Starting up a business is not as easy as most people think. It takes more than just capital, a willing heart, and a ready market to get the idea off the ground. Along the way, countless challenges and hardships will try to chock you off the course. To get to the point where your business is successful, you need consistent learning from people who have already made it. No wonder 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies say that mentoring in the business landscape is essential. Nevertheless, you should identify only with the people who matter to serve as mentors. I guess that’s why they say who you know is as important as what you know.
One of my most excellent business mentors, Amber Morningstar, is a real force to reckon with when it comes to the world of business lessons. She is a perfect example of not being overcome with fear, and why we should leverage it for the opportunity it provides us to take risks and possibly benefit from the outcome. Morningstar risked a good job to venture into entrepreneurship, but during her first year in business, she was able to scale her company to multiple six figures. I sat down with her to talk about her shift from grinding endless hours in a corporate cubicle to riding the freedom of entrepreneurship and gathered the following crucial business lessons.
You Begin Growing When You Begin Taking Risks
Morningstar started her journey as an employee at a retail accessory store, where she had to sacrifice her time to ensure the poorly performing store, was performing better. Sacrificing her time often meant that she had to work six days a week. With the store being short staffed, she had to go the extra mile to get work done. As the manager of that store, she was able to build an amazing, hard-working team of solid women who helped her take the store to the #1 performing location in less than eight months. In spite of the success she was having at the store, Morningstar was determined to take her skills to the next level. So she chose to take the risk of joining the corporate department of a third party telecommunication company. The real test of the risk she took was that her income came in 50 percent less than she was earning at the retail store. “This was the first time I got a taste of really growing something that felt like my own,” Morningstar says.
Less than one year later, Morningstar became the founding team member on a corporate project and ended up being promoted to a sales manager position within the company. Thanks to the risk she took, Morningstar grew the company to new heights and then left. At the time of her exit, she had developed the project she was working on to a whopping seven figures. By overcoming the fear of taking risk. Ever since Morningstar has continued to hone her skills helping other businesses grow.
Do Not Give Up; Instead, Learn To Get Comfortable with Unpredictability
Morningstar explains to me how serious taking risks can get while stressing that not giving up and getting comfortable with unpredictability are also crucial in business. With high expectations in her online career, she left her corporate job then later found herself gone into four weeks of selling absolutely nothing. Just like most people out there, she started regretting why she thought she could do things on her own. “I thought my world was over,” she said.
Not being ready to give up, Morningstar thought of giving it another week, where she started considering her old job once again. However, two days later, she sold another client, and that was when her lessons began making sense. She had to get comfortable with unpredictability.
When you find yourself ready to give up, remind yourself the reasons you had thought of starting something up, the number of times you have kept on failing but still trying again, and how passionate you are about it. At times, most entrepreneurs find themselves trying to grow their businesses and forget about themselves. For a business to be successful, one has to work on his/her inner self first. Time for yourself and being able to do little and sometimes great things for yourself helps one to be able to stay focused.
You Are Not Successful Until You are in a Position to Help Others
Helping others so you can be able to help yourself is what Morningstar defines as success. Also, embracing teamwork has contributed a lot in growing her current business. Ideas and support from other entrepreneurs have been a great value to her.
According to her, failure is not her worst fear; complacency is. A stagnant business is not a business; thus, she is always looking for new ways to level herself up and to level her business up at the same time, from whichever sources she gets to learn from and to grow.
Her best advice? “Before quitting a job, calculate your moves wisely.” The chances of one panicking every time things don’t go as expected or as planned are higher than one can imagine. For one to start an online career, “Save up some money, test your offer, and make sure it’s something you can monetize and then make your leap.”