How to Survive Your First Year of Entrepreneurship

April 12, 2016

11:51 am

The first year of entrepreneurship is the crucial one. It’s where your company will either grow at an incredible rate or immediately stagnate. It’s true that most entrepreneurs give up in the first year, according to a number of studies. This is not difficult to understand why because it’s notoriously difficult to thrive in one of the most competitive areas of business.

But this doesn’t have to convince you that this is a bad idea. You can start your own business and you can succeed. This guide is going to show you how you can go about surviving your first year of entrepreneurship.

Have a Goal

The only way you are going to make your strategy succeed is through having an actual goal. A common mistake is that people have no real idea what they want to accomplish or why they are doing this. It leads to them doing something without any meaning or purpose in mind.

If you can’t articulate your goal, you are never going to make it through the hard times. A good goal is something that you believe in and that you are doing for the greater good. Yes, you can make money and get rich, but a good goal embraces something more than that.

The Right Work Ethic

It’s easy as an entrepreneur to take the slightest hint of success and turn it into something that it isn’t. For example, it’s easy to see an increase in sales and then to relax and soak it all in. There’s nothing wrong with reflecting sometimes, but if you are compromising your work ethic in order to do this it’s a mistake.

The best entrepreneurs are passionate people with a big work ethic. They are so passionate that they never stop working. If they have to work 18-hour days, they relish it because they believe in what they are doing and they are passionate about what they are doing.

Remember, entrepreneurship is primarily about hard work.

Be Willing to Delegate

It’s easy to try to take on all the responsibility alone. This may work for a time, but it’s quickly going to lead to burnout. The chances are you are also not going to do the job as well as you could have. Be willing to delegate different tasks to people with more expertise than you.

It may require an outlay to begin with, but you are going to make your money back because the job will be done right.

Love Risk

Entrepreneurs can never afford to be conservative. The nature of the business means that they have to go further than others in order to achieve success. In other words, they have to bring something to the table that has never been seen before. And with that comes risk.

The problem with a lot of entrepreneurs is that they come from conservative backgrounds. They may have worked in a large company where taking unnecessary risks was actively discouraged. As an entrepreneur, you can’t afford not to take risks because otherwise you are never going to discover something new.

You can never guarantee that it will come off well, but the point is you are trying new things. You are always going to miss the shots you never take, as the saying goes.

But how do you take risks without putting your whole business in jeopardy?

This is quite simply because the idea is to not take these risks. The daring acts that many businesspeople take may look crazy from an outsider’s point of view, but in reality they are incredibly calculated. They have weighed up the pros and cons and they know that they have a reasonable chance of success.

Be Content with Living Cheap and Uncomfortable

The life of an entrepreneur is rarely glamorous. There are many entrepreneurs who have been homeless while running their businesses. They have worked minimum wage jobs and they know the meaning of hard work. There are no shortcuts to success and very few people are lucky enough to come up with a great product that goes viral.

Many entrepreneurs simply can’t stomach the idea of living lean and living with a constant jittery feeling that they are going to fail. Comfort is not something you are going to experience often in this line of work.

The End Goal: a Happier You

But you’ll be happy to know that it all pays off in the end. Many entrepreneurs report being happier than they have ever been, despite the stress and discomfort that comes with being an entrepreneur.

Is the life of an entrepreneur for you?

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AJ Agrawal is an entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. He is the CEO and Co-Founder at Alumnify Inc.

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