What do you find is often the most difficult part of being a new entrepreneur? How do you overcome that obstacle?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Balancing Tasks
My biggest hurdle as a new entrepreneur was balancing all of the tasks I had to complete each day. I did most of the managing across our teams alone. I believe it’s possible to overcome that obstacle by slowly training your top performers into manager roles. Give each person an extra responsibility or two every week and, eventually, they will be ready to step into the role.
2. Marketing the Business Yourself
Although you might have a very good idea, there is still the challenge of making the business go from nonexistent to known. Most of us start with a fairly low budget, so we have to promote our business ourselves without the necessary experience or knowledge. I overcame this obstacle by researching and analyzing successful strategies that could fit my business.
3. Facing Financial Instability
The biggest obstacle every new entrepreneur has to face is financial instability. So I think it’s a good idea not to quit your job until your business gains some traction. But, if you can’t balance your job and startup side by side, make sure to have a backup plan for every action. It’s also wise to set aside an emergency fund that you can access in times of crisis.
4. Being Your Own Boss
The hardest part is not having a boss, set schedule or game plan. I hired a business coach and that way I felt accountable to a quasi boss who gave me deadlines and a general road map for marketing and visibility. I ended up finding my flow through trial and error and realized the type of profession I was in required normal business hours. Do it good, make it better.
5. Feeling Constant Uncertainty
The biggest hurdle I had to face as a new entrepreneur was the constant uncertainty that always lingered around the corner. You aren’t sure if the market research is accurate, if your marketing strategies will work, if you’ll be able to meet your goals in a timely way, etc. But the best way to overcome it is to embrace it with open arms. Accept the fact that there’s no reward without risks.
6. Adapting Ideas
Being able to make changes at an instant when your data shows you’ve been doing the wrong thing is a task that anyone would find difficult. Entrepreneurs become attached to their ideas or fall into the trap of the sunk cost fallacy. But the sooner you can let go of strategies and elements that don’t work, the faster you’ll grow your business.
7. Feeling Lonely
When you first start out as an entrepreneur, you might face loneliness that keeps you to yourself for many hours at a time. Running a new business requires a lot of energy and time, so you’ll have less of it to spend with friends, family and loved ones. It’s important to prepare yourself for the lifestyle of an entrepreneur so you’re mentally and emotionally prepared for the task.
8. Managing Your Time
When you first become an entrepreneur, time is both your friend and your enemy. It is imperative to learn how to prioritize while managing yourself, your team and your organization. Figure out which time management techniques work for you. Once you find your personal recipe for success, stick with it. Carving out time for everything is hard, but it’s integral to a startup’s future success.
9. Reaching Your Target Audience
The most difficult part of being a new entrepreneur is trying to figure out how to reach your target audience. If you’re starting your journey with nothing but a product, you have a long road ahead of you. Spend time seeking out your audience on social media and competitors’ websites. Learn about the goals and pain points of your future prospects and create content that aligns with their needs.
10. Finding Work-Life Balance
The most challenging part of being a new entrepreneur is finding the perfect work-life balance. Many new entrepreneurs think they have to work 60 hours every week if they want to find success. You have to learn to pace yourself and spend time away from the office to keep your momentum going and avoid burnout.