There’s a lot of glamour associated with entrepreneurship these days. I have seen more than one article dictating how millennials are opening their own businesses and then traveling to Belize to work from the beach sipping straight from coconuts on the sand. While this is true for some people, the majority of entrepreneurs will face a variety of challenges within their first year.
So we’ve made a list of what to expect in your first year as an entrepreneur and how to deal with them!
Within your first year as an entrepreneur, you are going to experience more sleepless nights than you thought possible. One of the reasons for your impending restlessness is that nagging feeling that you should be working on your business instead of catching some zzz’s. Take my advice, get the sleep! After a restful night, your brain is more apt to be firing on all cylinders which results in greater efficiency and productivity.
This sentiment doesn’t only apply to sleep. Make sure that you are taking time out of your business to enjoy hobbies and spend time with people not associated with your newborn business. Practicing self care and creating healthy boundaries will help prevent burnout in your entrepreneurial soul. Sleep is essential for your body to recover. Lack of sleep could create a domino effect with other components of your overall well-being.
Chances are that at some point in your first year you will question why you got started in the first place. This thought lingers in my mind at least once a week! You might be struggling with the tiniest decisions, afraid that they will be the catalyst for a full meltdown of your business. Take a breath, and remember your why. Going back to your purpose will help re-energize your spirit and pave the way for efficient decision making.
My other piece of advice? Go with your gut. Overthinking your choices will drag out any processes that you have in place and further stall your growth. Trust that your gut will help guide you in making the right decision for you and your business.
You might not think that this would be a big one, but I’ve seen businesses crumble at the first sign of criticism. Critics are going to come out of the woodwork and give you “honest” feedback. Some of it will be good, some of it will be bad. Try to look at the negative feedback as an opportunity for you to evaluate your model and see where you can pivot to better meet the needs of your customer. Let the negative feedback that has little to no value roll off your back. Haters gonna hate. You’re not going to be able to please everyone. Allow for the negativity to fuel your inner fire.
Take the nuggets of good feedback and log them away for a time when you’re facing a crisis of purpose. Revisiting great reviews and testimonials is a great way to boost your mood and self-esteem when things get rough.
Your first year as an entrepreneur is full of firsts. Your first sale, your first website, your first product. With all of those firsts comes a great sense of accomplishment. Remember to take some time and let all of those accomplishments sink in. You are a business owner! That is so exciting! Revel in the fact that you are your own boss. The majority of people in the world will never get to say that. You are a gem, and you should be proud of everything that you do.
Your first year as an entrepreneur is an exciting time filled with lots of ups and lots of downs. Take the time that you need to enjoy every moment! Just make sure to take what you learn with you to make your second year in business your best yet!
Becoming an entrepreneur and birthing a business has been the HARDEST thing I have ever done. You won’t immediately see results and some days are just going to SUCK the life out of you. Be honest and humble with where you’re at and where you’re headed. You’re bound for great things if you keep your mind positive and your feet grounded. You’ve got this - keep going.