A year under review as an entrepreneur
By Ilke Platt
Founder Poiyah Media.
As we approach the end of the year, it is pretty accurate to say that each entrepreneur can’t wait to go on holiday. But this can be quite tricky, if you’re still in the first two years starting up.
Mark Di Somma (2016) stresses the struggle to articulate how the new venture will fundamentally challenge the way things are done. This is said in the light of disrupting; however, this can also be interpreted in the way you are now operating as an entrepreneur.
We often take the end of the year as a time to reflect and do things differently in 2020. So, what are the key things learnt as an entrepreneur? These key learnings are fundamental in re-directing next year and being smarter with the operations.
Firstly, it is of utmost importance to fast track your vision of where you see your company. Reanalyze time and effort going into the return on investment (meaning the payment you receive from your client). Reanalyze your strategy, how it operates and whether your business can run without you.
“The first step in advancing from an entrepreneurship to that of a professionally run business is to recognize that the business has reached a new stage in its business lifecycle,” Terry H Hill 2010. This mind set should be embedded to remind you that your entrepreneurship will gradually transform into a well run business.
Secondly, not compromising your worth and professionalism. Stick to your talent and skill. Do not spread yourself too thin doing everything in a small manner. This will prevent you from excelling in that one niche area that you would like to specialize in. Your audiences or customers will not know you for anything but doing a little bit of everything at a small scale. Push, teach yourself to be the best in your industry which will position you as that sought-after entrepreneur.
Thirdly, getting rid of the start-up mentality and making your brand bigger than what it is. Running a business for three years, is not cut for everyone and that in itself is an ability and skill to respect. As much as it is encouraged to think big let us not become too confident in mastering the art of running our business.
As Bill Gates observed, “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Instead, find a way to strike the balance by acknowledging your successes and catapult that into a smoother journey into entrepreneurship.
Lastly, 2019 has proven to be draining, tiring, exhausting and thus the importance to self reward. Entrepreneurship is hard and requires a lot of extra time. This can result to neglecting your family and friends. Ultimately this leads to burnout. Manage your time wisely and allow yourself to take breaks, go on a mini treat (once you plan and save accordingly). Making time for family allows you to clear your mind and this can allow a fresh perspective on your business.
In conclusion 2020 should be a year of small wins. These small wins will allow you to stay energized throughout the year. Try not to feel discouraged with the set-backs, celebrate the fact that you have managed to run a business for over two years and reflect on the small hurdles you’ve managed to overcome to still be in business.
Your mental state is most important to place under review not only towards the end of the year but rather on a regular basis.