Entrepreneurship can be exciting. It can also be stressful, frustrating and full of challenges. Most entrepreneurs begin with a dream of financial freedom, but often the reality fails to match the expectations. The good news is, the problems you face are common to most–if not all–entrepreneurs. In fact, if you study the lives of successful people, you’ll find that regardless of industry, they encounter the same challenges you face and found a way to overcome them. Their secret? They focused on building specific daily habits.
Achieving Professional Goals
If you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or an aspiring 9-5 escape artist then you may face five challenges that hold you back. They are: 1. In failing to achieve professional goals, 2. Not getting things done, 3. Increasing competition, 4. Poor business relationships and 5. Stress and burnout. Steve and Rebecca show you how to overcome these challenges with 33 success habits.
Start With Market Need
Most entrepreneurs start their business based on passion rather than reason. All though passion may help you stick with the business for the long term. Market demand will ultimately determine your success to determine if your great idea will work it’s best. If you do your market research before investing so much time and money on it. Identify what problems people were having so you can provide a solution. There are countless ways of doing market research but here are a few:
1. Go to buzzsumo.com and search a key word related to your niche to see what’s trending for example, I could search bodybuilding and see exactly what people are talking about around that topic right now.
2. Go to Quora.com and have a look at what questions and problems people have in your industry for example if I was interested in building a business around teaching philosophy I could see what questions people have about philosophy and potentially build a business or product that provides them with a solution.
3. Have a one-on-one conversation with an existing or potential customer asked about the challenges they regularly experience. So you can find out what type of solution would make a difference in their lives.
4. If you already have a small following get into the habit of testing everything you do like subject lines for emails, opt-in forms, package designs and pricing. This way you can see what works and what doesn’t. The bottom line is to listen to people in your target audience. To discover the types of solutions that they need.
A habit to embrace failure that everyone experience failure. Once “Henry Ford” famously quoted “failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. You may have also heard the famous quote by “Thomas Edison” when inventing the world’s first incandescent light bulb he said “I have not failed I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Criticism is the close cousin of failure. Criticism can hurt us and make us want to quit. However successful people see criticism as an opportunity to find out what customers want and use that information to improve for example, Steve the author of this book regularly receives criticism on his books. Customers may leave a negative review saying this book sucks. It was way too long and didn’t get straight to the point. Steve has two options: 1. The first is to either ignore the reviews or retaliate with anger and 2. Thank the readers for their feedback and use it to improve his next books. By getting straight to the point Steve encourages us to try something new on a weekly basis. Even if the odds of success are slim but if it works then great if it doesn’t well now you know that it doesn’t work and you can get feedback on it or try something new to improve your business. He also suggests networking with other entrepreneurs to find out what they’ve done to overcome similar problems. You can do this through online forums or mastermind groups. Lastly on a daily basis affirm that failure is part of the process you could say “I have not failed but I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Steve says this ongoing affirmation is important because even if you accept the need to embrace failure on an intellectual level then it’s still normal to feel upset when you fail.
Identify Hidden Opportunities
Unexpected change in disasters can seem terrible. Successful people respond to setbacks by having a plan to respond to them before they even occur. Steve’s income relies on his book sold through amazon. He understands a risk of being too reliant on one stream of income so to minimize the damage, in case something goes wrong he’s done these three things: 1. Save the large amount of his royalties creating an emergency fund. “An emergency fund is basically a portion of money set aside in case of an emergency or major expense that suddenly arises”. 2. Reinvested some money into other income generating side projects. 3. He has a game plan for making a successful pivot in case amazon makes sudden changes to his income. I’ll now tell you a story of an entrepreneur who identified a hidden opportunity. Dave runs a business publishing books on Amazon .Amazon made changes to the payment system so that Dave would only get paid for the amount of pages that readers read and not just from them buying the book, this meant that Dave’s income dropped. Instead of quitting he tested new ways to increase his income with Amazon’s new payment system. He found a way and then made an online video course. To teach other publishers how they could do the same so with some persistence determination and optimism. Dave found a way to turn a disaster into a blessing.
Provide Value To Customers
Always look for ways to give extra attention to your customers. Even when you’re not expected to do so here’s a real example: the impact of business had on a customer when they were provided with value. Jim went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch, when he got to the register he realized he had left his wallet at home. Jim apologized and told the cashier that he would go home and get his wallet. The cashier told him not to worry about it. The bill was on them. Jim was flattered and now eats there regularly. This is a power of giving value to customers, especially when they’re not expecting it. There are countless other examples like this one in every successful business. Steve offers us two more useful tips: 1. Take action early before issues arise for example Steve makes a point of putting more depth and substance into every book he writes without raising his prices and 2. Look what your competitors do and make a point of doing a better job or offering something that they don’t provide for example if you sold books like Steve maybe you could offer readers a free audiobook with every purchase.
Wake Up Early
Steve shares with us the four benefits of waking up early. Benefit one: work in a distraction-free environment. You’re unlikely to get phone calls early in the morning and most work environments are free from background noise. Benefit two: plan your schedule for the day. Getting up early makes it possible for you to review scheduled appointments and plan other duties before getting sucked into everyone else’s schedule for the day. Benefit three: complete the most important tasks often. These are done best while you’re still fresh regardless of what happens during the day. If you’ve completed your most important tasks before everyone else has woken up, well you’ve already completed the number one priority on your schedule. This can help clear your mind and reduce your stress for the rest of the day. If you’re a night out like myself and Steve thinking that rising early is just for morning people while Steve has some tips for you he used to stay up until 3am and crawl out of bed at 10 a.m. He now gets up between 6.30am and 7.30am and starts his day with a solid block of writing. Here’s how we did it 1. Expose yourself to bright light by opening the shades if the Sun is already up while using a lamp up that simulates the Sun rising in your bedroom. 2. Clean up by washing your face, brushing your teeth or taking a quick shower. 3. Hydrate yourself by drinking at least 8 ounces of water or herbal tea. 4. Having something to eat at breakfast grab fruits, nuts or yogurt that are some suggestions. 5. get your blood moving by doing a quick burst of exercise such as walking up and down your stairs 10 times or doing 25 jumping jacks. 6. Connect with your passion by reading a blog post or watch a video that sparks your interest.
The video is grasped from here.
Also published on Medium.