Being a new entrepreneur is tough enough without having unnecessary roadblocks. Some of them can be so subtle and slow building that you don’t even notice them until you fall into them. There are many things that can be potential problems. I created four basic categories that can get your mind thinking about the subtle things in your life that can easily grow into a roadblock. I bet you could come up with your own list of things that can get in your way as an entrepreneur.
These four categories are the parts of our daily lives. As we go through our daily routines, there are things that we overlook or filter out of immediate our thoughts. Over time, those things can grow from innocuous to roadblocks; they can even grow to being show stoppers. Being able to recognize those potential problems, either before they happen or before they become a serious roadblock, can translate into a faster success story for you.
Intentionally or not, people can get in the way of your plans. Anyone from your family, friends, strangers, and business partners have an effect on you. Other people will influence your life choices in some way. When you’re just starting out as a new entrepreneur, you’re focused on your dream.
Eventually, you start to share it with your friends and family you may expect them to be just as excited. Most usually are, but sometimes they laugh. Maybe it’s because they don’t really understand why you want to start a business. Business is hard work, and takes time to build a successful business. It requires a lot of focused effort. There may be many reasons why friends or family may not be supportive. For instance, you won’t have as much time to spend with them because you’re going to be very focused on something else. Or sometimes there’s a bit of jealousy. Whatever the reason, don’t let anyone interfere with your dreams.
Being an entrepreneur can also mean you have a business partner. That person needs to be the right partner for you and your business. Taking on a friend or family member can seem like a good idea in the beginning, but it can easily turn into a sour relationship. Many times, when you have friends or family as partners, it can strengthen your relationship. On the other hand, it can also ruin your personal relationships and your business.
When choosing a business partner, no matter if they’re a friend, a family member, or someone else, keep in mind some basic compatibility traits that may make the partnership more durable. Having comparable values and work ethics are two great foundations in a business partnership. When these traits are different, it can mean a loss of focus and a lack of equal drive for maintaining a successful business together.
One really hard experience some entrepreneurs have endured is being laughed at and ridiculed. Sounds really harsh, but it can happen. Being taken serious can sometimes be difficult. When others don’t have the same entrepreneurial aspirations, or if they don’t truly understand your business concept, you may not be taken seriously. That can hurt, but only if you let it. Don’t let others, no matter who they are. Finding positive support systems and realizing that you are in control of you and your business. If you are going to succeed it all will depend on your faith in yourself, your drive, and your ability to overcome obstacles.
Money is an important aspect in our society. Even if you live in a tribe deep in the Congo, you probably still have some sort of exchange for goods within your society. I think most people would agree that they don’t have enough of it. Some say it can buy happiness, health, and even more importantly, freedom. Freedom to do what you love everyday is a great motivator for entrepreneurs. Working hard to earn enough to allow you the freedom of travel, the freedom of financial security, the freedom of pursuing things that make you happy, are all great motivators.
Not having enough money can make it hard to focus on what really matters. Things, like your family, health, bills, or growing your business, can quickly get pushed to the end of the to-do list. Spending money for your household or your business needs to be budgeted and controlled as much as possible. Having clear end goals and clear ro can help you create the best budget for you. Being able to eliminate extra or unnecessary bills can make or break a budget whether it’s for your personal spending or your business. It’s all about balance between the business and home.
In a new business, expenses can get out of hand if you let them. Most of the time new entrepreneurs need to front the initial money for startup expenses including things like the business entity, business insurance, and product creation and promotion. For those who aren’t lucky enough to have and endless supply of money or investors, the money has to come from your personal expenses. If you have a family, then your family has to be involved with a good budget and an understanding about your business and ways to meet the budget goals for home and business. This may have to include temporary sacrifices until you are able to get your business off the ground.
Having a business partner that isn’t willing to commit to a budget can quickly create issues. It’s important to work together to meet goals and build your business. Otherwise, hurt feelings can happen that will eventually undermine the true focus of the relationship. Resentment can build and destroy trust. If your business partnership is tainted, so will your efforts and eventually business.
One way to combat money issues up front in your business is to have clear and determined budgets outlined for all partners to follow. Just like you would do at home with your family, you need a budget. Make your list of necessary expenditures. Find the most valuable products that will help your business grow, but can also help you stick to a budget until your business can sustain the expenses. Partners should agree upon a detailed list of expenses and how you will pay for them upfront. There are also ways to limit access to monies for each partner by setting up spending or withdrawal caps with your financial institution.
