7 Things I Learned In 7 Years of Owning a Business
We all learn from experience and since every experience is different, I believe it’s worth the mention
Wow, 7 years! Sometimes when I look back it seems like it was just yesterday when I decided to go full entrepreneur and ditch my employee career. It’s one of those decisions that are both my golden ticket and what keeps me up at night at the same time. But it’s worth every minute of it.
Owning a business is a tremendous rollercoaster. There are times when you simply cannot wait to head to the office and get things done. Then there are other times — the really challenging and frustrating moments when everything seems to be so out of control and downright intense.
Surely, every entrepreneur out there had at least one moment of contemplating whether or not the decision of establishing their own business was the smartest one — so don’t be ashamed of feeling doubtful and uncertain at times. It’s literally part of the game.
While it seems like 7 years have gone by in the blink of an eye, there’s also this feeling of having so much going on for you, both professionally and personally. And since I strongly believe in the power of shared experiences in terms of education and knowledge, I’d like to share with you my own — who knows, perhaps I’d be able to offer an entirely new perspective on things. Because, when you come to think about it, you can read all the books you want — sure, theoretical knowledge is great, but what we learn from experience is truly what helps us move forward and further distribute our professional development.
So let’s cut to the chase — here are 7 things I learned during my 7-year entrepreneurship journey
- All it takes is for you to love your job and business field. I will not get tired of repeating this. Try to imagine your future professional life — the imagery should always bring you happiness and fulfillment! After all, we spend the majority of our time at work — imagine what would it be if we hated it? Being not aligned with what you do and what you actually want to do is extremely difficult and damaging for your mental health and inner world. So my advice is to always choose wisely and don’t give up before you arrive where you want to be.
- You have to take care of both your business and yourself. Many aspiring entrepreneurs lose their focus when it comes to paying attention to their own physical and mental health since they direct all their energy and efforts to the newly acquired enterprise. Don’t get me wrong — making sure your business is running smoothly is a must; all I’m saying is that you should also take care of the business owner. If you let your physical and mental well-being deteriorate, I can promise you that soon your business would follow. You need strength, a clear mind, and lots of energy and inspiration in order to make things work.
- Failure is my friend — and yours too. Look, I get it, many people (including myself) fear failure and try everything they can in order to avoid it at all costs. To us, failure seems like the ultimate proof that we are not as good as we thought we were. But let me tell you one thing that’s certain — this couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Failure is a natural way for things to happen sometimes — we were not born educated and experienced enough. It’s indeed failure that helps us further elevate our skills and teaches us how to handle different types of situations merely because we’ve messed them up sometime in the past. This gives us a great perspective on how to do things differently the next time around.
- Always plan ahead. In business, thinking in perspective is actually great and incredibly beneficial. You see, it’s not about establishing the company only — it’s about having a stable business plan that also allows flexibility when needed. Planning ahead allows the entrepreneur to foresee events before they happen and this way they can prepare both themselves and the team for implementing necessary changes.
- Rigidity is not your friend. Being way too rigid is perhaps one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to establishing and running a business. It’s the flexibility that allows the entrepreneur to adapt to change and take U-turns when necessary. In fact, being in business is often an unpredictable experience — that’s why it’s essential for you to be open-minded and willing to change the course of your initial planning if needed.
- Surround yourself with professionals who enlighten your day. A successful business is one that is run by impeccable professionals — that’s the truth. The minute your enterprise takes off, that’s the moment when you’ll need to hire experts to help you develop and grow. The keyword here is experts — don’t get fooled by the idea that in the beginning you’re allowed to hire just about anybody. Right from the start, invest time and energy to build a dazzling team of professionals that will stick around for the long run.
- It’s normal if there are times when you want to ditch it all. I think it would be good for you to burst the bubble of thinking that entrepreneurship and owning a business would be smooth sailing all the time when you don’t overthink your choice not even once. In fact, it would be quite normal for you to have moments of doubt, wishing to throw it all away and get back to the 9-to-5 regimen. Don’t be scared of these thoughts — they represent the ruff patch and the ruff patch always represents overcoming obstacles. After the obstacles, there comes success!
To wrap things up
Even after all the hardships and obstacles, I still cannot wait to add yet another 7 or 17 points to this list after the next 7 or 17 years in the life of being an entrepreneur.
I sincerely hope that my experience will throw some light on your own entrepreneurial path and will further inspire you to keep on going. Looking back and reminiscing over what has happened is a great way for anyone to self-reflect and discover how much they’ve grown and also to implement some new strategies for even bigger success down the road.