Speak to successful entrepreneurs and startup founders about their path to profits, and you’ll likely hear honest stories about how they overcame challenges to build thriving companies. Few entrepreneurs start as industry icons; most needed to force themselves to overcome obstacles as they built their enterprises. The same holds for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Growth as an entrepreneur is an ongoing undertaking for those wanting to enjoy the spoils of business success. If you long to build a thriving company, the following are ten ways to challenge yourself as an entrepreneur on your journey to jubilation.
1) If you want to learn how to challenge yourself as an entrepreneur, start working on your frustration responses. Make it your mission to learn how to react differently to business frustrations that can temporarily derail your progress as a business builder. When you are attempting to build a thriving company as an entrepreneur, you can’t afford to lose valuable time to anger. Start developing strategies to change how you react to aggravations, and you will find you become a better entrepreneur as a result.
2) Another excellent way to challenge yourself as an entrepreneur is to make a list of business development tasks that frighten you. When you are afraid to take on business growth tasks like public speaking or investor emailing, you lessen your chances of entrepreneurial success. Make a list of business development tasks you are wary of and then set specific goals to overcome those obstacles. The more often you willingly overcome that which scares you, the less frightening those obstacles become.
3) Becoming a better leader as an entrepreneur is an excellent way to challenge yourself as a business builder. Understand which leadership skills you lack, push through your initial discomfort, and focus on improving one specific ability each month. In his book Thinking for a Change, John C. Maxwell connects the intentional process that unites thoughts and action: “If at first you don’t succeed—think—then try again.”
If you’re interested in additional support, consider participating in a program, such as the John Maxwell Team Certification program, to take your leadership skills to the next level. Review your progress after a month to see if you have improved your entrepreneurial management skills.
4) If you want to grow as an entrepreneur, you must try new tasks. Pay attention to trends happening within the business development and marketing sectors. When you spot new trends, you can apply to your business, challenge yourself to implement these new market outreach opportunities. By forcing yourself to try new business growth tactics as an entrepreneur, you become a more versatile business builder in the process.
5) Negativity can be a constant challenge to overcome as an entrepreneur. You can have naysayers tell you your business won’t amount to much. Your inner voice can cause you to question your path as an entrepreneur. If you want to learn how to challenge yourself as you grow your company, start learning negativity-banishing habits. Develop coping mechanisms to reduce negative thought patterns and create a list of positive verbal responses to those who might question your judgment as an entrepreneur.
6) Diversity (or the lack thereof) is a common problem in startup and entrepreneurial circles. If you want to add more challenges to your entrepreneurial career, consider tackling diversity head-on in your business. Associate with more women in business. Develop strategies to hire more minorities. You will be amazed at the trajectory your company will take when you make a commitment to diversity as an entrepreneur.
7) Physical fitness and optimized health is another way you can challenge yourself as an entrepreneur. Make weekly and monthly plans to improve your physical and mental health. Focus on eating healthier foods, working out more often, and taking time to decompress mentally from the challenges of growing a business. Not only will you be healthier as an entrepreneur, but your renewed vigor will allow you to put more energy into building your company.
8) Procrastination can be a common problem for entrepreneurs. You can hesitate when it comes to contacting angel investors. You can put off product development advances you know are necessary. Even growing your team can cause you to procrastinate because you hate the entire hiring process of filtering resumes, interviewing, and background checking. Develop strategies to spot procrastination, stop it in its tracks, and reduce the amount of time you waste avoiding unpleasant tasks.
9) Self-discipline is another common issue for some entrepreneurs. You can be the type of person who instantly follows their impulses, instead of making calculated business decisions. When you commit to becoming more disciplined as an entrepreneur, you gradually learn to trust your instincts more and have confidence in your judgment. Understand your lack-of-discipline issues, learn how to spot the warning signs, and develop strategies to overcome your impulses that can lead you off course.
10) Negotiating can be tough for many entrepreneurs. You might not like negotiating with potential new hires for your business. You could be afraid of negotiating with investors wanting to fund your startup in return for a percentage of ownership in your company. Regardless of which type of negotiation you avoid, learning how to overcome your avoidance issues is crucial for long-term growth as an entrepreneur. Anything from mock negotiations to speaking in front of a mirror can help you get used to negotiating and will make you more comfortable.
Work on these ten ways to challenge yourself as an entrepreneur and chances are good your success rate as a business builder will increase. Becoming a stronger entrepreneur takes work, but the results are most definitely worth the effort and determination.