In the beginning, being creative with your finances can mean the difference of scraping by comfortably until your business can sustain you, or financial ruin. Two very extremes, but there is plenty of middle ground. Scraping by comfortably may mean something different to you than it does for me. For me, it has always meant cutting out things that my family didn’t truly need to survive, knowing that someday soon we would have the reward we wanted after our hard work to produce a successful business.
We obviously need food, water, and shelter, along with health and hygiene essentials, transportation, insurance, and useful things like cell phones and internet access. In contrast, we don’t need to have cable tv, expensive entertainment, the biggest brands, the most expensive cars, trends, or clothes, dining out, or trips, just to name a few. Though all these are a nice comfort or entertaining, they don’t sustain our basic needs. They won’t expand your business. When you’re working hard on a business goal, your reward will come when you reach that goal. The superficial wants and needs sacrifices that you make during this time, will be worth the effort when you look back and say,”I built a successful business!”
The definition of an idea, surmised from Webster’s Dictionary, is a formulated thought or opinion, what is known or supposed about something, the central meaning or end of a particular action, a plan for action, as well as a standard for perfection. Ideas come from everywhere and everyone. Some are big and some are simple, everyday kind of problem solvers. They’re what we think about, what we dream about and what we take for action.
Sometimes great ideas seem crazy to others. Think about the times the great scientists in the past were talking about germs and viruses that people couldn’t see so they didn’t believe they existed, or the Wright brothers wanting to fly in a machine. But look at society now. Planes fly across oceans and we do our best not to catch viruses and such. Those ideas are not so crazy now. But if you lived back then when the ideas were new, you might see things differently. It can happen today just as easy. New product ideas, or new businesses can be viewed negatively, especially by others who don’t understand the product or business, who can’t see the business being successful, or maybe it just seems like to much work and some people don’t understand why anyone would want to work so hard.
Negative feedback and responses from others are just their ideas. People can tell you that it won’t work. They can configure a million ways in which it will fail or why it’s a waste of time. You could hear that you don’t have enough money, connections, time, or just that your idea is dumb. Don’t let the ideas of others stand in your way.
The same can be said for your own ideas. Don’t let doubt find its way into your heart. If you hear no, keep searching until you find the yes that you need to make you successful. Use your determination, find your motivation, and fuel your dream to become a reality. Failure is only a lesson in time. You may have many lessons, so learn from them and keep moving toward your goal. Ultimately, you are the only thing that stands between you and your success. So, keep ideas, yours and others, in check with your goals. Eliminate the negative ideas, and fuel the positive ones.
This one is bit tough. A lot of people fail because of self-destructive behaviors, especially when other people, money, or ideas become issues. This requires you to really look at yourself and answer three important questions.
Decide what do you really want to do as an entrepreneur.
Determine why you want it.
What actions will you commit to for making it happen?
Be honest with yourself about these answers. You don’t have to share them anyone but yourself. Write the answers down. Tuck them away somewhere or put them up to see often. It can be a great accountability tool, a gentle reminder to keep you on track.
When we focus on what is important to ourselves and tune out the negativity of others, we create a positive atmosphere where we can nourish our minds and flourish without having detrimental results. We all have people in our lives that have an effect on our mood, our self-esteem, and eventually our motivation. Even though others have the ability to produce negativity toward you whether they mean to or not, it’s left up to you to decide if it will change your mind. You have control over you and your mindset.
Just like other people can influence you, you can influence yourself just as easily. You can talk yourself into doing the things you want to do or out of things that you want to avoid. You can think of yourself negatively, and eventually you might start believing it. If you do, you won’t be able to move forward and reach the goals you set. Believing in yourself is hard for some people. Doing what it takes to keep you on path for your goals can be difficult, especially when it requires so much from deep within you. Keeping out self-doubt, keeping yourself motivated and focused, will keep you from failing. Fill your mind and surrounding with positive thoughts and push toward reaching positive goals.
Maybe it’s just newness of being an entrepreneur. Regardless of what the reasoning may be, don’t stand in your own way. Don’t fall victim to listening to the doubt you may have from yourself or others. Learn the lessons along the way from failed attempts. Find your why and remind yourself often of your goals. Small steps will eventually take you long distances, so don’t give up and keep pushing to the finish line. Your hard work will pay off.
Take a moment and identify some things that could be causing roadblocks for you. I encourage you to write them down, seek solutions, and revisit your list frequently to keep you on track. The faster you recognize roadblocks, the faster your road to success becomes.