“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” ~ Sara Blakely
The entrepreneurial journey is an interesting, exhausting, exhilarating and confusing one. You’ll rarely come across another journey where you learn as much as you do as when you’re an entrepreneur. If you’re engaged and open to learning, you’ll discover something new every single day.
For learning to be effective, you need to apply and reapply it. As with anything else, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Learning can come in many different forms – mentors, books, online programs, videos, webinars, seminars, workshops, coaches, networking, shadowing…the list is endless. The context of each person and business is different, but there’s still tremendous value in reaching out and using wisdom and resources that can help you.
Being an entrepreneur also means that you need to be flexible. Circumstances change all the time and we live in a VUCA* world where adaptability is key. A successful entrepreneur should constantly be on the lookout for better ways to do things. They can only do this by being flexible and open to learning. An entrepreneur who chooses to do things “the way they’ve always been done”, or has fixed ideas about entrepreneurship, becomes obsolete and their chances of long-term success are slim.
A successful entrepreneurial journey starts with understanding yourself. You can’t expect to successfully manage something outside of yourself when you don’t know who you are and what you can offer. Before becoming an entrepreneur, it’s important to understand and take stock of your own values, purpose, drive, strengths, weaknesses, triggers, desires, circumstances, resources and natural talents. When you understand these aspects, you have a firm foundation on which to build a successful business from the outset and can easily differentiate between opportunities and distractions that you’ll encounter.
Being an entrepreneur is not easy but if you get the fundamental aspects right, it can be a very rewarding journey. An attitude of learning, an adaptable approach, proper planning and deep self-awareness is the foundation for building long-term success and differentiating yourself in the market.
* VUCA = Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous
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