April 20, 2015

The Entrepreneurs' Challenge: Yourself

Your Number One Challenge as an Entrepreneur is You.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur, as I have learned is just as much about having solid business strategy as it is being able to manage your own emotional state.

The daily ups and downs of entrepreneurship never seem to go away. A common example in online retail is the ebb and flow of retail sales. 

Do you ever wonder if THAT one sale was your last sale?

If you do, you are NOT alone.

Though my fashion line is doing extremely well, I still must manage the daily emotions that come with 4 figure sales days, followed by no sales. Keep in mind, this may happen with similar traffic levels, just one not converting as well as the other. 

This is normal. 

Some days you may just have the highest quality traffic that loves + must have your products.

The next day, they may hum and haw over price, or other features + fill up your customer service inbox with questions.

What I believe defines a successful entrepreneur is the ability to deal flawlessly with the rise and fall of the tide of business. 

If everything is smooth sailing in your business -- great but realistically, this won't be the case. 

According to Bloomberg, about 80% of businesses 'fail' within the first 18 months. It is common for many entrepreneurs, including ones who are unabashedly successful today to fail with multiple businesses before hitting it big. Hello, Richard Branson.

So, how do you overcome the insecurities and constant ups and downs of being an entrepreneur?

My answer is balance. 

While this manifests itself in a different way for every entrepreneur, for me, it's been about finding the time to make space for self-care and utilizing the 'down times' for strategizing.

This means loads of vacations/travel, taking breaks, working out, and trying to limit my work hours to reasonable levels.

It also means breathing through those difficult sales days/weeks/months and using that downtime in sales to plan and strategize as to how you can be better/different/smarter next time around.

And if the stress is financial, perhaps taking the weight off your shoulders by having a 'bridge job' may be a solution. I worked for 18 months full-time while starting my fashion line which reduced the heaviness of investing in thousands of dollars of inventory.

Another alternative is to reduce your expenses by making different choices -- this may include selling a home or moving into a lower rent apartment, selling your car, or shopping less. 

Entrepreneurship to some extent will require sacrifice, but trust me, if you're on the right path in the end it will be worth it.

What do you do to move past your own fears?

Leave it in the comments below!

Wishing you much abundance + retail bliss,

Principal Retail Consultant/Founder