Below is a a sharing of The Inquirer and Mirror’s article “Life lessons for entrepreneurs” (sourced below).  Please apply the wisdom gleaned from years of experience to your own life.

Question: What advice might a small business owner give as to what they have learned in managing their business over a lifetime?


Answer: They won’t give you platitudes. They will give you advice that was earned the hard way:


THE INQUIRER AND MIRROR — Frame your future by setting specific, focused, measurable objectives. If you are specific about what you plan, when you plan to achieve it, and what resources are needed, you can review the objectives periodically to assure you are on track.


Failure is not the end. When you fail, you are experiencing a learning moment. If you don’t fail at some point in your business’s life, you aren’t trying to differentiate yourself or experiment with new ways to expand your reach. Failure is part of learning.


Leave your ego at the door. Remember: your business is about serving the needs of others. It’s all about them and not about you. If you focus on you, they will find someone who will focus on them.


Be a lifelong learner. There is so much to learn in owning and operating a small business. You need to invest some time every day, 30 or 45 minutes, to learning something you don’t know. With the available digital inventory of material it is easier than in the past when it took a trip to the library or enroll in a course.


Take time for yourself. Life is short and if your entire existence revolves around your business, you’re going to miss out on a lot in life. Most small-business owners know from experience it is “24/7” but if you’re going to make it for the long term, you need to carve out some “me-time.” This element of personal management is even more important for solopreneurs.


It takes commitment to do this, but in the long term, you need it to avoid entrepreneurial burnout. The flip side of me-time is personal health. If the business depends on you being healthy, then you need to take time to ensure your health. Eating right, sleeping enough, and getting exercise. No amount of business success will replace your health.


Get connected face to face. We live in a connected world. We’ve become glued to a screen and depend on tweeting, texting, and emailing rather than creating relationships face to face. It’s tempting because it’s easy and fast to communicate digitally, but it’s not as fulfilling.


Collaborate with others. There is a saying, “You can go faster alone, but further with others.” Identify other small businesses with whom you can collaborate with. Working with others increases the satisfaction of entrepreneurship. Sharing what you know with others and having them do the same is a win-win situation.


Action is the key to success. Fear and worry are natural, but don’t let them overtake your passion to succeed. If you spend your time worrying about failing, then you won’t take the steps necessary to build and grow your business. You need to be open to trying new approaches in order to make significant change.


Attract great coaches, mentors, and a support team. You can’t do it alone. Those who try often fail. There is just too much to do in launching and growing a small business. Create a support group of other business owners. Find a coach who will challenge you to be your very best.


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