Bryant Jaquez is the entrepreneurial co-owner of Noble Creative. He leads a team of groundbreaking marketers who make things that make people money. You can follow him on twitter. Today he speaks about entrepreneurial challenges…
Being an entrepreneur is glamorous… said the Hollywood writer. For those of us living in the real world, we know that being a small business owner is HARD. I am an avid believer that if you refuse to give up, you will win, but I can also tell you first-hand that entrepreneurship has its own set of overcoming entrepreneurial challenges. Entrepreneurial spirit can only take you so far.
I am fortunate enough to be the co-owner of a marketing agency, Noble Creative. I am the first to tell you that I still have many lessons to learn in business, however, I am happy to share some business tips about the challenges that I have overcome. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes to avoid a few of your own.
#1: You need a plan.
I am sure you’ve heard the rumor, “business plans are outdated,” and “don’t write a business plan because you’re not going to stick to it anyway.” Take it from me – plans are like maps, and while people without maps can still find their way, they often take unnecessary detours.
Check out The OnRamp. This is a business tool and blog that will teach you everything you need to know about writing a business plan. Amber and Mike have the benefit of being seasoned entrepreneurs who regularly help entrepreneurs start their own companies.
#2: The Worst Thing You Can Be Is Fake.
Hey, guess what? You are allowed to fail. Have you noticed that a lot of entrepreneurs have a big ego? Yeah, me too. Don’t let your ego stop you from admitting your defeats and (gasp) asking for help when you don’t know what to do. Not everything you try in business is going to work, and that’s okay. When you are creating something remarkable, you WILL run into obstacles. You’ll discover unexpected challenges and you will most likely make a lot of mistakes. But so did Einstein and Edison.
The reason I bring this up? We often try to act like everything is fine, even when it’s not. Instead of pretending like you never fail, use your failures as a school. When you fail in business, let it make you mad and use that motivation to find a better solution. Whatever you do, do not be fake. That is one of the quickest ways to burn out.
#3: You Need Help.
Hey there, solopreneur! Yes, we know you are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Well, pat yourself on the back, jam-man (or woman :)) and calm down. Sooner or later, you are going to realize how valuable good relationships are. You can’t do everything yourself when you are trying to build something revolutionary (like a new business)… so stop trying. I would not be where I am today without an amazing group of people helping me. Surround yourself with people who are more talented and more experienced than yourself. This is one of the quickest ways to grow as a business owners. I recommend you always have people around you who can mentor you, people who are your peers and people who you are mentoring. This will ensure that you are constantly learning new things and staying involved in a good business community. You will also develop a network of people who want to help you succeed.
Employees (or a reliable bunch of sub-contractors, depending on how you structure your company) can make or break you. I have only this two comments on this: #1 Hire slow and fire fast. You need to be meticulous about who you invite into your company. Only hire people who you trust (like these guys) and who are able to manage themselves. You’ll know within one month if someone is right for your company. If they aren’t, politely let them know, and then let them go. #2 Hire people who are smarter than you. If you are the smartest person on your team, then you are going to spend all of your time micro-managing people, and you don’t need that. Hire people who are fast learners and able to produce remarkable results.
As you can imagine, I could keep writing for days about the many challenges of entrepreneurship, but it’s the four things I’ve already mentioned that have created the most significant impact in my business life. If you want to watch me learn business lessons in real life, you can follow me on Twitter and Google Plus. Also, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment below and tell the world about your experience as an entrepreneur.
How have you gone about overcoming entrepreneurial challenges? Or to frame it another way, what entrepreneurial challenges have you overcome?