Many first-time or young entrepreneurs facing the daunting prospect of starting a new business don’t quite know where to begin, or how to focus. We thought that today we would share some of the best advice for entrepreneurs about how to succeed and stay sane at the same time. These things are what have worked for us.

The Indispensable Nature of Market Research

This is kind of like business 101, but it bears repeating. Unless you have a clear idea of what the market is for your products or services, you’ll just be shooting in the dark. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, that’ll work, but it’s much better to have a clear picture right from the outset.

Hard Work is an Understatement

When they say that starting a business is hard work, they’re not kidding. In fact, it’s quite a bit harder than any other type of work that exists. That’s because, as your own first employee, you can’t afford to be a specialist. You have to do everything, and be as much of an expert as possible on every applicable business function. You’re the sales pro, you’re the accountant, and you’re the operations manager.

Remember Who’s In Charge

That being said, it’s your business, it’s your life, and you have to make sure that you’re doing what’s right for you. If something about your business doesn’t fit what you need, swap it out for something else that does.

It’s Your Business, But It’s Not About You. Listen!

There’s a limit to that autonomy, though. It’s your life and your business, but it’s not all about you. If you’re the one doing all the talking when you face your customers, you’ll never know if you’re actually addressing what they need. Remember that they should be doing 80% of all the talking, while you listen attentively.

Surround Yourself With People Who Know More Than You Do

Most advice for entrepreneurs, from entrepreneurs, puts a lot of emphasis on this point. Although you’ll have to be an army of one when you’re just starting out, The road to success is best traveled with companions. And to maximize that success, you should make sure that those companions are a whole lot smarter than you are. Together, you’ll go exponentially further than you could alone. Just make sure that you’re all on the same page!

Keep Your Eye on What Really Makes You Get Out of Bed Each Day

There are going to be some days that are especially hard, and you’re going to wonder why you ever bothered starting this in the first place. Dismiss that thought, and everything else that distracts you from your true purpose, and the passion that you feel for it. Not everything will always be sunshine and rainbows, but focus on what makes you feel great as you run your business.

Plant Trees Now For Shade in the Future

The day-to-day stuff will command a lot of your attention, but long-term success requires long-term focus. Make it a part of your routine to engage in activities that will boost the future viability of your enterprise. Build your brand through smart marketing and community involvement. Build your people with high-quality training, so that they, too, can reach their full potential while helping you reach yours.

Fear Not, and Have Faith in the Rewards

Taking all of this on can be scary, but remember that so many people have already had so much success doing the things that you’re about to do. Have faith that as you do the right things, you will get the rewards that you want. Keep pushing forward, make adjustments when needed, but never stop moving in the direction of your goals.

Learn From Those Who’ve Gone Down This Road Before You

Take every opportunity that you have to meet executives that have more experience than you, especially in your own industry. Their advice for entrepreneurs can provide incredible insights. They can even serve as mentors to help you find your own way, while you’re learning from their mistakes and their triumphs.

Do these things, and you’ll go far.

About the author

Jordan is an international business writer from Southern California. He studied Commercial Fundamentals at Brigham Young University-Idaho, and loves to read every printed word he can get his hands on. When he's not writing or reading about business, technology, current events, and architecture, Jordan loves to explore cities on foot and run all over hills and mountains with his wife Violeta.

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