Do you dream of having your own business? Being independent? Being your own boss? Maybe you have a great idea and want to share it with the world.
Good news! There's no day like today to make your dream a reality.
The bad news: the learning curve is steep and there's a long road ahead.
We've compiled some of the best advice from some of the best entrepreneurs all over the country. They've put their experience into words, so you can put your words and ideas into action.
1) Know Your Stuff (we mean sales and marketing)
"You're going to think your product is amazing. That everyone who hears about it would be crazy not to take it off your hands at twice the price. The opposite is true. You will serve yourself and your business well to get good at sales and marketing."
Rob Walling for Drip
2) IT ISN'T EASY
"Starting a business is rarely easy, and almost always more difficult than one can imagine. The odds are against you--the rate of failure is high, and the threat of bankruptcy looms before you--but you must summon the will to lead; you must have the ability to see what others cannot envision, which is the one thing few may ever achieve: Success."
Brad Cummins for Local Life Agents
3) ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY FALLS ON YOU
"One of the things nobody tells you before becoming an entrepreneur is that in the beginning you'll probably be working a lot more hours for a lot less pay; and sometimes owning your own business is going to feel a lot like a job... only harder because you only have yourself to be held accountable to."
4) RESPONSIBILITY REAPS REWARD
"I wish I would have known how much fun and liberating being my own employer is! Working twice as hard for four times as much fun."
Doug Drosin for Sale Growth
5) SELLING YOUR PRODUCT ISN'T EASY
"I wish someone had told me understanding sales is the most important skill for an entrepreneur. I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking an amazing product sells itself."
David Smith for Cognite Labs
6) NEITHER IS SELLING YOUR VISION
"The most difficult thing you will do is convey vision."
Austin N. Pritchard for Intersection Church
7) PASSION IS PARAMOUNT
"It takes an intentional choice to stick to the vision and mission where we have the passion to persevere--vision which taps into your passion gives you the strength to persevere"
Vance Faulks for Faulks Family Farm
8) IT CAN BE LONELY
"Starting a business can feel extremely isolating. You'll feel so alone, but then, one becomes a few, a few becomes a team, and when people can unite together in likeminded inspiration and action, you realize why you started the journey in the first place."
Mark Elliott for Spark
9) DON'T DO IT ALONE
"As much as we all wish to be gods of our own microcosmos, we need to learn to delegate at least some of our duties or we are to face a massive burnout. Know your duties well, set clear and measurable goals, recruit smart, train if needed, and learn to trust your employee(s)."
Nevyana Karakasheva for OptiLocal
10) BE FLEXIBLE
"The danger is best laid plans. If you refuse to budge from them, you will not survive this game. You, and your idea, need to be flexible and adaptable. Your life will change. Your business plan will change. You will change. Always think BEYOND what you believe is the goal--because when you get there, you'll find it's different to what you pictured."
Götz Thümecke for Eventerprise
11) TRUST YOURSELF BEFORE OTHERS
"Friends, family, and people around you won't understand--ignore these sentiments, stay on the path. Take advice carefully, only from people who have earned the respect to give it to you."
Götz Thümecke for Eventerprise
12) COST DOES NOT EQUAL VALUE
"Don't be one of those people who looks at the price of everything & understands the value of nothing."
13) YOU NEED TIME AND MONEY... and a lot of it
"Raise a lot more money than you think you'll need."
Woody Nash for Sales Growth
14) HARD WORK WILL PAY OFF
"I wish we had known that our hard work would pay off! Starting in a garage, having no money or resources, things often looked dismal. People thought we were crazy. Two decades later, it would be hard to guess at our humble and crazy start!"
Natalie Fung for Answer Connect
So there you have it, 14 things to help you on your lonely, challenging, awesome, exciting, collaborative, and totally-worth-it path to being an entrepreneur. Now get out there and be awesome.
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