I’ve been an entrepreneur now for almost two decades and I would say it’s been nothing like I remember dreaming about as a kid. I grew up in a family of business owners and as a child saw companies grow and jobs created but I was still very insulated on how they got there. From my memories, running a business seemed easy as I frequently saw how much fun everyone was having and the fruits they were enjoying for all their hard work.
When I hit the half way point in my first decade of owning my first company I started to question if I was cut out for it. I didn’t seem to be doing as well as my family members who went before me. It was a constant struggle and I felt like I was in a boxing match that never ended and I wasn’t sure who was winning. About that time, I started reaching out for help and put down my wall of pride. I embarked on a mission to learn the craft and I knew as soon as I could develop myself as a leader and spend time working on myself then I could take my business to the next level.
Thru the last 10 years I’ve made several discoveries that I often share with others as I mentor and coach. I’ve seen some amazing growth in, not only the entrepreneur, but also their companies as a result. I call these my “Keys to Winning.”
How to Persevere and win.
- Know your passion: I don’t care what business that you are in if you do not have a burning passion for your mission you will flame out. I’ve seen this too many times where there is a great idea and the numbers look great but they quit the race before crossing the finish line. My favorite question to ask is, “if money was no issue and you could wake up Monday morning and live your dream what would it be?” If the answer has nothing to do with the business I would suggest taking a time out and find that passion. Growing companies and being an entrepreneur is very hard and in my opinion you need a burning passion to push through the hard times.
- You are an athlete: When I am in balance with my sleep, eating & exercise my business seems to benefit. When I watch sports I’m often impressed with how disciplined the top athletes are with their nutrition and training. As an entrepreneur you need to be at top levels of performance to be able to have the energy to get up when you’re knocked down and push through when times get tough.
- Numbers are everything: It doesn’t matter what your core strength is as an entrepreneur you must know your numbers. It’s your responsibility to know where you are and where you are going. As I mentioned, passion comes first but numbers are just as important and will allow you to stay the course in a headwind. Businesses often hit headwinds and the numbers allow you to gain your bearings and stay calm and focused as you push thru what might seem like uncertainty to others.
- Understand the Process: Nothing great was ever built overnight and in our “microwave world” we want quick results and instant satisfaction. Building a great company is a process and a combination of small battles that lead to winning the war. Develop the skill of perseverance and learn how to be steadfast and calm even in the dark days. Every large oak tree was once a small seed and given the proper soil, water & sunlight it grew into an amazing tree. Your business is no different and if you follow these steps, nurture yourself, and provide the proper elements your company will grow. Enjoy the process and understand it’s a journey to the top.
- Never Give Up: There will be days that you feel defeated and as an entrepreneur we often feel tired as we are always pouring into others. No matter how well you love what you do, take care of your body and know your numbers, there will be a time where you get tired and the thought hits your mind to just give up. I encourage you to persevere because you are about to push through to the next level.