As an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to find your own path… both for your work and personal life. It took me years to learn what I know now, and I am still learning.
Believe it or not, the best entrepreneurial lessons I’ve learned have been the simple ones. It’s the ones that stare you in the face every day, but yet you miss to see them.
Here are 11 simple philosophies that changed my entrepreneurial life:
Don’t make excuses, make improvements
In most cases, things won’t work out the way you want them to. It can be anything from missing revenue projections to launching your product on time and even getting sued for silly little things.
It’s natural to make excuses for why things didn’t go the way you wanted. But that won’t do you any good because it won’t solve your problems.
Instead of making excuses, focus on solving the problems. They probably won’t get fixed right away, but as long as you are making improvements, you’ll eventually get there.
Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done
You will get tired of being an entrepreneur, and you’ll probably even get burnt out… especially when things aren’t going well. What’s helped me succeed over the years is that I am persistent.
It doesn’t matter whether I am exhausted or feel that I’ve put enough hours in the day; I just don’t ever stop until things are done.
The moment you stop is the day you fail. As long as you keep chugging along, eventually you will accomplish your goals.
Honesty is a very expensive gift, do not expect it from cheap people
As an entrepreneur, you will have to look to other people for feedback and advice. I’ve learned that not all advice is equal as some people give better advice than others.
The best advice you will ever get is the truth. The truth may hurt, but it will save you time and money.
Just don’t expect the truth from people who care about saving your feelings. That won’t help you accomplish your goals; it will just put you back.
Work hard in silence and keep your success to yourself
When I started doing somewhat well, I wanted to show off. I wanted to tell people about my successes, buy fancy objects to demonstrate my accomplishments and share with the world how “I made it”.
In the long run, buying expensive objects didn’t make me happy. Telling people about my success just caused people to think I was arrogant and, even worse, created more competition.
Don’t worry about telling people about your success as it won’t do you any good. Just focus on your work, and keep your mouth shut because the last thing you need is more competitors.
Don’t get sidetracked by people who are not on track
It’s easy to get sidetracked, especially by other people. If you don’t focus on your core business model, you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
One of the best ways to avoid this is to not let people who don’t have their life together affect your business decisions. If you want to do well, you need to start hanging out with like-minded people. By being around people who have their life together and are successful, you are less likely to get sidetracked.
Behind every successful person are a lot of unsuccessful years
When people look at what I have accomplished, most of the time they feel that I’ve done it over the last few years. What they forget to realize is that I have been an entrepreneur for over 10 years.
Most entrepreneurs don’t strike it rich with their first startup… a lot of people fail before they succeed. So, as long as you keep pushing forward as an entrepreneur, your odds of succeeding will go up over time.
Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it
Businesses come and go, but the one thing you should protect more than anything else is your reputation. Your reputation will affect any new business ventures or a job you may try to get later.
Treat your reputation as if it were more valuable than gold. Always help others out, and never speak badly about other people. Be so kind and helpful that if someone spoke badly about you, no one would believe that person.
Sometimes when you follow your dream, it opens the door for others to be able to follow theirs
Entrepreneurship isn’t just about you. You won’t be able to fulfill your dreams without the help of other people.
As you are following your dreams, make sure you don’t forget about the people who helped you get there. Find out what their dreams and goals are and help them accomplish them.
My business partner and I have continually helped all of our team members reach their dreams over the last ten years, and this has also helped us retain most of our valuable team members. This is important because it is really hard to find good talent… so you might as well take care of them.
Just because you are struggling does not mean you are failing
Every great success requires some kind of struggle. Nothing worthwhile is easy, so don’t expect your entrepreneurial career to be easy.
You will have to work hard, fight through the tough times and keep pushing forward. If being an entrepreneur was so easy and didn’t require any hardship, everyone would be one.
So, when you are struggling, don’t give up and keep pushing forward until you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The hardest thing to open is a closed mind
No matter how good of a salesperson you are, some people just don’t want to hear you talk. They have a closed mind, and they feel they know everything.
You could try to be persistent with people like this, but I’ve found that the hardest thing to open is a closed mind. So, instead of wasting my time, I just move on.
You will be strapped for time as an entrepreneur… especially when you are just starting out because you won’t have much cash or people to help you. So, do yourself a favor and don’t waste your time with people who are close-minded.
If you help people get what they want, you can get what you want
The lesson that took me the longest to learn is that you have to help people to get what you want. Business is all about relationships, and you can’t keep asking people for favors without repaying them.
I’ve also learned that if I help people out, they will go an extra mile to help me out. And if you help people without expecting anything in return, people will go extra ten miles to help you.
Keep paying it forward by helping everyone out there… no matter how big or small they may be. Sooner or later, the universe will pay it back ten-fold.
These are just a few of business philosophies I live by. I hope they will help you throughout your entrepreneurial journey as well. They’ve changed my life and actually made it a lot better.