The life of an Entrepreneur at the best of times can be a lonely, daunting and extremely challenging reality, With so many angles to consider, and an inevitable roadblocks, I have found the following 6 (1/2 a Dozen) to be crucial to keep your spirits high, remain focused on your WHY, and go harder than everyone else.
An incredibly HONEST & STRONG support system. This is my number 1 and this could easily be numbers 1, 2, and 3 as I feel it is that important to your success in any industry as you make a go at it with your business. Having someone, or a group of people, that know you well enough to call you on your $#!+ when you need it or are aware enough to know when you need a little applause for a job well done is incredibly imperative. The reality of venturing into the world of being an entrepreneur is that you will likely spend many hours alone, in the early mornings, or late at night, than you would have perhaps envisioned. Knowing, however, that you have someone that has your back if you need them cannot be understated and can be the difference maker between pushing through when things get tough, or just giving up.
A Coach/Mentor. This is a must. You must find someone that is ready, willing and able to help you, teach you, and somewhat show you the way. I say somewhat because please don’t be delusional and think that a mentor is going to tell you exactly what to do every single step of the way. You need to and you will figure a lot of this stuff out on your own. However you must find someone that you can go to for guidance, advice, and can offer you quality intel that will move you forward in your journey. Ideally this person is in your industry, or was at one time. Ideally you respect the hell out of this person and you respect and appreciate their work. Find someone that is living a reality you’d some day like to live, ask them to be your mentor, pay them for their time, and then ask them so many questions that you forget what questions you’ve even asked them.
Don’t Say “I know.” Ever Again. Literally don’t say those words in a sentence ever again. Commit to that in itself and watch what happens. As Entrepreneurs we need to have a thirst for knowledge and everyone we come into contact with has something valuable to teach us. If you can walk into a room full of 7 year old kids with a mindset of “O.K what can these kids teach me.” the amount of free and abundant information for you to sift through will be endless. Keeping an open mind, and never proclaiming to know everything, even about your industry that you are an expert in will only allow you to sharpen your game even more. Stay humble and look to learn off of everyone you come into contact with.
Read. Wether you are a audio books guy, or a hard cover books girl, you need to read. I am working on this more and more myself and I am amazed at the amount of information that is out there for such a small investment, heck you go to your local library and get a book for super cheap. The amount of knowledge in books is completely crazy and it is just sitting there for us to consume any time of day. With my industry being Restaurants & Hospitality there are quite literally millions of books, heck even cookbooks that I could and should be reading every single day. Absorbing information that others have taken the time to sit down and write leaves you feeling empowered and arguably far better suited to do what it is that you do. Whether it is Amazon, or a book club, or the local library get your nose in a book on the daily.
Time For YOU. This one is huge. There are so many demands on us an Entrepreneurs that days, or weeks, or even months can go by where you realize you haven’t meditated, been to the gym, went for a walk, or simply taken a moment to slow down and count your breaths. This cannot be the case for us. We need to protect and invest in our number 1 asset, ourselves. Taking 10mins a day to breathe mindfully will pay dividends that you cannot even begin to measure. By keeping yourself, top of mind and doing whatever it takes for you to feel recharged and motivated, you need to be making time for that. Pay close attention to your body and what it is telling you. Your neck is stiff, get off of the laptop, step outside and stretch. You have a short fuse with an employee, go do some mindful breathing in your car. Feeling uninspired and lacking creativity, put in your earphones and listen to that one song that you can never hear too often. Be aware, and take time for you.
Be Relentless. Pay attention and be aware of number 5 but when it comes time to work, work harder, smarter, faster, longer and more tactful than anyone else in your space. When others are getting distracted, you’re even more focused. When others are getting tired, you’re just getting started. You get the idea, and sure you can say this sounds all well and good, but it’s not sustainable, “hey what about taking time to breathe and listen to the songs I like?”. For the record that is indeed important but you can take time for you and still be like a Lion in the jungle letting nothing, literally nothing stop you from becoming the absolute most highly sought after person in your industry. By being relentless we don’t waste time, we are tactful with each and every action. When we sleep, when we eat, when we spend time with our power circle, etc. it is all thought out and purposeful. By being relentless we don’t let anything take our focus off of the end goal. The market is crashing and people are scrambling, we are cool, calm, and thinking of ways in which we can create an opportunity here for us and our business. Be relentless with your business and you will truly be unstoppable.