When starting a business, you can expect to experience every emotion, from excitement and anxiety to apprehension and joy. This is understandable. Entrepreneurial ventures aren’t guaranteed to succeed, after all. That’s part of the thrill — and the stress — that you probably know all too well.

If you’ve decided this is your year to take the plunge and start a company from the ground up, I have a suggestion: Go all in. When you immerse yourself 100% into your endeavor, you have a much better shot at seeing positive results. Yes, giving everything you have can be exhausting, but it can be exhilarating and rewarding, too.

As you begin your “all in” journey, try these strategies. They’re designed to help you stay focused and make wise choices along the way.

1. Spending more money to save time can be worth it.

There’s nothing more motivating than a good bootstrapping story. The problem is, you don’t want to bootstrap your next business so much that you skimp on quality. Going bare bones on the wrong items can lead to productivity, marketing, and burnout issues.

Knowing when to invest in tools is a skill that Rachel Klein, CEO of Fire Starter Studios, an award-winning production and animation company focused on storytelling through animation, traditional production, and virtual reality, has found particularly helpful.

“Avoid trying to find the cheapest option for everything,” Klein cautions. “That software I loved and caught onto fast… that camera I really understood and got the exact shots I needed… they might cost more than other options, but if it saves your time and your sanity, you should make the jump. Your time is the most valuable thing you have.”

2. Learn from your obstacles.

When you hit roadblocks, look at them as puzzles. Instead of assuming that you’ve reached an impenetrable wall, try to circumvent that wall with clever solutions. Maybe you just need to think about the problem differently. Perhaps going in a tangential direction makes more sense.

Lowell Aplebaum, CEO of Vista Cova, explains why mental resilience pays off.

“New business ventures are opportunities in innovation,” he says. Aplebaum encourages entrepreneurs to “rapidly learn, improve, evolve and celebrate the many small wins that align with the passion of why you became an entrepreneur in the first place.”

Bottom line: It pays off to take a “test, iterate, and test again” agile-based approach.

3. Expand your network offline and online.

Support is a critical component of staying afloat, especially in the early days of venture-building.

“If you can meet influential people and convince them of your story and what you’re trying to build, they will bring others,” says Laura Pomfret, co-founder of Financielle.

Spend a little time every day building up your network. You don’t need formal mentors in place; just having people to bounce ideas off of can be indispensable. Being able to send a text (and get a reply) or pick up the phone when you need some advice can make all the difference. Just remember to pass on the positivity when you’re in a position to assist another dreamer!

4. Know your “why.”

A final must-do for any entrepreneur is to understand your “why.” What is it that motivates you and keeps you going? What’s the purpose that guides each decision you make for your company?

Constructing a purpose-driven organization won’t just be good for you. It’ll be good for the team that you’re leading. Gartner research shows that the pandemic changed workers’ attitudes toward employment. Today, around two-thirds want to make sure their careers are meaningful. By naming and sharing your North Star, you can attract others who agree.

Keep coming back to your purpose as the years go by. You may want to revise or enhance it as you go.

Even if your fledgling business started as a side gig, now is the time to give it your full attention. Going “all in” is the only way to determine if your organization has what it takes to stay strong. By discerning when to spend money, learning from setbacks, expanding your network, and keeping your mission statement at the forefront of all your decision-making, you are bound to succeed.


  • Brittany Hodak

    Keynote Speaker and Author

    Brittany Hodak is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and customer experience speaker who has delivered keynotes across the globe to organizations including American Express and the United Nations. She has written hundreds of articles for Forbes, Adweek, Success, and other top publications; she has appeared on programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN; and she has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and entertainers, including Walmart, Disney, Katy Perry, and Dolly Parton. She originated the role of Chief Experience Officer at Experience.com, and she founded and scaled an entertainment startup to eight figures before exiting. Entrepreneur magazine calls her “the expert at creating loyal fans for your brand.” Brittany’s debut book, Creating Superfans, will be in stores on January 10, 2023.