Down deep, everyone who chooses the life of an entrepreneur does so with the belief it will make them happier. We’re convinced that our business will give us things we can’t get working for someone else, like freedom, creative abilities and more money. That belief makes it easy to get up in the morning and helps new entrepreneurs overcome the many obstacles on the road to success, because it is a rocky journey especially when you have a pandemic and government restrictions thrown into the mix.
The reality is, the freedom of being your own boss comes with many obligations that you might not have working for someone else. You’re working absurd hours, new challenges seem to appear every day, and the joy will start to slip away after awhile. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
We speak with entrepreneurs everyday who joke with us and ask if there is any such thing as a happy entrepreneur. My answer is always the same, “YES there is!” Our business is proof that it is possible, you just need to program yourself and your business to be that way. There are always going to be lows and highs, that is business, but the key is to have more of the latter.
We would like to share some common things that we have been told by entrepreneurs, just like you, that are key in finding your happy place regardless of the business or industry that you are in.
Be an equal partner with your business!
It’s easy to get caught up in the needs of your business. In fact, if you allow it to happen, your business will take as much as you are willing to give. But remember, you’re the boss! If you don’t look after your needs, who will?
This goes into what Dan Monk of Monk Renovations wrote about in last month’s Contractor’s Corner Column about “Work Life Balance” and the role that it plays in your personal and professional health.
Basically, you need to make it a priority to create a work environment that balances your needs with the needs of your business. If you’re not getting what you want from your business, don’t be afraid to change. Change is good and it will help you reach your goals, so don’t be afraid to make them.
Develop Win-Win Relationships!
Surround yourself with people you like and respect and treat them accordingly.
You are in the driver’s seat of your business; however, the success of any business is highly dependent upon people other than yourself. Examples include employees, key suppliers, and professional advisors. So, choose wisely. Working with people you can count on allows you to focus on doing your job and reduces stress.
If you’re working with people that you can’t trust or depend on, or whose negativity is dragging you down, act immediately. You need to have the right people on your bus to success and if you have someone that is always pulling the brake then you need to replace them, and you need to do it now. Just because they are on your bus, doesn’t mean that they are on the same journey as you. Just like Metro transit people will get on and off depending on their destination and you will most likely transfer to a different bus or two along the way.
Ask for Help or Advice and Actually take it!
One of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur makes is waiting too long to ask for help or advice. If things aren’t going according to plan, or you’re not sure what to do next, find someone you trust and ask for help or advice on how they would tackle a business issue.
Most problems in business can be solved, as long as the root cause is identified in time. Getting objective advice from someone that has faced similar challenges can save you time, money and a whole lot of stress. You do not have to go it alone and most entrepreneurs have gone through the growing pains and are more than willing to offer advice.
But the important part is not just asking for help for the sake of asking but being ready and willing to put their advice into action.
If you are reading this and saying I wish I had a person that helped me out with this problem or situation, send us a message. We speak with hundreds of businesses every month and are very fortunate to have partnered up with some of the best in business in several industries who have been extremely successful in their sector and we are happy to connect you with them.
Accept and Learn from Failures!
I am confident that for most of us, trial and error has played a big part of our entrepreneurial journey. It’s a given that some of the things you try won’t work. This is easy to say to yourself but much harder to do, and that is that you must condition yourself to accept failures, learn from it and to move on. But the key is to learn from it!
You can’t just call this one in. You need to live by this as a business owner! You did your best with the information that you had, and it didn’t work out. That’s the life of an entrepreneur. Accept it, pivot, and just keep moving even if it seems to be more sideways than straight forward. The beaten path started with one step and a few scratches along the way, it is all part of the journey.
Learn when to say No!
Most entrepreneurs are hard wired to say “Yes” especially to customers. This can be true, even when faced with near impossible requests, deadlines, or unreasonable demands, trust me we have been there. However, in saying that it can also be equally difficult to say “No” to a client’s request, especially when you need the business.
It is key to always take a step back and analyze what saying “Yes” or “No” for that matter, will mean to you and your business. To survive as an entrepreneur, you have to learn when and how to say “No” as well as say “Yes.” Learning the difference between when to do so is the hardest part, but as you continue your entrepreneurial journey, trust me you will figure it out and it is not as simple as “if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense.”
Accept Responsibility for your own Happiness!
You are going to have good days and bad days personally and in business, that is life, we’re all human, and there will be days when happiness gets away from us, we know that every day is not filled with sunshine. The key is to not let it become your long-term reality. Take the setback, analyse it and adjust your attitude along with your plan. Games are won and lost with a good playbook, and even the best players and teams must call an audible at the line of scrimmage every now and again.
As a business owner you need to make a conscious effort to be a happy entrepreneur. You are the boss, you’re the one in control. If you’re not happy do something about it because no one else will.
by Lee Ann Atwater