Top 6 Tips for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs
By: Michael Vodicka
“The number one thing any budding entrepreneur needs to remember is to almost fully discount other people’s opinions about what you are doing. That’s because most people are not going to understand what you’re up to.”
There is an old song that says “the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry anymore.” That is particularly true for early-stage entrepreneurs, confronted with a long list of obstacles and challenges that would make most people wilt into submission.
But there is a special fire that guides the entrepreneurial crowd, defined by personalities who want to stand out, innovate and challenge themselves to push the limits of self-actualization. So when it comes time for those early-stage entrepreneurs to battle adversity, it is important to remember some very key tips that will help you stay the course and navigate uncertainty.
Here are 6 tips that every early-stage entrepreneur should remember when bucking the trend and chasing your dreams.
Top 6 Tips for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs
Don’t Listen to Other People
The number one thing any budding entrepreneur needs to remember is to almost fully discount other people’s opinions about what you are doing. That’s because most people are not going to understand what you’re up to. In fact, you might even find some people making fun of what you are doing and talking about how ridiculous it is. If that’s the case, take it as a compliment and form of encouragement. Because remember, good ideas provoke strong reactions from people, so if you find that others don’t “get” what you’re doing or even find it silly, you could really be on to something.
Work with Conviction
People who love what they do pursuit it with a blinding passion, and that really goes for anything in life, not just what we typically refer to as “work.” Take some of the greatest guitar players in the world. These people play for years and years simply for the pleasure of the experience. But somewhere down the line, all that practice has a serious impact on skills and results, pushing the ones who really love it into outlier territory. In order to become successful at anything you have to pursuit it simply for the joy of the experience.
Very few people who set out to get rich get rich. The people who get rich are the ones who just do something they really like doing, and through the evolution of practice and repetition, become very good at it.
Create Strategic Partnerships
This can be totally critical for the success of a new business or idea. It’s not always easy going out and bagging individual clients or sales, so having an established partner with a large following is an amazing way to expose your business to a large audience of potential customers. It also gets you a strategic relationship with a company that has already beaten the odds, putting another ally in your corner for support and strategic consultations.
Don’t Worry about Profits
This might seem insane at first blush, but early profitability is really no indication of long-term success or failure. Just take a look at what we see happening in technology all the time. Some of the greatest tech companies in the world struggles to produce a profit for years before turning the corner and scaling into the green. That list includes mega giants like Amazon, Yahoo and even Facebook. So early on, don’t focus too much attention of turning a profit, it’s more important to set the foundation for even getter results further down the line.
Don’t Risk Everything
Most start ups involve some kind of seed capital. That could be anywhere from a few hundred bucks to buy a web domain and start a blog or a few hundred thousand to become a local Taco Bell franchisee. But either way, you don’t want to risk so much on your new venture that you will be forced to check into the local homeless shelter if it doesn’t work out as planned.
Life Goes On
But even if your business doesn’t become a financial success, that doesn’t mean it’s a total failure. There are incredibly valuable lessons to be learned from every kind of experience in life, both good and bad. And the fact of the matter is that most successful entrepreneurs have a number of “failed” businesses before they actually hit it big. So on that level, it sounds like financial success is more a matter of gaining experience and keeping at it then finding a magical new product or service.
The Take Away
Taking the plunge into an entrepreneurial track can be both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. But staying focused on some core values and lessons can help make that trip a little less scary and improve your chances of hitting your financial goals.
MONEY MATTERS is a weekly column on the Retail Minded Blog that is contributed by Michael Vodicka, founder of boutique financial consulting firm the Vodicka Group. MONEY MATTERS is Retail Minded’s way of supporting independent store owners with all their financial concerns, real life needs and everyday issues both in and out of their stores. You can find MONEY MATTERS every Wednesday on RetailMinded.com as well as in each issue of Retail Minded Magazine.
**Follow Michael on Twitter @mikevodicka