What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

What skills do entrepreneurs have?


There are many entrepreneurs that I have admired. I looked up to them with envy and nothing short of awe before I started my own entrepreneurial journey. It’s hard not to be attracted to a world where you have the freedom to make decisions without having to go through reams of red tape that is so prevalent in larger companies and corporations. That agility, the simple act of changing course quickly, is one of the benefits and advantages of running a smaller business. At the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey, to simply reflect on this newfound freedom makes you want to run for the hills giggling madly with excitement! However, you soon come to realize that, with every decision to change course quickly or increase your competitive edge, comes a multitude of tasks necessary to carry out goals that you have outlined. It can be challenging at times if you don’t manage your time and business effectively. As with anything, nothing is perfect, and there are sure to be times when it doesn’t run as smoothly as you would like. So, what does it take to be an entrepreneur? A lot, it turns out. This is what I’ve discovered in my first few years as an entrepreneur.

    1. You have to be able to manage your time effectively on your own, without the aid of anyone else. What you are doing has to be in line with what you love to do or you won’t make the necessary sacrifices to work when you’d rather play or sleep.
    2. I hope you have a partner that understands! You will not be nearly as accessible as you once were, so this step isn’t for the faint of heart. You need a partner that is on board and understands the time commitments needed to get your business going. Their understanding will take you through the more exhausting times that are sure to come.
    3. You will need to manage time efficiently in order to have some kind of life balance. You will quickly run out of steam and creativity if all you do is work. Stay focused, but also remember that most of your inspiration will also come from living your life with those you love.
    4. Set aside time to meet clients and cultivate a client relationship. This can’t, of course be at all hours, many times per week, but time that you set aside occasionally to meet with a client for a cup of coffee and catch up is fantastic and gives you an idea of their unique challenges. It’s easier to formulate a plan when you communicate on an ongoing basis.
    5. Competitors can be pretty awesome! Yes, you heard that right. I have had the privilege of meeting some incredibly creative people in my field. I have valued their work and see them as extremely talented individuals. We are all after the same thing in life and we all bring something unique to the table.
    6. When you go through the more overworked and stressful times, make sure to take care of yourself. This means setting up healthy adaptive habits in place of any unhealthy maladaptive habits that you may have had in the past. Eat well, sleep when you can, try yoga, and exercise. This has given me the stamina I’ve needed to move forward during more challenging times.
    7. Know yourself! Know your strengths and your weaknesses. This takes a lot of honesty on your part. You do need to evaluate the aspects of yourself that you may not be crazy about, but owning them and dealing with them gives you an advantage. Set up daily habits and practices slowly to tackle those areas. It’s not always an all or nothing challenge. Most of the time small, daily habits create big changes. It’s an incremental, ongoing process that you always need to build on. Once you have a plan of action set up, you can feel more confident going into the future.
    8. Nurture client relationships that are synergistic and positive. Sometimes when you have wonderful clients, things run so smoothly that they may get lost in the shuffle. These clients are absolute gold! They are why you went into business in the first place and you need to go the extra mile for them to let them know that you value their business. I have had the good fortune to have a good number of clients like this and have a lot of respect for them. They are high energy, positive and business savvy people. I always find a characteristic that I admire and strive to emulate. They typically teach by example without realizing it which is the most powerful lesson there is!

In closing, I would say have some compassion for yourself and those around you who are on their own journey. We all want to be fulfilled so pay attention to the type of energy you’re putting out there to others. Help them on their way and validate their successes! Always be proud of the fact that you are taking a chance on you and challenging yourself beyond your comfort zone. Nothing extraordinary ever came from a comfort zone.

JG Lea Marketing

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