We are fast approaching the end of the year and the time of year when people look ahead at the upcoming year to consider what they want to do differently and what changes they want to make in their personal lives and in their financial / business lives.
Momtrepreneur started off as a blog by a Mom who is an entrepreneur, aka ME. My aim was to share tips and advice on raising a family while also building a business. While the blog has evolved enormously over the years and offers a variety of different ideas, tips and advice, I still receive regular emails, Facebook messages and even phone calls from fellow Moms asking questions about starting a business and running a business.
So today, I am going to share my TOP 7 ENTREPRENEURIAL LESSONS with you, as a fellow Mom, in hope that if you are keen on starting a business in the New Year, you know what to expect and are prepared to put in the efforts to make it succeed and be the entrepreneur you want to be!
IT’S HARD WORK!
First off and most importantly, you have to know that starting a business and building a business is HARD WORK. You may very well be one of those “lucky ones” that you read about who become multi-millionaires over night, but most entrepreneurs you meet will tell you it takes hard work and, in many cases, you will fail at certain things and make wins (small and big) along the way. The key factor is to take failure as a learning curve & learn from it and learn to grow from there.
I don’t say this to dissuade you, but one needs to be realistic when you start out.
PREPARATION IS KEY
One of my mentors always use to say “FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL”. This statement is just so true! If you work all day and jump around with no real goal or direction, things won’t come together. You need to take time out, even if only an hour a week, and prep for the week ahead or month ahead. Set yourself goals and deadlines.
At the start of the year, put things down on paper or a black board and state your goals and HOW you are going to achieve them. Prioritise the goals in order that you want to achieve them and how realistically you can achieve them.
For example, one goal may seem more important that the other, but one may require more money than the other, so consider the amount of work involved in each, resources required and how each goal can help another goal be achieved.
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
Opportunities will arise when you put yourself out there. Don’t sacrifice or do things that sound good, but don’t fall in line with your goal. So, if an amazing opportunity comes, consider it wisely and consider the bigger picture and how it can / will affect it e.g. moving your focus to something that will affect your goal’s timeline may not be something you may want to consider. However, if you get offered an opportunity that will give you the financial boost you need to achieve a goal you haven’t been able to achieve, then the opportunity may be a good one. Consider all factors.
OPERATE WITH INTEGRITY & COMMUNICATE
This one is a big one for me. Respect your clients, your staff, your competitors and don’t be nasty. Nastiness gets you nowhere.
Look at the people around you as follows:
- Competitors are there to challenge you and teach you. Learn from them and in some cases, even consider working with them.
- Staff are your biggest asset, so treat them well. They do a lot of the work you can’t do or can’t get to. BUT, make sure when you have staff, you have the correct people in your team and make sure to keep communications open. Unhappy staff are not good for business.
- Clients should be treated with respect as much as possible unless, obviously, there is a clear issue that needs to be addressed. Communication is key with clients – my husband and I (we work together) always say “An informed client, is a happy client”. So, if for example you are behind on a deadline, don’t tell them at the last minute – keep them informed along the way and let them know if a deadline doesn’t look like it will be met – they may NOT be happy, but you will work through it.
LOVE WHAT YOU DO
This is possibly one of the most important factors of running a business. It’s great to have a successful business, sure, but if you can’t do something you love, you may not be fulfilled.
Many of us have to be involved in our business full time or, at least, every day and doing something we have no love or passion for won’t give the inner fulfilment or joy that would come when doing something you love.
When you are passionate and excited about something, you are prepared to put in the hard work and do what you need to in order to make it work and your passion for what you do comes through in your work. It makes working hard for your business a whole LOT worthwhile.
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
This sounds obvious, but when you’re stressed, one can fall into the trap of neglecting yourself. Schedule something at least once a week / month where you take time out to spend on yourself from going for a massage, have your nails down or just going for a walk in your favourite forest. You MUST DO IT for your health physically, mentally and emotionally.
By looking after yourself, you are indirectly looking after your business and your family, so do it for yourself and for everyone else. Some days you won’t be keen, but you will thank me for it later!
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