded interests, to connect with online and offline. There are plenty of sites that can help with finding opportunities offline to meet new people, Meetup being one of them. And all the social networks have interest focused groups for you to join.
For your business network growth, that’s going to take a bit more strategy, but it’s just as easy. LinkedIn is one of those social networks that can definitely connect you with colleagues and peers who share the same business passion you hold. There’s Twitter, which is great for starting conversations and initiating that first approach. And there’s always email, those startup owners who do what they do because they believe in it, will gladly support another fellow entrepreneur reaching out.
Inspiration starts from within, if you don’t believe in yourself no amount of inspiration will help. It’s helped me to forgive myself for my mistakes and to keep in mind those characteristics of myself that I love. I would hope there’s at least one thing you love about the beautiful person you’ve become, if not, find it; ask your network, take a test, but do something to find at least one thing.
Then make a list of those entrepreneurs and leaders that have inspired you throughout the years. Have their books or audio recordings around so you can keep their message close to you.
Reading a passage from your favorite book can uplift you in a matter of seconds; so can hearing the voice of that one entrepreneur who beat all odds and succeeded in his/her intent. Lastly, look online; Facebook and other social networks are filled with inspirational sites you can look to for positive quotes and stories.
So, when the going gets tough, whether it’s in tweaking your marketing strategy or looking at your business plan, or rethinking your business focus entirely; I hope these three things that have helped me as an entrepreneur, and continue to do so, help you too. Your entrepreneurial journey wasn’t meant to be short lived, so just keep at it and know that you’ll get there. Wherever that ‘there’ is!