When you make the decision to step out of familiar waters and become an entrepreneur, you’re pretty familiar with the risks you’re taking and the amount of hard work ahead. Your passion, drive, and determination to succeed have brought you to make this important decision in the first place – and you count on them to also help you brave the coming storms.
You know your business. You’ve researched the market. You know the importance of setting goals, having a sound strategy at hand, and hiring the right people.
But there is one crucial factor to success that’s all too easy to overlook: you.
You’ll inevitably face personal challenges that come with the responsibility as a leader – challenges which will not only reflect on you internally but on your staff and the entire business as well. It’s important to understand how your mindset, behavior, and communication skills affect your business and how they could pose an obstacle without you truly realizing it. We’re hoping to shine a light on that with this post, so read on.
You have a new role in your life – in fact, you’re probably taking on several different roles within the company – and it’s undoubtedly consuming plenty of your time and energy. Your job has become much more personal. You’ll be immersed in it one way or another, but tread carefully. With all the sacrifices and passionate work, entrepreneurs often experience somewhat of an identity crisis, where you begin to measure your worth by the success of your company.
Needless to say, when things aren’t going well, this will take a huge toll on your wellbeing and your personal relationships. But even if things are going great, it’s not healthy to equate yourself to your company.
You might be an entrepreneur now, but you’re a person, first and foremost, and the ideas you have stem from your unique personality and values. Losing sight of that fact will leave you without the authenticity and creativity that got you on this journey in the first place, not to mention the effect it will have on your personal relationships. The best way to combat the entrepreneur identity crisis and the stress it imposes, aside from self-awareness and spending quality time with the people you love, is to pursue hobbies and interests that speak to you as a person. They’ll make you better at entrepreneurship too.
Digital marketing is something a company absolutely can’t do without nowadays, and this is something you’ll need to deal with in the very first stages of your business. Considering that you most likely don’t have the resources for a serious in-house team, you’ll need to hire professionals to design your website, craft the logo, and implement an integrated marketing campaign.
This means that you’ll be working with a number of experts beyond your staff, and chances are, you’ll know very little about the work they do. Keep that in mind, because it’s crucial to establishing a successful communication with them. Nobody likes a client who thinks they know the job better – plus you could end up steering the project in an awfully wrong direction.
In order to be able to communicate effectively, it would help a lot if you do some research beforehand. You can use platforms such as DesignRush to filter searches of top digital agencies, where you can sift through portfolios and gain more insight about the work they do. This way, when you meet with an expert to discuss the project at hand, you’ll have more understanding of what needs to be done and you’ll know which questions to ask them. It also helps to compare agencies so you can know your options, find the style you like, and discuss budgeting accordingly.
And here is the best tip to establishing successful communication when outsourcing: make it clear that you’re the expert in your field, and they’re the expert in theirs. That mutual understanding and respect will open the doors to a fruitful collaboration.
You need to hire the right people to help you on this journey, but what happens once they’re on board? Amidst all the frenzy and numerous responsibilities, company culture is too often overlooked. But you are at the core of it, and it’s your job to build a culture of integrity, trust, and respect. This is something that many entrepreneurs have trouble with because they become overprotective of their business. It’s a recipe for disintegration.
Encourage discussions and teamwork, give each employee a voice, and make it clear that you are all working toward a common goal. Most importantly, lead by example. The best employees are those who feel appreciated and trusted. If you don’t show trust in delegating tasks, they won’t be motivated to do them to the best of their ability either.
But there’s another reason why building a team culture and a respectful relationship with your employees is important: they will be the ones to help you overcome obstacles of a more personal nature. Your little workplace community will be your safety net which will help you cope with insecurities, failures, and stress.
Entrepreneurship comes with many ups and downs, and there’s so much more to it than business strategy. Not only are your choices and skills at the center of the company, but the job itself reflects on you too. That makes it all the more important to always be seeking personal growth, establish trust with your employees, and learn the intricacies of communication. Keep these three points in mind and do a little bit of introspection every now and then – it makes it so much easier to handle both failure and success.