8 Things i’ve learnt in my first real year of entrepreneurship .
Most of you might know by now that I am the founder of a brand called “Elora collection”, which was founded August of last year.
Elora collection is a women clothing brand that deals in modern, modest fashion clothing.
When I started, I had no clue of what entrepreneurship would be like. I was nearing the end of my Nysc program and I started having the “what next” question stuck in my head.
I’ve always known I wanted to do something in fashion or beauty but I wasn’t sure what.
I started my brand to change the definition of modest fashion in Nigeria. It’s something I’ve seen grow more than I expected in a very short period, but it’s still very far away from my ultimate goal.
One year down and I’m still a baby at this. I’m learning every day from my numerous mistakes and I just wanted to let you guys know what I’ve learned in this short time.
YOU CANNOT DO EVERYTHING ON YOUR OWN
It doesn’t matter what we do, where we do it, or how well we create a product or offer a service. We don’t succeed without the right people on our teams. I have come to believe that to survive and thrive we must effectively create “partnerships” with many around us, from family to colleagues to society in general.
It doesn’t matter how smart we are when it comes to technology, product development, or any skill. We can’t do it alone. Whatever personal, professional, or private–we must remember the people involved in and essential to our success. Learn from our own mistakes and mastery, and learn from the people around us: those we admire now and those we may learn from just by listening. We never know whom we may inspire or influence, or who may inspire and influence us. Today’s stranger may be tomorrow’s partner.
SUFFERING NEEDS TO BE YOUR FRIEND
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
The more things we try, the more likely we are to fail. And that’s very much the essence of being an entrepreneur.
Failure and adversity bring pain, suffering, and disappointments. Accepting and growing through our pain is part of growth. This is not easy. Like any other skill, learning to suffer well requires practice and learning. It is only when we learn to welcome suffering, we are able to get up and keep going. For an entrepreneur, pain is a must–therefore suffering needs be optional.
WORK SMARTER TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Regardless of our background, location, or profession, there is one thing that is the same, and that is progress. Progress comes from putting in the hard work, but working hard is not enough.
To achieve our desired outcome, I needed to find my own ways to work smarter.
Working smarter requires a combination of critical thinking, discipline, and techniques that make us productive every day. It’s a matter of making continual progress.
Entrepreneurship is about achieving goals with limited resources. Therefore being “effective” every day is part of entrepreneurship.
AVOID PEOPLE WHO HOLD YOU BACK
We all know that the people we surround ourselves with make the difference between failure and success. If you’ve ever been around someone who leaves you feeling exhausted and drained, you have probably met an emotional vampire.
These people don’t drain your blood, but they do drain your vital energy. Emotional vampires can be found anywhere.
It is important to avoid people who bring us down, waste our time, take us backward, and have no empathy for our suffering. Make an effort to spend time only with people who uplift you and make you stronger.
SAYING NO AND MAKING TOUGH CALLS IS ESSENTIAL
This is one thing I struggled with and still struggle with. It takes more courage to say no than to say yes. But if we do it, we protect ourselves from making poor decisions. This tactic can help us stay focused and prevent unnecessary complexity and can also keep us from getting involved with the wrong people.
YOU’RE (SORT OF) THE BOSS
One of the most common reasons I wanted to start a business is to be my own boss. But generally, your customers become your boss.
When you start a business — and especially when you’re in a growth phase — you are accountable to so many people. You need to think about your employees, customers, and partner with every decision you make.
Lesson: There are actually less freedom and more responsibility involved in starting a business versus having a regular job.
WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS REGULARLY
This is something I’ve heard loads about but only really have just got into. There have been so many days where I’ve just drifted the day away because I didn’t set any boundaries. But on the days (when I remembered too!) that I wrote my goals and kept that page open, I was much more focused and more productive.
Writing down your goals every day (or as often as possible) helps to focus what you are doing and makes you question more why you are doing something. It can be so easy to get dragged along with the next craze/opportunity, but if it’s not aligned with any of your business goals then it can set you adrift and make it difficult to come back
KEEP GOING AND FOCUS ON THE REAL GOAL
There have been a few times this year when I’ve just felt like giving up. I was convinced that my business focus was silly and that no-one wanted what I had to offer. But thankfully those low moments have passed and I didn’t just chuck it all in.
Keeping my ultimate goal in mind and talking about this all the time with my friends and family has been an absolute lifesaver. And writing down my goals on a very regular basis helps to cement the vision into my subconscious more as well.
When I’m feeling like it’s too hard and that there’s no point in carrying on with the business I do one of three things:
* Talk to someone who understands how I feel to give me a different perspective and something positive to focus on
* Do something fun and non-business related. Hang out with friends or watch a movie.
It’s very easy to get lost in work and forget your self but I cannot emphasize enough how much taking time off for you self-helps you mentally and emotionally!!
I hope you can pick up a few things from this post. Entrepreneurship is one of the hardest things I’ve hadto do in my life.
If you are looking for something easy and stress-free to do, please get a regular job. Entrepreneurship will be your life.You will eat and sleep your business, you will go through rough patches, but the satisfaction you get from one little win means everything!
If you will like to add anything on entrepreneurship, please leave a comment below.