Overcoming the Challenges of Being an Entrepreneur

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Stepping out on your own as an entrepreneur brings with it excitement and opportunity, but also a certain amount of anxiety and unique challenges. The shift from being an employee to being the entirety of a company’s staff can feel somewhat overwhelming. To be successful, you need to know how to overcome the challenges that an entrepreneurial lifestyle throws your way.

Lack of Financial Security

One characteristic of the entrepreneurial life is that there are no more guaranteed weekly paychecks. Although ideally your new small business will eventually be a resounding financial success, in the beginning, entrepreneurs often have to navigate their way through periods with little or no income and uncertainty about how much money will be coming in next week or next month.

Some entrepreneurs partially manage those uncertain times with a shift of attitude. They tell themselves that working for multiple clients, rather than a single employer, actually provides them with more financial security. If one client leaves, there are still other revenue sources.

The beginning period of uncertain income can be mitigated by maintaining a day job while you work to establish your small business. With employment providing the necessary income to cover expenses, you’re freed from the pressure to make the business an instant revenue producer and can instead focus on building the business exactly the way you want. Plan ahead and save up enough money to cover your expenses for several months before making the leap to start a business.

Ultimately, you can overcome the challenge of financial security by making your business a success, which can only start after you create and implement a solid business plan.

Time Demands

Being an entrepreneur, responsible for every aspect of running your business, translates to a very demanding workload. Even after hiring employees, you are still responsible for overseeing the total business operation.

The solution is careful time management and avoiding distractions. Set clear, prioritized goals and write out the necessary steps to attain them. This practice helps you maintain focus on accomplishing what most needs to be done. Successful entrepreneurs carefully structure their workday with to-do lists and specific time allotments for each task.

For example, set a specific time and time frame for dealing with email or other communications. Only allow yourself a reasonable amount of time, such as 30 minutes, to handle correspondence. Set an alarm to prod you to move on to other tasks. Good time management practices prevent you from falling into time-wasting traps, like spending two hours on Facebook.

Isolation

There’s a good chance you’ll begin your entrepreneurial venture working alone. Working on your own requires self-discipline, but you will also deal with feelings of isolation. Overcome this problem by making connections with people who can provide some welcome human interaction and support you in pursuing your dreams. Consider joining a network group of fellow entrepreneurs or latching onto a mentor. If nothing else, push yourself out of the office occasionally to meet with friends at a coffee shop.

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