Ask any successful entrepreneur how they have built a booming business, and they will invariably say the trick is to persevere and never give up.
It can be a long, hard climb to success when you choose this career path, but the rewards can hugely outshine the drawbacks. In fact, making a go of your entrepreneurial venture could sometimes feel like scaling the north face of the Eiger, but you know you must keep going, despite the pitfalls, because it will be worth it when you reach the top.
So, what do you do to overcome the temptation to throw in the towel, when times get tough? We look at some top tips to help you persevere…
1. Take it one step at a time
If the steep climb to success seems daunting, make it easier on yourself by taking it one step at a time and setting yourself daily, weekly and monthly goals to achieve. Goal-setting and having a plan to follow helps you stay focused when times get tough.
The key is consistency and commitment each day.
Having a plan and sticking to it, provides a road map for how to reach your ultimate target – a little like keeping your eyes on the horizon where your dream destination lies but not forgetting to watch each step you take to get you there. In fact, focusing on the present moment and what you’re doing now to achieve your goals works wonders for your morale, motivation and chances of success.
For example, what are you going to do TODAY to take you closer to your dreams – speak to 5, 10 or 15 new people to promote your business and follow up on promising sales prospects? This much you can control, even if your dreams sometimes seem elusive, and you will get there in the end if you just stick with your plan.
2. Don’t let failure floor you
Although you’re aiming for success, if you’re serious about excelling as an entrepreneur, you can’t let failure floor you. In fact, some of the most successful entrepreneurs have embraced failure, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and gone on to phenomenal success.
It’s worth remembering this when times are tough and not seeing any initial failures as final. It may take a few goes but, like them, you could strike gold on the second, third, or even hundredth attempt – if you give up, you’ll never know just how close you came to your goal!
So, let ‘try, try and try again’ be your motto.
Of course, you need to learn from any failures you encounter – there’s no sense in doing exactly the same thing over and over and over again and expecting the outcome to be different! However, the trick is to take time to analyse what went wrong, draw up a plan of how to do it differently next time and be sure to keep your spirits up.
Everyone experiences adversity along the way, but only the top achievers accept that this is just a rite of passage on the road to success.
3. Keep your spirits high
So, finding ways to keep your spirits high should be an important part of your game plan, as staying positive can be easier said than done. No matter how determined you are, there are bound to be times when your resolve will waiver. But, believe it or not, success is a frame of mind and you can control this with savvy strategies. For example, boost your morale by reminding yourself of just how far you’ve come.
While your goals might seem miles away, you may be surprised by the small wins you have already achieved if you just take stock.
Surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people can also keep your spirits high. The world may be full of naysayers, but with the support of people who believe in you, such as a business mentor, it is easier to dismiss their negativity. In fact, it also pays to boost your confidence and one sure-fire way to do this is to strengthen your entrepreneurial skills with some training.
Short, online courses, such as those offered by entrepreneurial training organisation LEO, are a great way to do this as they fit in well around your work and can really give you the edge to excel in the competitive world of business.
4. Think long term
It is important that you think in the long term – overnight success is a myth! If you expect to achieve great things instantly, you will just be piling on the pressure and become disheartened.
You may hear about entrepreneurs who have supposedly achieved overnight success, but chances are this is just PR spin going into overdrive. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of comparing yourself with those who have struck it big in the business world and believing you don’t measure up. In all likelihood, they will have had to struggle to reach the summit, just like everyone else, not have had it handed to them on a plate.
So, keep your expectations realistic, and while ambition can help you plough ahead, celebrate each little win, such as achieving your monthly sales target, and be careful not to lose touch with reality. Incremental progress is the name of the game – just plant the seeds of success every day and with patience and persistence you will see them bloom in time.
5. Go the extra mile
Ultimately, if you’re tempted to surrender and give up on being an entrepreneur, it’s worth reminding yourself of why you chose to do this in the first place, and what you would be going back to if you threw in the towel. This may sound like a scare tactic, but chances are you might have lost sight of what being an entrepreneur means to you.
Success could bring freedom to shape your own future and the luxury of doing what you love for a living, instead of being a wage slave. So, it really is worth persevering and going the extra mile to succeed.
No one ever said being an entrepreneur would be easy, and it could mean putting in long hours and doing things which take you outside your comfort zone to propel your business forward. For example, promoting your business well could fast-track you to success but does not come naturally to many, and networking is an essential part of advancing your business, but fills some with dread. However, conquering your fears and putting such techniques into practice will be more than worth it when you see your business boom.
So, if you’re considering waving the white flag and calling it a day as an entrepreneur, try putting some of these strategies into play to bring you back from the brink. And, above all else, repeat this mantra daily, ‘never, never, never give up!’