Most entrepreneurs and business owners start off their ventures with unbridled optimism about the smooth road to success that lay ahead. But soon, they realize that the path ahead is more like an obstacle course than a freshly-laid yellow brick road with flashing neon signs pointing the right way forward. Undoubtedly, there are all kinds of unanticipated hurdles, high jumps and races that challenge even the most committed entrepreneurs. So, here are a few tips to help you jump right on over some common business hurdles.
Striving for perfection.
Often, one of the biggest hurdles that entrepreneurs have to jump over is their own desire for perfection. When starting a new venture or launching a new offering, there is often a temptation to try to achieve perfection before that launch. So much precious time is wasted debating the finer points of the company logo, hemming and hawing over the exact verbiage that will appear on the company website and marketing materials, or even revising the product or service offering infinitely, with no launch in sight. Getting stuck in analysis paralysis means that their feet never end up leaving the starting line.
To overcome this perfectionist desire, set a concrete start time for race day and when that starting gun shoots off, hit the ground running, no matter if your offerings and details have met your “perfect” standards or not. Your launch is just that- the start of the race and a jumping-off point. You can (and should!) evaluate as you run along, making necessary corrections, tweaks and improvements based on your customers’ needs and wants. Change your mindset and you’ll jump this business hurdle like a pro!
Doing it all by yourself.
Another common business hurdle that trips up many entrepreneurs is trying to do everything on their own. Just like you wouldn’t expect the gold medal-winning javelin thrower to also win the triple jump, pole vault and 100 meter dash events, you can’t possibly do it all in your business, either.
To overcome this hurdle, the answer is simple: delegate! Every task that isn’t your strength and doesn’t fall into the big picture of your business, those tasks that focus on generating revenue and growth, should all be delegated out. You can directly hire, outsource or pair up with other businesses to get those tasks done, depending on your budgetary considerations. But, always keep in mind that it is impossible to be the bookkeeper, janitor, marketer, web-developer, copy-editor and sales associate, all while keeping your business on the racetrack towards business success.
Standing in your own way.
Many times, the biggest hurdle that entrepreneurs need to conquer is themselves! They let their own insecurities, fear of failure and self-doubt form hurdles to block their success. This kind of mind-frame can really cause self-sabotage.
The best way to jump over the mind-frame hurdle is through preparation. Most everything seems less intimidating when you have a deeper understanding of it. And with the internet at everyone’s disposal, social media and business blogs, all kinds of business books (I, of course, personally recommend my own book, The Entrepreneur Equation), conferences and networking events where you can get insights and help from others that have ‘been there, done that’, there are so many ways to get whatever information that you need to feel more confident in your business undertakings.
Follow these tips and you’ll be jumping right over those business hurdles with ease!
Thanks to Michael Kawula of Social Quant, Peter Geisheker of The Geisheker Group, Inc, Michelle Garrett of Garrett Public Relations and Louise Hendon of Paleo Living Magazine for the inspiration behind some of these ideas.