The word "entrepreneur" is thrown around these days, but there is no single definition. Contrary to the what Papa Gus’ from my Big Fat Greek Wedding’s believes, the word is not Greek. “Entrepreneur” comes from “entre” and “prendes” meaning to swim out and grasp in Latin. The entrepreneurial spirit is someone who takes a risk in business, especially if it is your own.
According to the Kauffman Foundations 2016 Index Startup Activity, 84% of entrepreneurs are starting their own business because of opportunity while 10% are doing it out of necessity. That means most people are doing it because they want to pursue their passions or their friend presented them with an excellent idea. Only a few years ago, the answer might have been different because of the Great Recession where people were losing their jobs and starting a business was their only chance at surviving.
That's all Millennials know. They have witnessed a shortage of jobs while attempting to enter the workforce, having crazy amounts of student loan debt, and wanting more of a work-life balance. What's the alternative? Entrepreneurship.
At least, they will have a fighting chance. Almost 30% of Millennials are still living at home, so they don’t have a mortgage to worry about.
Isn’t starting an entrepreneurial endeavor hard?
The answer is both "yes" and "no." Starting a business is not a small undertaking by any means. There are quite a few factors that will dictate whether you will find entrepreneurship stressful. Don't let the Rock fool you. He came from humble times too. It's not about what success looks like now; the real reward is what it builds in the future. It's like what Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income says, “It’s about working hard now, so you can reap the benefits later.”
How do I not lose my marbles and stress out when I start my own business?
The hard part is making sure all of your ducks are in line before you start offering products or services. Starting a business takes a lot of work in the front end. You’ll start to think that you’ll never get anything launched. It’s like how that joke goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
1. Make a plan
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” –Benjamin Franklin
There is no reason to recreate the wheel. Yes, you might have the most innovative trinket on the market, but without a plan, you are setting yourself up for failure. Also, it will help relieve any headaches you will have in the future.
Include protecting yourself from hackers, fraudulent sites, and trolls right off the bat. They could cause you stress down the line by creating unnecessary chaos. Learn to back up your backups. Finally, come up with a plan if you are a success and start to grow. Scaling in your business when you get too big too fast can cause you to feel like your head is spinning. By knowing your path ahead, you'll be thanking your past self for being so smart by putting your plan together.
2. It's okay to say "No."
It’s easy to get carried away with all the opportunities that present themselves at the beginning of your venture. I mean, it’s hard to say no to all of the freebies entrepreneurs get right off the bat. There’s free trials, conferences, marketing experts, and so much more. There are tons of business owners who will knock on your door to get a piece of the pie.
Here’s the secret. You don’t have to do everything. Yes, you can say no. It’s okay. Try it now…
How did that feel?
When you start your business, especially when it is successful, your phone will start ringing off the hook. You have to do what is right for your business. If you ever get stuck, look at your original plan and ask whether the opportunity is in line with your overall vision. If it isn’t, don’t fret, you will survive. There will always be another party, outing, festival, or another business event.
3. Take a break
Whoever said that humans could work eight hours straight without a break is a crazy person. Developers of the Pomodoro Method conclude that the human brain is most productive when it works for 52 minutes straight with a 17-minute break. Your business is not finals week while you were in undergrad. Those late night sessions of studying were rarely productive. They got you through the exam but how much calculus do you remember anyway?
If you feel stressed out, step away from the task, take a walk, enjoy nature, eat a meal, really anything that will get your mind off of what was stressing you in the first place.
Virtual assistants or VA are all the rage these days. You can get someone to help you from the Philippines who will work while you sleep. Tim Ferris talks about in his book The Four Hour Workweek how he uses all kinds of methods including a VA to delegate administrative tasks like answering emails.
You can set spending limits for your staff or rate problems, so they know when your decision-making abilities are not needed. By giving the tasks to someone else, you can focus on what you love about your business, not the mundane administrative paperwork.
5. The Miracle Morning
By starting off your morning on the right foot will help relieve stress throughout your day. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod talks about beginning your day an hour earlier to do some tasks that will ease your mind which includes meditating, journaling, and fitting out a small workout.
There’s something about doing something for yourself that helps keep your mind off of the stressors of the day. By getting into focus first thing in the morning, you are likely to concur everything else and stress is left on the back burner.
The hard part of starting a business is in the little details it takes for it to be a success. The easy part is doing what you love. If your passion is embedded in your endeavor, it will bring you lots of joy, even when you're stressed.
For more information on how to get started in your entrepreneurial dream, contact the team at 10twelve. They will put you on a path towards success.