Who would not want to be an entrepreneur and be their own boss? Being a boss sounds fascinating, but it comes with huge pressure where the success and results are on you.
Since last few years, I have been interacting with top paid executives, programmers, consultants and even students. I am really glad to see how the perception towards entrepreneurship has changed significantly in the last decade. Now a days it is quite common for someone to walk away from a good job or salary, to start their own business. Although someone could be confident to chart their own path towards a growing business, but success is not always guaranteed. Knowing all about the hardship and greater chances of failure, people do show interest towards entrepreneurship.
But what’s after that? You have quit your job and you don’t have a stable income. How will you cope up with the daily pressure, as it going to get tougher day by day?
Worry not!! There are few ways which will help you to sustain as an entrepreneur, which are adopted by some of the successful entrepreneurs. Here is the list:
Identify your Prime Time
What’s a Prime Time? “It is the time of the day when you are at the peak of your productivity”. Prime Time differs from person to person.
Being an entrepreneur, you need to identify your prime time and work on your most priority jobs in that time-frame. Although entrepreneurship needs hard work, but it also needs smartness to save your body and mind from exhaustion. Prioritize your major tasks and plan to close them in your Prime Time and you will observe that you are much more productive than your early days, saving a lot of time to learn new things, catching up with people and of course to relax.
Want to know your Prime Time? Follow this article from Chris at A Life of Productivity.
As an entrepreneur, usually people are quite obsessed with their ideas and believe that they are the only person who knows how to execute it. I must say you will fall hard on your face. Whether it is your co-founder or employees or even an external entity, you need to collaborate properly to be a successful business. Through collaboration, the chances of failure reduces a lot and success gets divided proportionately. A smart way to sustain as an entrepreneur is to delegate those tasks to your people or a company who is quite good at it.
Talk to yourself more often
Have you seen ever observed your mom? You must have seen her talking to herself when she is angry or irritated or under pressure. Why I brought the topic of mom, is because they are the true entrepreneurs of our lives. So, if you have observed them, they talk to themselves a lot and they don’t react to the situation in a bad manner. How? Talking to herself, it helps them to reduce their stress.
As an entrepreneur, it is quite common that you are on your own and you will find yourself alone most of the time. Utilize that time to talk to yourself about the current problems such as acceptance of your ideas, investment problems, internal issues, etc. You will observe that you are helping yourself in reducing stress and able to cope up with your problems.
Sing songs during your daily commute
I am sure you will promptly say that you are a bad singer. Well, let me tell you – “it does not matter”. You are not singing to become a singer, unless it is one your hidden talents J .
Sing while you are returning to home after wrapping your work. Why? Because during the day you hear lot of things (good or bad) and they kind of created an invisible boundary around your thoughts or limited your creativity to solve a problem. Now, when you start singing, you don’t sing to impress rather you sing to break those boundaries.
This is a personal advice, while I am on my way home I keep singing throughout the ride and when I reach it feels like some pressure has been offloaded of me. I forget all the problems and feel relaxed. Try it! Who knows, it might work for you.
[You may defend and say “why can’t I sing during work”. Well, you said yourself that you are a bad singer J ]
Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds as being lucky is a rare phenomenon which only occurs with those people who have believed themselves to be lucky. You have to break your comfort zone and communicate with people or take little amount risks. Only then you will open the channels where you might get hit by luck. If you get time, try to listen the TED Talk of author and Stanford professor Tina Seelig on how taking risks can increase your luck. Author, Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn also highlighted how taking risks and not being over-cautious can help you to be successful.
Unplug from Work
I know it’s difficult and that’s why I am asking you to do it. I advice this to my co-founders, colleagues and entrepreneur friends who don’t usually take a break. You have to unplug to save yourself from over-exhaustion and then only you can think yourself to be productive. The one piece of logic which I explain to all is “If you know your work, then you must know how to tweak it smartly to create time for relaxation”. As an entrepreneur, delegation is the key for you and you have to adopt this trait to focus on more productive aspects. Take small breaks during work and discuss something totally irrelevant with someone else.
I am sure after reading this, people will still be glued to their devices J . So the alternative is – watch funny videos on YouTube for few minutes to relax when you are stressed out. Because it’s the most popular video content platform in the world where in an average month, 8 out of 10, 18-49 years old people watch videos.
Don’t stick around negative people
Negative feedbacks most of the time work quite healthy to succeed in business. But if the negative feedback is coming from negative people, that might hamper your business. Negative people will always make you feel bad about your ideas, execution process or success. Spend time with those people who will challenge your hidden potential and make you come out of your comfort zone. Sometimes they may say some hard truth on your face, but that not only helps you accept the reality but also makes you prepared for the worse.
Celebrate small victories
As an entrepreneur, it is good that you always focus on the bigger objective and put your full efforts to achieve it. But you should not ignore the small wins during your entrepreneurial journey. As what matters is the journey and your experiences, not the destination. There is no guarantee whether you will achieve the ultimate goal or not and thus you should not miss out to celebrate the small victories. If you will not achieve the bigger goal, you will be atleast happy that the journey towards your goal was quite good and fulfilling. This feeling will not let you give up your journey and make you try harder next time.
Having greater ambitions and keeping yourself motivated to achieve your dreams are traits of successful entrepreneurs. But you need to follow a realistic approach towards your dreams and how you plan to achieve them. In past, lots of entrepreneurs failed because of their impractical approach towards a vision, which they planned to achieve in the most superficial way possible. It’s not just about entrepreneurs rather applied to big companies who have failed in execution and made huge losses for being unrealistic.
Expect the Unexpected
This master piece of advice which Murphy’s Law gives us is to be ready for the unusual events when things go out of control. If anything has to go wrong, it will. So don’t shy away from unexpected things and always be prepared for it. Do your prior planning, risk assessment and creativity to understand how things can go wrong and make yourself ready to handle things.
Next time if you suddenly receive an unexpected tax bill from the government or if your co-founder says to quit or one of your major clients/investors dropped support – just accept the fact that it was supposed to happen and think of ways to handle it without panic.
I will request our readers to share more ideas of how they can sustain themselves as an entrepreneur and I am sure some quick ideas from all of you can help others to not give up and carry on their journey. The startup ecosystem is meant to support the startups & entrepreneurs and I am sure such small ideas will boost confidence among aspiring entrepreneurs.