What To Expect In Your First Year Of Entrepreneurship
What is entrepreneurship is really about?
I was introduced to entrepreneurship just over 2 years ago. Getting into entrepreneurship is one of the best decisions that I've made in my life. The journey of entrepreneurship is such a unique, unbelievable, unpredictable adventure that no one can prepare you for. There will be no book, blog post or course that could ever prepare you for what's to come - but I'm going to try. With this blog post I want to give an unfiltered, raw, honest take on what to expect in your first year of entrepreneurship.
The first year is almost always the toughest. With anything that you're passionate about you want to share it with the people who you love. Unlike getting a job, promotion, or another achievement, where you'll often receive praise and congratulations, entrepreneurship is very different to that. A lot of the time you won't be supported by your family or friends - I wasn't, which is one of the reasons I wanted to start Boss Girls Now to reach out to female entrepreneurs who don't have a network of support and mentors.
Whenever you start something ambitious you need to expect that not everyone will have the same passion, excitement and vision that you have. Growing up as a child I was very lazy and never really stuck to anything. My mother had preconceived conceptions that I was a lazy, unmotivated, talentless child. When I told my mother that I wanted to have my own business, be a boss and become successful, she laughed. She thought that it was just some phase and that I would never amount to anything in my life.
This can sometimes be because your friends and family know you for who you used to be, not for who you want to become. When you say stuff like I want to be a CEO and successful, they have never seen that side to you and they won't believe you are capable of doing that.
One tip for dealing with a lack of support is to surround yourself with positive people who have the same mindset and ambitions as you. This will help keep your morale high when you're setting out on your new journey as an entrepreneur. Different approaches will work for different situations though - do what feels natural to your situation. However, there are some cases, where sharing your journey with your family and friends will be extremely helpful.
One of the most important things to expect in your first year of entrepreneurship is failure. Making mistakes doesn't mean you don't have potential or aren't a good entrepreneur. In fact it could be helpful to not view mistakes negatively at all, but as part of the process that makes an entrepreneur great. Now, when you're first starting out, is the perfect time to make mistakes. Think of F-A-I-L as standing for First Attempt In Learning.
In my first year of entrepreneurship there were so many times I wanted to quit - but looking back now, persevering was the best decision of my life even if I couldn't see that at the time. There were situations where I failed and made many mistakes. Having the strength to not quit is one of the most important first steps and characteristics you'll need to bring yourself closer to success. It's these early challenges that will lay the foundations for you to eventually become the Boss Girl you want to be. Changing your mindset towards failing and making mistakes early is crucial. One of my favourite quotes about failure is "In order to succeed you must be willing to fail."
In schools and education we are taught failing is a bad thing and that we must avoid failing at all costs. When you fail publicly people criticise you and build negative perceptions of you. I believe this makes us scared to fail which results in people not wanting to get out of their comfort zone and try new things due to the fear of failure. However in entrepreneurship trying new things and sometimes failing is vital to building future success. As Mark Zuckerberg said “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… ...in a world that is changing really quickly; the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” This is sometimes referred to as a process of 'trial and error'. You can count on some things going wrong which is why it's important to develop the ability to make decisions quickly, pivot and change direction when needed, while also keeping hold of everything you've learned from past mistakes.
One of the biggest challenges I faced in my first year of entrepreneurship was losing £5000 ($6195) of my personal savings. Soon after my career took a change for the better and I made this back many, many times over. At the time though, I felt so disheartened and discouraged, but I soon realised my dreams were too important for me to give up. You never know when you're a few moments away from your big breakthrough, the most important thing is to keep going so you're always ready to make the most of opportunities when they come your way.
Passion, perseverance and consistency is the combination that will take your potential and turn it into a career. Keep staying consistent, you will get there one day. There will be times when your confidence takes a hit or when your path seems unsure, but people can never take your true dreams, ambition, passion and vision - hang onto this, even at the most challenging times in your career. Nothing you set your mind on is impossible and with dedication you can become a true BossGirl.
There are some final quick tips I want to share. Firstly, make sure you have short-term goals so you know that even if some of your dreams feel far-off you're still achieving important steps towards them every day. Short-term goals keep you focused on what work is truly important too, helping you to manage your productivity and not get lost in tasks that aren't crucial to your plans.
Another tip is not being afraid to reach out for help - eventually we will all need help. It's best to get help with your business before you get yourself into messy situations, which could have been avoided if you'd had people around to help with the things that aren't in your natural skillset. Sometimes this will mean hiring people or paying for freelancers, but this can also mean using the entrepreneurship community to find help. You can get engaged with this community through networking events or through online networking sites like BossGirlsNow and social media (there's even some social media sites especially for networking, something we'll look into in a future post). You'll find that with some problems, people will be willing to help you as they themselves will need that help in the future or will have needed help in the past. That's why you can always write to the BossGirlsNow team with your questions and get a response every time.
Finally stay organised - including keeping notes of everything (especially new ideas you might forget!), making plans and having a calendar. Organisation is often the key to working effectively. Bad organisation can lead to failure, even if the rest of your work is great - it's that important.
Thank you for reading this post and supporting BossGirlsNow. It really means a lot to us. If you need any support, have questions about entrepreneurship or simply just want to say hello you can always email us on email@example.com. Feel free to share this article to anyone who would benefit from reading this at this time in their journey.
I hope you have an amazing and productive day.
Go on girl, do your thing and be the boss. Xx
Life is about making an impact