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There’s no doubt that the entrepreneur’s life can be deeply fulfilling, exciting, and present just as many benefits as people it imagine it might — ranging from greater income, autonomy from external managers and supervisors, a more flexible schedule, and the ability to chart the course of the business completely, with the power of power of executive decision-making
Of course, this is all the nice stuff about being an entrepreneur, presented without any comment of the work and skills required. Needless to say, the skill sets required for success in any field can be considerable, ranging from a knowledge of commercial real estate investing, to an understanding of the intricacies of medical technologies.
Hard work is also to be considered a given.
So if you’re thinking about embarking on an entrepreneurial life, here are a few things you need know before getting started.
You’re not escaping being bossed around, from now on, you’ll just need to boss yourself around
One of the first and most important lessons to learn if you want to be an entrepreneur, is that you’re not escaping from being bossed around — you’re just taking on the responsibility of bossing yourself around, instead of letting someone else do it.
As a general rule, it’s much more pleasant to boss yourself around than to have someone else to do it for you, but if you’re incapable of effectively managing yourself and your time, you have no realistic prospects of being successful in your chosen endeavour.
For that reason, it’s essential that you either have an excellent handle on your time-management, habit-management, and self-discipline before embarking on your entrepreneurial career, or else develop those skills in a hurry once you get started.
Failure is part of the game; it’s resilience and openness to learning from your failures that will see you through in the end
Even the greatest and most successful figures in business have failed at various endeavours — Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, has had at least 15 failed businesses — and you, as an entrepreneur, are bound to experience your fair share of failure and disappointment to.
Understanding that this is part of the deal with entrepreneurship is essential, because it allows you to grasp another truth; success is a matter of resilience and openness to learning from your past mistakes. It’s not a matter of never failing.
It’s entirely possible that your whole business will fold and that you’ll need to start again, or if not, that you’ll have many mini-failures along the way. Take them all as data points and learning experiences, dust yourself off, and go at it again.
Any personality flaws will be magnified dramatically, so you’d best deal with them
As you are your own boss, and for all intents and purposes, the sole arbiter of how you spend your time as an entrepreneur, your business is, to a large extent, going to mirror your habits and behaviours as an individual.
What this means in practice, is that any personal flaws you might have had, which were less than ideal in an office setting, can be devastating when you’re in the driver’s seat.
If, for example, you were prone to procrastination before, you’re likely to find that your procrastination now flies wildly out of control. Developing self discipline is therefore imperative.
Being your own boss will likely magnify any personality flaws you might have. For that reason, you need to work on constantly developing yourself, to develop your business.