By Ryan Velez
The path of an entrepreneur often has many wonderful results, if things go your way. This often requires a specific combination of luck, preparation, and hard work, but even the most successful entrepreneurs often have to deal with plans going awry. Managing your stress will be key to keeping yourself effective (and sane), but managing to learn from these stressful moments is important as well. A recent Black Enterprise article covers some of the ways you can twist discomfort to your advantage.
For one, you need to understand that business has an inherent component of trial and error. Research and the knowledge of others are key to helping you make measured moves in this area, but many times, you can spend months or even years working on a product or service, only to have it flop. To help, try not to dwell on your failure besides using it to figure out where you can improve. Learn and move quickly, as a failed launch doesn’t mean a failed business.
In those early days, it will often feel like your passion for the field of business or your product or service will be the only fuel you have, especially when the money isn’t coming in yet. Not balancing zeal with number knowledge has been the downfall of many new businesses, so be sure to keep a proper understanding of the economics that keep you going. Examples include knowing what it takes to acquire a new customer to understanding how much you need to sell each day to meet your yearly business goals. Part of knowing this enables you to see potential issues as your business gets started, rather than only noticing them when it is too late.
Another thing to realize is that entrepreneurship is not an area for the thin-skinned. In fact, you need to be ready to hear and incorporate feedback, no matter how brutal. This can come from your customers, employees, partners, mentors, and just about anyone else who has a perspective to offer. Feedback is key to helping you refine what you offer, so don’t only be ready to listen, but try to solicit feedback. Customer surveys are a good place to start, but sometimes, the best thing you can do is just ask someone’s quick opinion.