For those of you who (very kindly) follow Digital Life…unlimited’s blogs, you’ll know that I recently published the first in the series “Do You Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset?“. I started with the subject “Dress for Success”, which admittedly isn’t one of the usual attributes you’ll find associated with entrepreneurship. But from a personal perspective, and for many other small business owners I know who are making the transition from employee to entrepreneur, feeling and looking like a professional go a long way to placing the mindset in the right zone.
So now to Part 2: Perseverance.
The majority of us delving into the world of entrepreneurship for the first time aren’t natural Mark Zuckerbergs or Richard Bransons. Whilst indisputably inspirational, these business tycoons aren’t always relatable to the “newpreneur“. But without doubt they will have been through exactly the same issues when they got started and throughout their careers (see Richard Branson’s 2013 interview on dealing with set backs). One thing they certainly all have in common is perseverance.
Why is Perseverance a Key Component of an Entrepreneurial Mindset?
Starting and growing a business can be a long, lonely journey. The entrepreneurial road is littered with failures, disappointments and knock backs. Results may not come straightaway. Negativity or scepticism from ex-colleagues, friends or family can quickly knock the struggling entrepreneur off-track. It can be all too easy to throw in the towel. The ability to pick yourself up and go again is probably your most important attribute.
Perseverance goes hand-in-hand with patience. Growing a successful business won’t happen overnight. There’ll be “wobbles”, you’ll start to doubt your decisions and your abilities. The key to growing into your entrepreneurial skin is to keep going. As a toddler entrepreneur myself, not too long ago I had one such wobble. I was putting out great content (or so I believed), I was promoting it massively, but the results just weren’t coming. So I wrote a blog about how to stay on track when it feels like you’re stuck in a deep dark hole. This article attracted quite a lot of attention on social media, thereby increasing traffic to the website. This was just the boost I needed to get my head in the right place. That very same week I made a sale through my affiliate partners and had the highest engagement with my content than ever before.
So how do we adopt the Branson/Jobs/Gates mindset without being intimidated by their success?
What they all have in common is they kept going. And if something wasn’t working they weren’t afraid to try something different. So don’t be afraid to change what you’re doing. If you are constantly hearing “no”, maybe your messaging isn’t doing the job. Look at what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. How would you respond if you were presented with it as a potential customer? Do you stand out in a noisy marketplace? Are you offering value? Are you providing a solution to your potential clients’ needs? Evaluate your offering. And track what you’re doing. Then do more of what’s working and stop doing what isn’t.
(Note of caution: don’t rush this – all marketing takes time to see a return so be patient. Don’t continuously flip from one thing to another, and track track track your results!)
Make sure you take action every day. Have a Daily Method of Operation, so you know what you need to be doing and when. Always do something that is moving you forwards.
Treat every “no” as a “not right now“. Stay engaged with the “no’s”, you may eventually catch them when the timing is right. Be persistent (but don’t harrass, you could easily undo all of your good work if you become a nuisance!).
Find ways to deal with the set backs. For me, I decided to try mindfulness meditation. Adopting simple breathing techniques can make the difference between throwing the phone through the window, and making one more call.
The good news is we don’t have to be a creative genius to succeed as an entrepreneur. By acquiring a few key attributes and the right mindset (ie. stop thinking like an employee), anyone can emerge as an entrepreneur at any stage in life. The only guarantee of failure is if you give up.
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Debbie & Jonathan, Digital Life…unlimited