5 Ways To Thrive As An Entrepreneur

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For entrepreneurs to be successful, it requires lots of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. You have to practice your craft, implement your vision and refuse to give up.  There is no short cut, secret sauce or magic formula to becoming successful in business.  For those of us who are addicted to working hard, when you are an entrepreneur, it is very easy to get so consumed by “work, work, work, work” that we fail to stop and smell the roses. Upon some self-reflection, I realized that your desire to be successful in business should not cost your health, peace or happiness.  I had to take some time and assess why I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur and ensure that my motives or goals were in alignment with my desire to be healthy and happy.  The desire to be successful is not a virtue it is actually addictive.  There is no end date for achieving success.  Once you experience it you will want more and more success.  You can safeguard your overall well-being and find balance by applying these 5 tips to thrive as an entrepreneur.  These tools will help you develop healthy work habits, live a rich and fulfilling life as you climb the ladder to success.

(1) Practice work life balanceKnow your limit and work within it.  Avoid working so hard that your health and happiness pays the price.  As an entrepreneur, you are your own boss and have the power to determine how much work you will or will not do.  Know when to say no or not now.  Avoid saying yes to every opportunity.  You can become so busy with work that you will have time for yourself.  Create a consistent work schedule. Determine when and how long you will work.  Do not allow your clients or customers to dictate your work hours.  Be moderately accommodating but set clear hours of operation.  Stay active.  There are so many fun and cost effective ways to keep your body moving.  According to the Centre for Disease some of the benefits for exercise include reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your mental health and lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes[1].  With all these benefits for exercise, make a commitment to be active.  Start with walking 20 to 30 min a day. Stretch before you go to bed, join a dance class, play your favorite sport or take swimming classes.   Block a time for lunch and breaks.  It is so easy to get so consumed by work you forget to eat.  I have been down that road and it is not a healthy habit.  Practice healthy and nutritious eating.  At the end of this article is a list of resources with healthy eating tips and nutritious recipes. Take time to smell the roses. Spend time with friends or family. Learn to enjoy your own company and make time just to pamper yourself.  Work is never ending. There is always more work to be done.  Practicing work-life balance will help you to avoid burn out and allow the best of you to shine through your business.

(2) Create a strong support system:  Your support system is your network of reliable, caring and trustworthy people.  This could include friends, advisors or relatives. These are the people the cheer you on, support your business, give you sound advice and have your best interest at heart. They strengthen you when you are weak, motivate you when you feel like giving up on your business, and ensure you remain on the path of success.  You can count on the people in your support system to be by your side when you need the most.  It is common for entrepreneurs to face disappointments, unstable income, no real financial security, and rejection.  Your support system will help you to build resilience and overcome hardships.   Always remember people are your greatest assets. As you climb the ladder of success, make sure to build some solid relationships along the way.

(3) Surround yourself with experts:  Depending on the nature of your business, you will need a team of experts such as an accountant, graphic designer, consultant, bookkeeper, web designer, and lawyer. The most effective way to find experts is to ask a friend for a referral and check their references. Ensure the experts you chose to hire are reliable, professional and show a high sense of integrity.  Reach out to professional associations to find an expert.  The last alternative is to try different experts trial and error to find a good expert but this could cause you to waste time and money.  The appropriate experts will help you to grow your business and make it more sustainable.

(4) Fine tune your marketing strategy:  Marketing is how you will attract new clients and earn money.  Clearly define your target audience and build a brand that reflects their values, needs or desires. Understand the demographics of your target market.  Ensure that your product or service is relevant to your customer base.  An effective way to market your company is to look beyond making a sale. Show interest in who your client is rather than how much money you can make from them, adjust your service or products to meet their needs.  Build authentic connections with your clients.  You can do this by getting to know your clients or treat them with empathy and respect.  This will make it easier for you to have repeat business and referrals.    Examine the marketing strategy for successful companies.  Look at their pricing and promotions strategies to see what you can incorporate.  The price of your product or service should reflect the quality of your service or product.   Expand your knowledge of how to market your business.  Take a paid course on marketing at a community college or try a free online course through Alison. (See link for details https://alison.com/courses/Marketing-Success-for-Business.  Marketing your company traditionally or online can be very time-consuming.  If you can afford a marketing expert, hire someone.  The benefit of hiring a professional is that you will have more time to will focus on developing other parts of your business.

(5) Build Resilience.  According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity or significant sources of stress.”[2]  Some of the ways you can build resilience is to be optimistic, develop self-confidence, set realistic goals, tap into your support system for help and learn how to manage stressful situations.  Entrepreneurs are bound to face unlimited rejections, setbacks, and failures.  It is imperative to bounce back and keep moving forward.   When you build a high level of resilience, you will certainly reach the next level of success in business.  Be conscious of your perspective of rejection and failure. “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it” Charles Swindoll.  Instead of seeing NO as a rejection, you can view it as Next Opportunity.  Never take rejections or failures personally.  Without failure, it is impossible to measure your level of success or accomplishment.  It’s the only way to track the growth as an individual and the growth of your business. 

Entrepreneurs must adapt a winning attitude by refusing to quit.  As the saying goes if you get knocked down seven times get up eight times.  Success is not about racing to the top with no regard for who you hurt or exploit to get thee.  Success is about learning, evolving and growing as an individual while facing major bumps along the way.  Good entrepreneurs focus on the learning principle of business and making profits.  Exceptional entrepreneurs create a product or service that solves a problem in society while making money and enjoying the process.  Strive to be an entrepreneur who is influential and impactful. These 5 tips can serve as a blueprint for your path to success in both business and life.

-Written By Stacey Ann Berry, Founder of Bstellar Consulting Group

Resources for Healthy Eating:

Healthy Castle http://www.healthcastle.com

Jamie Oliver http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes

Eating Well http://www.eatingwell.com

Vegan

Happy, Healthy Life http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com

Kris Carr http://kriscarr.com/recipes

[1] Centre for Disease Control. Physical Health. 7/09/2016.  https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/

[2] American Psychological Association. The Road to Resilience. 7/9.16.  http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx