Pretty much whenever you hear of “entrepreneurship,” it’s presented as a permanently uplifting, awesome, and life-affirming experience, with satisfaction and confidence being natural parts of the equation.
Of course, being an entrepreneur can and should be a great experience. If nothing else, it will help to make you more autonomous, and will teach you a variety of skills and life lessons that can seriously help you to achieve your goals going forward.
That being said… there is plenty of difficulty, failure, and setback to go around, and even the most successful and upbeat entrepreneurs in the world aren’t exempt from it.
Here are a few tips for dealing with difficult situations in your business.
Consider getting help from third-party companies and groups that specialise in that particular area
As a solo-entrepreneur with a young business, it’s pretty much par for the course that you will end up feeling the need to deal with absolutely every conceivable element of your business all by yourself.
Thus you end up becoming your own marketing expert, your own copywriter, your own web designer, and all the rest.
The thing is, sooner or later you’re going to need to expand your team, or at least benefit from the expertise of others. This is especially true when you start getting hit by real challenges in your professional life.
If, for example, you were starting out as a landlord and your tenants weren’t paying their rent, you probably wouldn’t try to handle that issue entirely solo. Likely you would contact a rent collection agency. The same principle should apply no matter what your particular business model.
Sometimes it’s important to get help from third-party companies and groups with specialisations and resources that you don’t have.
Remind yourself that some setbacks in business are inevitable, and your long-term success as an entrepreneur depends on how you integrate the lessons learned from the setbacks
If you ever read a biography of a successful entrepreneur, you are likely to find that they had a huge number of setbacks, false starts, and outright failures on the path to their ultimate achievements.
Setbacks in business are inevitable, and what separates those who enjoy long-term success from those who don’t is largely the degree to which those setbacks can be used as lessons going forward.
Failures always hurt in the short term – but they can become strengths in the long term. Focus on constantly learning and improving, and you’ll be on the right track.
Focus on the 80/20 principle – direct your energies where it really counts, instead of trying to do everything
Whatever else you may be, you are a mortal human with a limited number of hours in the day to spend on any given task.
When you are hit by some challenge or setback in your business, you can likely think of several dozen things that you could do to try and help move things in a more positive direction. But by trying to do too much, you may well end up spreading yourself too thin, and achieving too little.
Instead of getting stressed and burnt out, only to simultaneously get nothing much done, focus on the 80/20 principle, which states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your actions.
At any given time, try to identify what the most productive thing you can be doing is – and then do it. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”