As an entrepreneur, the word "tough" is an understatement.
Sometimes it feels like the tough times will never end. Tough can mean a lot of different things for us as entrepreneurs. It can mean:
Dealing with unreliable employees
Not meeting your sales goals
Having trouble making payroll
Past due expenses (loan payments)
Loss of revenue and customers
The truth is that some of these things will always persist (i.e. employee turnover, inflation, attrition). There will be things that happen to us that we cannot control. However the key to getting through these tough times is always be moving forward.
Being an entrepreneur and having your own business is never going to always be 100% perfect scenarios. We have to be willing to accept that things will happen. The key is to put systems and plans in place ahead of time so that when issues arrive we actually have a solution to immediately take care of the problem.
1. It is important to have great people in your business or leadership team. I cannot stress enough the importance of having the right team in your business - whether it's accounting, human resources, operations, or even your team members. Having the right people will eliminate 80% of the stress right of the bat. Not only that, but having the right people in the right places will also play a huge role in developing systems and protocols for when issues arrive.
For many of us as the CEO or owner most of the time we are doing all of the work. We're doing sales, human resources, accounting, operations, and everything else under the sun. Sometimes you may not have the resources to afford having extra people to help out in your business - but there are other ways of getting around this. You can accomplish this by having a Board of Directors (and no they don't have to be paid to be a Board Member). Board Members are similar to Mentors, they are there to guide you and help you make wise decisions in your business. They can be family, a close friend, or a colleague that has specialized knowledge (i.e. attorney, consultant, former business owner or CEO, etc.)
2. Give yourself some time off. YES, it's called a VACATION. Some of us forgot what the meaning of that word is. I believe it is important that we take a moment for ourselves, whether it's for a whole day or a whole week, and relax. If we don't take time for ourselves to reflect and relax, then nothing gets done and the business will suffer. If taking a vacation is not foreseeable, then do what you love doing or consider a Stay-Cation. For me, I enjoy taking a quick load off by reading a good business book like "Good to Great", ride my bike around the park, or grab a smoothie and call my Mom. Whatever it is, take a moment and relax. You deserve it! Sometimes we over-exert ourselves hoping we get more things done that way, but truth is most of the time it's doing more hurt than help. Taking time off for yourself can be more productive than overextending ourselves and barely getting things done. Check out this link on the Huffington Post about how breaks can boost our productivity!
3. Seek a mentor. My viewers who know me well know that I advocate mentors all the time! Get the help you need by seeking a mentor to discuss some of the issues you are having. Many mentors love what they do so much that they volunteer their time to help business owners steer their business in the right direction. Mentorship has helped our businesses by leaps and bounds. Trust me, having an extra pair of eyes and brains will help you see clearer and make wiser decisions. And it's nice to have someone who is totally unbiased to give you the counsel you need. Check out my blog post here for more information.
"Remember, you only fail when you give up."
I know sometimes it can feel like the world is crumbling. I've had many sleepless nights and times of desperation. Being an entrepreneur is a courageous thing and it takes guts. What makes you stronger is by not quitting and keep persevering.