By Nancy Barnett, Vice-President/Owner , Apis Business Solutions, Denver, Colorado
As an Entrepreneur have you occasionally questioned your sanity? Long hours, making payroll, staying competitive and relevant, managing employees, making sales and...on and on and on. Anyone who has started their own business has felt the exhaustion of wearing the many hats required, usually on a daily basis. As the owner you are often the banker, the marketing guru, the sales genius, the bookkeeper, the coach/mentor and that is before lunch.
I know, I sometimes have looked in the mirror after a particularly stressful day and questioned my sanity. However, usually in the bright light of a new day, I do remember the ‘why.’
- “Living the Dream” – Owning my own business has allowed me to create something out of nothing. What I do or don’t do has a direct effect on the outcome. It is exciting and scary all at the same time.
- “Continuous Learning” – Early on in the entrepreneurial process you learn "you don't know everything." You are forced to learn and learn fast. Running a successful business is complex and requires new skills and knowledge. In my previous life (in a corporation), I had people. In fact, we had departments of people. People in accounting, people in marketing, people in sales, people in customer service, people in product development, people in IT and many of those people were experts. Now, as an entrepreneur my people-pool is rather meager. I can do things today that two years ago, I would have never tried; I would have made a phone call. Being an entrepreneur requires constant learning and constant learning is both challenging and exhilarating.
- “Confidence” Making critical decisions is part of everyday life for the entrepreneur. There is little room for error and mistakes often have a greater impact on small businesses. Challenges come frequently and often with no easy answers. But when you make a good decision that makes a difference in your business, you grow in confidence.
- “Never bored” – Every day brings a new set of challenges, a new opportunity, and always change. Being an entrepreneur is never boring.
- “Your Success is Yours and Yours Alone” – In the corporate world your successes are often claimed by your bosses; not so as an entrepreneur. The business is ‘your baby.’ You created the vision, you wrote the plans, and you executed the plan. Clients seek you out. Customers buy your creations. The money you earn is directly related to your efforts. You truly own it.
Lastly, it is important to remember you do not have to run this race alone. Find professionals you can trust to help you with the parts of the business that are not your expertise. Outsource wisely, so you can spend your time growing and nurturing your business. Remember just because you outsource something does not mean you still do not manage it. Know what is going on with every facet of your business.
Steve Jobs, Apple Co-Founder and CEO said it well. "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
GO OUT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN TODAY!