The internet is full of articles about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship – how they should think, feel, eat, sleep, walk, live, read, work, lead and everything else. Volumes upon volumes of books have been published on the subject, outlining the ‘right’ leadership role, personality, habits and work ethic to succeed in the trade.
This is all very helpful, certainly, but it can also be very confusing at times. Entrepreneurship is so wide that there isn’t one right or main way that entrepreneurs should allocate their time or manage their stress levels. They are basically just like every arbitrarily chosen demographic within a population – random.
Just like there’s randomness rife in a subway car carrying 10 people in New York City, who are riding the same train at that exact time, entrepreneurs have just the one thing in common: they’re running a business. These resources often leave out important information about the life of an entrepreneur, information that you only get once you’ve begun your own journey down that road. Below we share a few of these secrets, so that you can make better decisions on your way to entrepreneurial success.
- You’re different
At the end of the day, entrepreneurs are just human beings, meaning that no two are the same. There’s no cookie cutter that churns out similar looking or thinking entrepreneurs. Therefore, if you imagine that entrepreneurs have to fulfill a certain role, fulfill certain criteria or work a certain way, you’re thinking amiss. As an entrepreneur, you are different from every other one.
- You must delegate
When you set up a company or start a business, you probably do everything by yourself, and don’t imagine that there will come a day when many pairs of eyes will be fixed on you, waiting for direction. You cannot run a business alone, that’s given. And even with a very able business partner by your side, you may still run up short.
In entrepreneurship, the sooner you learn that you need to find good people to work with you and for you, the higher your chances of succeeding. With people though, arises the need for effective delegation, communication, accountability and feedback. With all these, you can stay on top of all the things that need doing to eventually succeed in the business.
- Drive over skill
Many people think that entrepreneurs, successful ones at least, have that exceptional combination of luck, resources, intellect and skill. However, this is hardly ever the case. Most successful entrepreneurs have just one thing to their credit: determination and unending passion and drive.
Of course, it’s important to have some skill in the field that you venture into, but you don’t need any more skill than an average employee needs to do that job. You have to be able to use your brain, sure, but you don’t have to have a near-genius IQ.
There’s only one thing that sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest – drive, hunger, passion, determination, ambition – and it stems from deep within a person. You have to have it in bucket loads if you want to succeed.
Entrepreneurship is exacting, and it can be rather unrewarding, especially at the outset. You must have what it takes to know your goal and stick to the course regardless of the returns. And that has very little to do with your intellectual capacity or skill set.
- You are what you wear
This is the one thing most entrepreneurs don’t spare a second thought for, particularly if you’re in the techie side of things. How you present yourself will contribute to how successful you become in entrepreneurship. You’ll face many people who are very different from you. These people’s decisions may have a huge bearing on your business, and therefore it’s important to dress the part.
Perception is everything, and entrepreneurs start by selling themselves before they sell an idea or product. It would do you no service to show up casually dressed to a business meeting where big ideas are to be thrown back and forth. You want to be taken seriously? Dress the part. Fancy clothes will make more money for you.
- You’ll do many different things
Just because you chose to venture into this one field doesn’t mean that you’ll do exactly what you want and nothing more. Doing what you love is rewarding, it’s fulfilling and it’s fun. However, sometimes you’re going to have to do things because they are necessary. Some of them will be fun, some of them won’t, but all of them will have to be done.
You may learn bookkeeping even if you swore off accounting after that one class you took in campus. Clients may ask for things that require you to stretch your skills and capacity beyond the scope of services you routinely offer. Get used to the idea.
- The money is in closing deals
If you’re not coming closer to closing a deal, you’re losing money. Anything you do should always get you closer to that final handshake. Money comes from closing deals. You need money. Welcome to your new life.
- You need people skills
You should at least be able to decently strike up conversations and get along with lots of different people. Entrepreneurs hardly ever go solo. Your very livelihood depends on your ability to meet new people, develop relationships, make friends, work with others and sell yourself. These are skills that pay huge dividends.
- There’s also the legal stuff
Entrepreneurship means embracing law as your new friend. There are many laws governing the world and conduct of business – incorporation laws, tax laws, occupational laws, employment laws and insurance laws, among others. And ignorance is no defense. Aside from suing and being sued, there are many laws directing your typical daily transactions. In America where there are also state laws, you work becomes that much harder.
- The stress!
Stress is a part of life. It’s an even bigger part of an entrepreneur’s life – it goes to a whole other level. You must learn how to deal with stress, or you will melt down. Do it your way; find out what works for you.
- Redesign your lifestyle
The life of one entrepreneur is like no one else’s, including other entrepreneurs. Forget norms, conventions, expectations, culture and every other encumbrance. You map out your own path, defying convention and redefining the new normal. You make the life you want to live. There will be good days and bad ones, but you are in full control of how you respond and everything you do.
Jack Dawson is a web developer and UI/UX specialist at RemoteDBA. He works at a Remote DBA Services firm, having founded the same firm 9 years ago. He likes to share knowledge and points of view with other Oracle developers and consumers on platforms.