Developing your own path and forging the lifestyle of an entrepreneur is exciting, but it can also be challenging. While many people set out to work for themselves and create a business with their passion and values at the center, many fail. How do you succeed as an entrepreneur?
Building a personal “Board of Directors”
As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to face the reality that you don’t know everything, and you’re not an expert on everything. Creating and maintaining a strong support network will help you gain the advice and expertise you need.
The most successful people and leaders have one trait in common: they have a strong sense of self-awareness as to their strengths and weaknesses and build a network of peers to complement them1. In this way, an entrepreneur doesn’t need to be an expert on every aspect of their business, and has people they can speak with to gain the advice and perspective they need to make the right decisions.
Your financial professionals could be people you know from college or grad school or have met through your local Chamber of Commerce or a networking group. The most important aspect of your mentors and advisors is that they are people whom you respect and trust to provide advice regardless of whether they work in a similar industry or are themselves entrepreneurs. If you’re looking to grow your network of advisors, there are a variety of organizations that exist to support entrepreneurs, from the Freelancers Union to the National Federation of Independent Business to small-business networks supported by colleges and universities.
The challenges you’ll face as an entrepreneur become easier to overcome when you create opportunity by tapping your network and asking for support. Remember, when asking for support, you should expect to provide it back to people in your network in turn.
Balance and protect your schedule
While growing your career as an entrepreneur will require hard work, dedication to your business and perhaps more tasks than you feel there is time for, carving out time for yourself and your personal life can be a key component to success and avoiding “burn-out”2.
Whether it’s time with family and friends, working out at the gym or relaxing and reading a book, it’s critical to give your body and mind time to rest to maintain top performance. The good news is that when you’re an entrepreneur, you can create a work schedule for yourself that optimizes your productivity and works with your life. If you’re a morning person, start your day as early as you like and leave your afternoons for leisure. A night owl may start their day later, but work far into the hours when most people have shut down for the day.
Whatever works best for you, make no exceptions. Integrate your work and personal schedules however it works best for you, but treat each as equally important.
Grow your business
If you’re interested in starting a career that challenges you to grow as an entrepreneur and has the flexibility to build your career and life at the same time, consider becoming a financial professional. Financial professionals work with people to help them prepare financially for their futures, and the work you do can transform the lives of your clients and community for generations.
While your personal support network will be valuable to you as you build your business, joining The Guardian Network® will provide you with access to like-minded peers from across the country who can provide support and advice specific to your practice and career path.
Learn more about what it means to join The Guardian Network by contacting a local agency today or take our quiz to see if you have what it takes to be a financial professional