Running a startup has become a very popular idea these days. In the last decade, the term ‘entrepreneurship’ has become one the “cool” fads for people to talk about and it has most definitely sold a lot of lies. Being a startup founder and entrepreneur is tough, whether you’re in the Silicon Valley or in some small town out of Arkansas.
Success in business and specifically in the competitive tech startup marketplace is a mental battle. With so many things going against you, you have to stay positive and maintain and attitude that will allow you to charge forward at all costs. Here are 5 mindsets that all startup founders must embrace:
1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Winning in business is not about the short term. Year 1 results do no matter, nor do years 2 or 3. What’s important is that the company is growing and making progress each and every day. Successful startup founders go in with the mindset that amazing things are not going to happen quickly. It takes work, it takes patience and most of all it takes persistence.
If Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had been in the game for just a quick sprint, think about how different our world would be. How about Thomas Edison? Would our world still lack electricity if he had only planned on trying 3-4 times, instead of 10,000 times? Something to think about as you build a business and are hustling everyday.
2. I can’t do it by myself
A big problem that many solo entrepreneurs have including myself, is that they feel they can do everything them self. Why would they bother paying someone or spending the time looking for partners if they can quickly and easily do it themselves?
The reason is because 1) You don’t have time to do everything yourself if you expect to build a big business. Eventually, you have to leverage other people’s time and 2) You’re not good at very many things.
What I mean by that second item, is that you probably only have a select few strengths, and it takes more than that to run a business. There are a lot of moving pieces to a startup and the sooner you can find experts and competent people to handle certain aspects of the company, the less mistakes will be made and the more things will grow.
Start thinking of how you can leverage other people’s time to create more revenue and growth.
3. Things change, and adjusting is necessary
Just because you started your company to solve one problem or serve a particular customer, does not mean it will always be that way. In today’s world, things are changing so rapidly that you have constantly be in audit mode. You have to look at the market and see what’s happening on a consistent basis and then adjust accordingly.
For instance, one of my first projects was helping businesses market themselves on Twitter. While this is still a need in the online marketing world, things have changed and it has forced me to adapt into other platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram marketing. Now I help businesses with multiple forms of online marketing and it has allowed me to take on bigger clients than I was able to before.
4. The customer is always right
This is one we’ve all heard before, right? Well, as billionaire Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban says, “When you get a customer, they own you!”
How about that for a statement from a billionaire?! This is someone who has all the power in the world and he’s talking about being owned by your customers. If that doesn’t tell you to get your customer service up to speed, I don’t know what will.
5. I have only failed when I stop trying
There are going to be a lot of set backs on your journey as an entrepreneur. Heck, I’ve only been on the journey for a couple years and I feel like I’ve hit every roadblock along the way. But I also know that each time I hit a set back, I had to ask myself, “Is this the end, or is this just a transition?” So far, I’ve hit quite a few transitions but have not dared to say the Q word yet (Quit).
As long as you keep pumping forward you have not failed yet. Take these tips and get started on building your own startup or lifestyle business!