Entrepreneurship isn't as cute as Instagram can make it seem. It's a beautiful journey that can be very demanding, but it's definitely worth it.
I've noticed more recently that there are influencers and entrepreneurs that are shining a little more light on the journey of entrepreneurship no matter how ugly it can get. For years we have seen the highlight reels (and still do), but, as an entrepreneur myself, it's refreshing to see others be more transparent about their experiences as entrepreneurs.
We all know entrepreneurship requires grit and hustle, but sometimes you may not know what it really looks like (or feels like) until it hits you smack dab in the face.
I've been an entrepreneur since I was a child, and, more officially, since I was in college. I quit my corporate job in 2017 to pursue full-time entrepreneurship, and I've grown a strong community of peers who are entrepreneurs, founders, and CEOs since.
I currently spend my days as an entrepreneur helping women turn their ideas into profitable businesses. It's safe to say that my world is filled with entrepreneurs everywhere.
Here's what I've learned are 7 essential characteristics entrepreneurs need to succeed.
Other than avoiding time in jail, there are so many reasons why integrity is essential for your entrepreneurial success. Integrity builds trust, and trust helps you develop solid relationships with your customers, team, and partners. Do what you say you're going to do even if nobody is watching.
Entrepreneurship requires investments of time and resources. You have to learn to be disciplined with your time, resources, finances, and energy. Especially if you're a side-hustler, you may spend many late nights and early mornings working to make your vision come to life and keep your clients happy. This is where the cuteness of entrepreneurship may start to fade.
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When starting a business, things don't always work out the way you expect them to. If something goes wrong, you have to figure out how to fix it. You have to also be ready to recover from unexpected moments that may happen. It's important to stay ready, but mishaps are inevitable, and you need to be prepared to bounce back as necessary.
Also, you will hear "no" often. Not everyone will want to partner with you. Not everyone will want to sponsor you. Not everyone will want to invest in your business. Not everyone will want to work for you. Not everyone will love the content, products, or services you create. That's normal. You have to learn how to bounce back from those moments and not take any "no" too personal.
I personally believe nothing is possible without faith. Entrepreneurship is not possible if you don't believe you can achieve what you set out to do. Having a business requires you to make risky moves so you can receive the desired reward. You have to be crazy enough to believe that even the most ridiculous things you desire to do are possible. You have to believe there are resources and customers that exist for you to achieve what you desire to achieve with your business.
Your feelings have to get out of the way if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. Don't get so caught up in being right that you don't ever have the ability to slow down and listen to criticism and feedback. Humility is key when building a business because without it you'll never be able to adapt to the needs of your most valuable customers.
You have to listen to your customers and be willing to change and make iterations. You never want to get so stuck on an idea that you're unable to make adjustments that improve your products and services. As a leader and entrepreneur, you set an example for your team, so it's important to be flexible when needed.
Entrepreneurs are nothing more than problem solvers. To solve the world's most complex problems, you have to keep an open mind and think critically. The most impressive entrepreneurs are the ones who are able to solve the most complex problems with the simplest solutions.
So what's my point?
If you're considering entrepreneurship, you'll need to have a beautiful mix of grit and grace. Stay humble, work hard, and it will all be worth it in the end.