I have been an entrepreneur for a huge part of my life. Since I was about the age of 21 or so, I have started about ten to fifteen different businesses on my own in addition to working full-time. All but one of these business were not successful—and up until my latest one (which happens to be this here blog and imprint, The Cubicle Chick, LLC), I was never able to solely live on the earnings of my business. It feels good to be able to do that now, but that is only because I made thousands of mistakes which has shaped the way I run my current endeavor. Now that I have finally found my rhythm in accordance with being an entrepreneur, I have come up with these 10 Entrepreneur Commandments to Live By.
Here we go…
1. Thou Shall Ask for Help
Your family, friends, colleagues, et al are not mind readers. When you need help, ask for it, and don’t be afraid. All they can say is no, and asking them to help you could really do wonders with your business. It can be anything from asking their opinion, to helping man your booth at an event, to sharing information from your social media feed about a special you are having with their followers. Don’t assume that they will know that you need help. As my grandmother always says, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.
2. Thou Shall Make Mistakes and Learn from Them
Mistakes have certainly made me what I am today. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and to learn from them. Mistakes can be the best thing that have happened to your business if you use them the right way. Perfection does not build a good business—mistakes do.
3. Thou Shall Invest in One’s Business
In order to make money, you have to spend money. Period. Being cheap and not investing in your business can cause a fail. Plus, how are you going to ask anyone to invest in you if you don’t invest in yourself. Buy a domain and stop hosting your site on free services. Get your website professionally designed. Spend money on quality. Cut corners in other aspects of your life financially if you can, but don’t do so when it comes to your business.
4. Thou Shall Be Consistent
Consistency goes a long way. Whatever business you have, be consistent with it. Work on it everyday.
5. Thou Shall Be Professional
Being a consummate professional goes a long way. Honor the commitments and deadlines you’ve set forth. If you are selling a product or service, make sure that you say what you mean, and mean what you say. If something comes up, communicate with your customers who will appreciate your honesty and remember the next time it is time for you to do business. Breaking deadlines and not coming through with the items you’ve promised is one surefire way to sink your business.
6. Thou Shall Do It. Differently
Most businesses have competition—other products or services that are of the same ilk. Do not copy—do it differently. Find a way to stand out and above. Do it, but do it differently. Find your niche and develop it in a manner that is different than what everyone else is doing.
7. Thou Shall Have a Business Plan
Without a real plan, you can’t execute. A business plan can help you “see” your business and how it can help others. It can also assist you in getting capital, loans, funding, and other items that can help you launch or grow.
8. Thou Shall Exclude DRAMA
Got drama in your life? Negativity? Dream killers? Cut them out of your circle. Because if you don’t, it could come back to bite you in the you know what when it comes to your business. As an entrepreneur, you need focus. You also need to surround yourself around positivity. Save the drama so you can focus on what is really important. Leave the baggage behind.
9. Thou Shall Not Be Lazy
Real entrepreneurs grind—they eat, sleep, and live their business. Being lazy, cutting corners, etc. will not bode well for you. Do the work so you can be successful.
10. Thou Shall Believe in Yourself
When you having nothing else, you have yourself. Being confident in what you do can do wonders for you and your business. Believe in yourself, even when others don’t and make sure that your business is your passion. If you truly feel that you can do it, then you can do it!
Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart, but it is something that I would not trade for the world. I hope these 10 Entrepreneur Commandments to Live By can help you take your business to the next level.