How many times a day do things happen and your initial reaction is that of raw emotions without much thought to the consequences? That's normal occurrence for entrepreneurs because our days are full of pressure, passion, pleasure and pain. We don't have time to think how certain words, phrases, remarks in the middle of a jam packed day effect people around us. The expectation is that if you're working in an entrepreneurial environment, you've got to be tough-minded and thick-skinned to deal with the ups and downs of each day. Not exactly.
It's common to assume that everyone who is part of your team is on the same page and is equally aligned to the business. You very quickly come to realize that for the most part everyone really wants what's in their best interest - employees want, customers want, investors want, board members want, friends and family want. With so many competing priorities, you assume that when you're making decisions left and right, it's in the company's best interest. However, unless you have made that very clear with all constituents of the company, you will constantly be battling the wants and needs of everyone else except the interests of the business.
It's quite common for the entrepreneur to wonder if anyone will ever notice you or what you're doing. Since we're of the mindset that nobody's paying attention anyway, we assume it's ok to act as if no one is ever really watching. It's a trap, don't fall for it, because you are always on stage and your every action, interaction and reaction is being scrutinized and analyzed by every constituent of the company.
Knowing your current and potential customers is a foundational piece of information for you to create your unique offering. In the process, not only do you see where you stack up, you learn how competition acts, whether it be how they approach a market or communicate a message. A competitive analysis is a key step to understanding how you can win in an increasingly competitive world.
When you start a business, you spend a lot of time alone with your thoughts. Even if you’re not a solo operation, there may be very few people that you confide in or talk openly to. You probably have your inner circle. It may start with a circle of one—you—or maybe your small team. To get your business moving, you develop relationships with a select few people who are helping you get ahead.
Being an entrepreneur is not a job, it's an identity. Our very existence for the most part lies in bringing our vision to life. We live, breathe and obsess over every detail of the business 24/7. It's our baby. Our business and personal life becomes one life. A problem develops, however, when we have the expectation that anyone associated with our venture wakes up with the same visceral desire to see it come to fruition as we do.
Cutting through the clutter of information that is presented to consumer and business buyers is a challenge. Doing so requires us to hone in on the exact customer that we are looking to serve. Marketers talks to finding your "customer avatar" - a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect. When complete, it will help you understand the motivating beliefs, fears and secret desires that influence your customer's buying decisions. Creating a buyer persona helps you hone in on this ideal customer.
There are few feelings like building something from nothing. All the hard work seems worthwhile when our vision comes to life. being an entrepreneur is not just a job. It is an identity. Entrepreneurism is like oxygen. It’s not optional. Once you have an idea, you need it to breathe. Once you have that vision, it’s a drug that seethes through your blood every day. We say things to ourselves like, “What was I doing with my life before I came across this?”
While there are many of us out there who are entrepreneurs, there are many that don’t understand our mentality. People tell us to take vacations, to hang out at parties, to travel the world – and all we can think about is when our prototype will be ready. When we are working on our idea, or building our business, it seems to take precedence over everything we do. That would be fine but for some reason we feel that the rest of the world should feel the way we feel. Unfortunately, or fortunately, that is not the case.