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Entrepreneurship: 5 Lessons I Wish I Knew Right from the Start
Being an entrepreneur is hard. When you are an entrepreneur you don't do the same things others do. You walk a different path. Why? Because entrepreneurs are pioneers, they are the one who tries things. They are not afraid of failure. They have the ability to create things in their mind then make it a reality, they innovate, and they solve problems. But being an entrepreneur right from the start is the hardest. From the start, you are like a baby who doesn't know what to do and can't walk on their own. At first, no one’s going to teach how to do things so you got to learn things on your own.
But all it takes is just pure persistence, you got to do what you got to do. You have to motivate yourself. But all of that persistence will go to waste if you really don't know what you are doing, or don’t how to do it. The answer is to learn. From the start, you always have to keep learning. Trial and error are good, but learning from other people's mistakes is better. You don't need to fail it yourself to know that it does not work, what you can do is to know other peoples failure and don't do that.
So what are the things that I wish I knew right from the start?
A Quick Question
What do you do when you fail?
1. Learn from people who are successful and those who failed.
This is the very meaning of what I have said in the introduction. What I don't know back then is you can learn from other people's mistake. I always said to myself that trial and error is good. Don’t get me wrong, failing is the ultimate way you can learn things and it is good to fail. But you don't have to always fail. What you can do is find mentors or read books about biographies. Find someone who can teach you how they do things, how they fail in a certain way. After you have devoured the knowledge they have, you can then know what did not work for them, most of the times it will not work for you either.
Having a mentor is great because the learning speed is faster. Imagine you are traveling from point A to point B, the point A is your starting point and point B is you finish point; it is the point where you gain financial freedom. Without someone teaching you or mentoring you, traveling from point A to point B, can get a little rough. It will be a zigzag line, because of the failures that are on the way. But if you learn mistakes from other people and know what things that don't work for them, you can pass the hurdles and travel in a straight line, and we all know from our physics class or math class that when traveling from one point to another the straight line is the fastest.
2. Take inventory of why you’re doing this.
You have to know your why. If you don't know why you are doing these things, it will be hard to motivate yourself. What I mean by "Why" is what your reasons are. Things like, why you are building your business? Why are you starting a niche website? Why are you writing a book? Why are you building an email list? It is the very thing that you do, and you have to know why you are doing that. For example, for your family, love ones, dreams, etc. The reasons will be your fuel. Imagine you are in a car and you are traveling from one point to another like I said in the lesson above. Without fuel your car won't run, you can walk but it will be very slow. Just like in a real word, without your reasons, achieving your goal or dream will be slow, because you don't have the motivation to do so.
3. You cannot serve 2 masters; you need to quit one thing to pursue one thing.
What I did not know from the start is you cannot serve two masters at once; you cannot do many things at once. When I was just starting, I try and do many things that I can, my reason is, if I can accomplish many things faster the faster I will succeed and reach my goal. But I was wrong. Trying to do many things at once will get you nowhere? You have to focus at the start, without that intense focus you cannot lift your feet off the ground, you cannot make your business be on top if you have 5 side businesses that you are trying to run. Just run one thing and once that business or venture is successful; then and there you can expand or do many things. You first need to build a stable income stream before starting a new income stream. Just like the saying goes, "It is better to be a master of one thing than to be a jack of all trades master of none". Be a one trick pony at first then you can do whatever you want when the thing you do is stable.
4. Mistakes are important. Mistakes educate you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Mistakes are so important. At first, when I fail, all I do is to be mad at myself because I know that I can do it better. What I end up doing when I fall is I don't try again. It is the biggest mistake that I made. Failing is just a happening in your life, it is not the finish line, when you fail you can start all over again and just like Henry Ford said, "This time more intelligently" or something like that. Failing like I said earlier is just the things that did not work, what you can do is don't do it again and try things that might work for you, if it works then good, do it again, if it does not work then don't do it, then try again. Don't be afraid of mistakes. That is the lesson here.
5. Invest in yourself and your business
All things that I have said all sums up here, the lesson is to invest in yourself and in your business. The first is, invest in yourself. You have to learn, learning is an essential habit that an entrepreneur has to have. When you have the knowledge you can have that edge to fight your way in the market. When you learn you can succeed in life, there are many ways you can learn, you can learn from books, from mentors or from failure. When you don’t want to learn then you might want to think again if the path you are taking is the path you want to go, because if you don't learn then you don't earn. I did not know that reading books and learning things can increase my potential to be successful.
The second thing is to invest in your business. You have to reinvest in your business, you have to grow your business the same way you are growing yourself. Build slowly and build continuously, one small block at a time and eventually, you can start to see the shape of your castle. It is like a snow ball rolling, at first it will be small and just like the size of your fist, but if you continue to put snow in your snowball then it will start to grow bigger and bigger. The next thing you know is you don't have to put snow in it, it will grow big itself.
Watch: Lessons You Can Learn From Real Entrepreneurs
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.— Colin Powell