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An entrepreneur’s journey can be like a roller coaster ride. Full of ups and downs, twists and turns.
When things are going well and money is coming in, it feels like you are on top of the world. But when the going gets tough and nothing seems to go right, it can be easy to get discouraged and want to give up.
Understanding what led to your success and learning from your failures can help you continue on and keep moving forward.
As I take a look back and reflect on my earlier years as an entrepreneur, I can think of quite a few things that I would have done differently today.
Here are 3 important lessons I learned during my entrepreneurial journey so far and wish that I had known these things at the time.
1. Be Smart With Expenses
At an early point of my entrepreneurial journey, I thought I needed the top of the line everything in order to have a successful business.
I remember maxing out my credit cards to buy a new laptop, printer, and other equipment for my home office.
It was completely unnecessary.
I only used the label maker a couple of times, just the one function (printing) from the multi-functional printer, and never used the webcam for anything.
While you will need to spend money to start, grow, and operate your business, always try to find deals or ways to lower your expenses. One good way is to avoid unnecessary purchases. 😉
2. Partner up for the Right Reasons
Business partners can bring knowledge, experience, money, and connections. If not those things, partners can help share the burden and responsibilities.
However, just because there are many good reasons to have a business partner, it does not mean that you should get one.
Before you look for a partner for your business, make sure you know and understand why you are looking for one.
When I partnered up with two of my buddies for the retail packaging business, I did so because I did not want to do it by myself and thought it would be fun to do it with friends. Those were terrible reasons since I was looking to partner up for my own social purposes and not to fulfill a business need.
Ideally, your partner or partners bring something unique and valuable to the table. Perhaps they have the money to invest with you or maybe they have certain skills that you lack such as programming or accounting.
3. If You Do Partner, Make Sure to Define Roles, Rules, and Long Term Goals
Partnering up without any planning can lead to trouble down the road.
It is important to agree on who is who in the business and who does what for the business. It would also be good to come up with and agree on some ground rules such as how to handle disputes, how to run the daily operations, and how to handle the finances.
This was definitely missing from my partnership with my two buddies and it led to many disagreements and many more arguments – and ultimately to the company’s demise.
There you have it: 3 key lessons that I have learned during my entrepreneurial journey so far and wish that I had known these things at the time.
While I have made many more mistakes and will continue to make even more mistakes, these have been my most difficult lessons to learn so far.
What do you have on your list? Share in the comments section below!