The Rocky Road of Entrepreneurship

Linda Sage

If only you could have been with me at 9.30 am on the 22nd September, 2005, in sunny  Rojales, on the Costa Blanca, in  Spain.  In an enormous glass fronted, sleek notary office, which had a huge walnut desk that you could see your refection in, was placed across the top wall, two oversized, black leather, swivel chairs strategically positioned by each corner of the desk.  A white cardboard file was placed on the table, with many pieces of crisp official looking paper, blue stamps in all of the top right hand corners, and a place for two signatures at the bottom of every sheet.   Lifting the heavy designer pen, my fingers were shaking, that day was to change all of our lives.

Walking out of that elite office, knees a little wobbly and excitement bubbling in my belly, here I was an entrepreneur.    I soon learnt that as an entrepreneur   you need a million skills across a wide spectrum of work fields, no wonder as an entrepreneur you feel like you are on a perpetual hamster wheel, or treading water, just to stay in the same place.   The ever constant demands on your time needs super -man or woman, to be with you.

Every hour of every day, being bombarded with, offers, experts and must have services, even trying to pick people to trust is like passing a psychology degree in human behavior.  Within a month, the bank balance was rapidly decreasing and client list 0, amazingly all these people with wonderful offers, experts and must have services stop answering your emails or returning your calls.  A hard bumpy ground with many pot holes seems to be stretching into the horizon.

The fire of excitement you feel of not having to have a boss, getting up and working when and where you want seems to dim as the invoices, bills and mortgage payments still drop onto the door mat with unnerving frequency. There never seems to be enough time or money; there even seems to be less of both than when you were employed.  This dream of doing what you wanted and making your passion into a real business gets more of a struggle every day.  You knew that choosing to be an entrepreneur was not an easy choice, but neither did you think is was going to be so hard.

There are many people making a lot of money out there, there are some “miracles” that bring money rolling in as by magic, but on the whole, there are not.  Somewhere in the sign up spiel in very small print the message that over 95% of entrepreneurs, fail ; but of course you are not going to be one of them.

I too listened to “friends” you need a website, I know somebody, you need Google Ads, somebody else knows somebody,   local advertising, one knows just the person….. and on it goes.  Throwing money into a bottomless pit, and losing several friendships along the way.  Even up-line sponsors, bullying you into making purchases for their needs and not anything to do with yours, though they do not package it that way!

By the end of each 18 hour  day, 7 day week,  you are exhausted, your mind in a whiz listening to so much conflicting information, your health and very often your close relationships in tatters.   You are not alone, there are millions of us out there.  Most successful entrepreneur has had more than one business attempt before being successful.   Of course there are small successes along the way, but all in all, the big one can be elusive.

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”                Bill Gates

There are millions of course and thousands of mentors, coaches, trainers etc, but anyone considering entrepreneurship or already in it but needing to step it up to actually making the extra 000s  there are some golden rules.  By far the most important, is get a mentor:  not just your up line/sponsor in a network marketing company, one that has your interest and goals as their first consideration.  Make it a person who has been where you are, succeeded where you want to succeed.  When starting out you many see this as an unnecessary expense, but overall it will save you, time, money and a lot of heartache.   Entrepreneur magazine did a survey over five years and found that 68% of entrepreneurs who had mentors, succeeded. That is a huge bonus.

If you do not start with a one-to-one session, join their communities, read their books, listen to their CDs and casts, get on their mailing lists and an enormous amount of information is send out as freebies.  Keep yourself accountable for every stage of your progress.  If they have workshops/trainings or presentations, make it part of your development plan to get there.

Working as an entrepreneur can be very lonely, being isolated and lead to a lot of time being wasted as we get side tracked onto all sorts of things, so time management is your second huge must, doing each part of your business on a regular basis in  required.  To get your brand out there, you have to be in regular contact with others.  Nobody builds a business alone, treading the boards, networking and finding likeminded people, means it is much easier to keep your dream alive; mixing with naysayers and negative people makes you task even harder.  Like trying to climb Everest with an elephant on your back.

Developing yourself is just as important as developing you idea/passion into a business, there maybe a thousand underwater basket weavers out there, but what makes people want to work with, buy from and support one in particular,  the person you are and how you do business.   “Make yourself into the person others want to do business with, then success will follow.” Patricia Fripp

Your passion is not enough to sustain you through the rocky road of entrepreneurship   alone, getting others around you to help you is a sure step to success.

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