Mark Twain, the famous father of American literature, once wrote: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
As much as this is advice for living well, it’s also a great adage for aspiring entrepreneurs. This is especially true in today’s uncertain economic outlook, as businesses continue to fail due to pandemic-related concerns and erratic consumer shopping behavior. As job markets and supply chains continue to fluctuate, we’ve all been given the opportunity to step back and question: “What is it that I really want to do? How do I throw off the bowlines and use this opportunity to pursue the career of my dreams?”
With that in mind, consider these tips that have been suggested by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs as 2022 approaches.
1. Do Work You Care About
Running a business requires much time and energy. If you don’t care about the work you’re doing or find some kind of personal value in it beyond financial compensation, you’re likely to burn out quickly as an entrepreneur. According to Inc.com, Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
2. Carefully Research Small Business Loans
Small business loans, especially loans for businesses with no credit, should be carefully considered and thoroughly researched. Any type of small business loan or cash advance you take out will affect your financial bottom line as your business grows, so be sure to weigh the cost of loan interest versus what purchases will be required to get your business off the ground.
Also, when applying for small business financing, keep in mind the “Six C’s of Credit” as discussed in Entrepreneur magazine: Character, capacity, conditions, collateral, credibility, and contingency plan.
3. Believe in Yourself
In the same sense that having a passion for your work ignites success, believing in yourself and keeping a positive attitude about your abilities will be integral to your business’s growth. All entrepreneurs face challenges that make them question their choices to start a business but allowing those obstacles to cause self-doubt will only make the struggle that much more difficult. Stay confident, stay focused, and know that you’ve got this!
4. Don’t Listen to Negativity
Negativity is everywhere, especially now. If you let it influence your thoughts and behaviors as an entrepreneur, you’re unlikely to have the inner strength needed to see your business plans through to success. Stay positive and you’ll find greater motivation to achieve your goals.
5. Hire Based on Character
Finally, it’s important to choose the right people to bring on board with you, since your company’s reputation will always be based on the personal interactions your customers have. When you hire, focus on the person’s character as much as their skills, knowing that character will often play a more important role than expertise when customer service issues arise.