When you have decided to start your own business and become an entrepreneur, you need to be committed whole-heartedly to your idea. But committing only gets you started. What carries you through difficulties and obstacles to success is determination and persistence to bring your idea to life.
How many times in my life I said to myself: “If only I didn’t give up and kept going no matter what, I would be so much closer to my goal now”. Later I was trying to understand what exactly made me give up and what was missing in my mindset.
It made me realize that perseverance and grit are key ingredients to success on the entrepreneurial journey and generally in achieving any goals in life. When starting up, there is no safety net. Challenges are an integral part of entrepreneurship. They are a test. The test of our commitment, risk-taking skills, ability to overcome difficulties and confidence, to stretch our comfort zones and so on. We are all capable of achieving success: it just comes down to how much perseverance, grit and determination we have.
Below are several ideas on how to develop determination and perseverance.
1 Take responsibility
Many of us, when faced with challenges, tend to slip into a victim’s thinking. We don’t want to take responsibility for our own situation and can’t find a way to improve it. Messing up is a part of being human, but we learn and improve from each mistake. When we give up too early, we lose the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and are then just left with failure.
What actions can we take to get what we want and change our situation? It can be very scary to take responsibility for everything in life, but it’s the best way to persevere through the tough journey of entrepreneurship. Once we start taking responsibility, we take back control—and we can make just about anything happen.
2 Take action
The difference between successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs is action. Unsuccessful entrepreneurs talk about what they want to do – but never end up taking the action needed to fulfill that vision. Successful entrepreneurs know that if they just keep taking actions and improving their approach, they can create the results they desire. Persevering means taking action when you’ve encountered a setback instead of letting yourself dwell on the problem. Action-oriented entrepreneurs learn from their failures and use them as fuel for their next approach.
3 Have enough time for self-care
The huge difference between an entrepreneur and a 9-to-5er is working hours. The attractive advantage of entrepreneurship is the fact that the working hours are flexible. The entrepreneur works whenever he/she wants and as long as he/she wants. However, for new entrepreneurs, this means working non-stop until their business takes off and they see positive results. These results might be short-lasting if the entrepreneur is not able to step away from the business to recharge on a regular basis.
You’ll burn out quickly and have trouble persevering if you don’t have any techniques for recharging your batteries. Recharging means making room for fun and plenty of sleep, but it might also include something like meditation or yoga or just having regular long walks. This is a very personal choice.
4 Find a support group of like-minded
Another advantage of the entrepreneurship is the possibility to work from home, no need for the long and exhausting commute, no stuffy office with a noisy coffee machine. But there is another side of this medal. Working from the comfort of your own home or even renting a co-working space can still feel lonely and isolated.
Luckily, the Internet makes it very easy to connect with other entrepreneurs going through the same stuff you are. It’s a lot easier to get over the feeling of not hitting your sales targets when you have someone who understands to talk to. Plus, finding a community means you’ll have a resource for working through problems should they come up. Find a mastermind, a mentor, or a social media group that you feel comfortable in and start making connections.
5 It’s not a sprint; it’s about finishing the race
Start-up founders need persistence because everything always takes longer than expected — often two to three times longer. It can be difficult to keep things going when you’re not seeing instant traction and success.
Don’t give up if things take longer than planned. Just like the story of the tortoise and the hare. It’s not about getting to the finish line first, it’s about taking your time, being thorough, challenging yourself, setting goals and taking action every day to achieve your own success. Look for signals that you’re on the right track, keep your burn rate as low as possible and keep moving forward.
Success is less often a straight line and more of a meandering journey with twists, turns, ups, and downs. Some have navigated this journey and have become successful, some business owners are struggling. For sure, entrepreneurship is not for everyone, and there’s no shame in deciding to take a step back. With that said, perseverance pays off in a big way—and successful entrepreneurs wouldn’t live their lives any other way.
I leave you with that and a few quotes which I love. GOOD LUCK!
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”–Mary Anne Radmacher
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”–Steve Jobs
“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”–Napoleon Hill
With much love