You had a light bulb moment. You jotted down the idea. You did some research. You wrote a business plan. You’ve got skill. You’ve got passion. You’ve quit your job! You’re an entrepreneur. All of this sounds great, but so many entrepreneurs are caught off guard when they are not greeted with immediate entry into the market, clients lining up for services or customers screaming for their new product. In the early stages of start-up, the sexiness of being an entrepreneur is quite often shaded with the reality that building a successful business takes time, money and barrels of effort.
Reality soon hits for first time entrepreneurs as their infant business become stagnate, ideas are shelved and the job applications come out. Rather than allow statistics, naysayers or your inner devil’s advocate get the best of you, consider these five tips for staying positive while in start-up mode.
1. Visualize Success
Visualize yourself where you want to be and remember why you set out on this journey in the first place. Whether you were passionate about your business idea, in a dead end job or just looking for a career change, think back on why you took the leap towards entrepreneurship. Visualizing yourself and your business successful in the future will quiet your mind’s negative chatter and replace it with positive images and thoughts. Visualizing your success will also recharge your confidence, and remind you that you belong and deserve to be where you want to end up.
2. Learn to Wait
Harriet Tubman, a woman famous for enduring long journeys said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Remember that these things don’t happen overnight. Successful businesses are the products of time, energy, money, and sleepless nights. When I find myself impatient, I research and compare companies and ideas similar to my own. Try it the next time you feel uneasy about slow progress or delayed gratification. I guarantee that you’ll find their success wasn’t immediate. Doing a little research will remind you that all the greats had to wait, but they eventually got there.
3. Take a Break
Get out. Go for a jog, read for pleasure, take a nap, go to lunch or just sit in peace. Taking a break every so often will get you moving and the blood pumping. Many studies suggest that the thought process is not meant to be continues but rather sporadic and in short stints. This may be the answer to why my creativity seems to decrease the longer I sit still and increase while performing the most random task. Find ways to take your attention away from your idea for a few moments to recharge, reset and to refocus.
4. Plan, execute, progress
Winston Churchill taught us that “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Even while in corporate, I found that I needed to take a few moments every morning to write a “To-Do” list. This list was comprised of my goals for the day. Not only did it organize my thought and activities, but it allowed me the physical satisfaction of crossing items off one by one. Remember to set goals that are challenging, yet realistic. Once your goals are set, keep an open mind and take into account that there will always be unknowns. Then do what you must to execute. Seeing a physical list with line items crossed off will leave you feeling progressive and will reiterate your positive outlook about your business and your success. Celebrate you milestones…then get back to work!
5. Goof Off a Little
Keep your inner circle close to interrupt the workflow. If they’re anything like mine, you can always count on them for a good healthy chuckle. Get out with the people who make you laugh. This is a sure way to take your mind off of the latest collection of setbacks. Not only does this time away recharge your pioneering spirit, but it puts you in the company of new ideas and fresh conversation. I don’t have to remind you that some of the best ideas have come during casual discussions, laughter, at happy hours and in the wee hours of the night.
You’ve spent plenty time planning your start-up, you’ve invested time, money and effort, and you’ve taken the first step. Now remain confident about your choice and positive about your success. Good luck and happy thoughts!
Marlissa Collier is Founder and CEO of iYdeal Business Solutions, a niche marketing, communication and idea generation firm. Run by culturally engaged professionals, the firm is a catalyst for tailoring brands, marketing campaigns and messages to urban, multicultural and youth consumers. Marlissa, a Los Angeles native, is 24 years old.