While people often think of entrepreneurship as a glamorous career path, the opposite is often true. Entrepreneurs will face a large number of seemingly insurmountable challenges that would make many people thinking about giving up on their aspirations. For that reason, one of the most important qualities that an entrepreneur can possess is perseverance.
Often, success in entrepreneurship is about being the last person standing after everyone else has thrown in the towel, but this is easier said than done. Even companies like Google are a testament to the need for endurance. Larry Page and Sergey Brin pitched their idea for the search engine to many different individuals and organizations before they got funding. Even then, the company struggled for many years before it began to dominate the market.
Luckily, perseverance is not an inborn, unchangeable quality. In fact, it is something that entrepreneurs need to think about regularly. Developing strategies to maintain hope is the key to perseverance. Some tips to keep in mind when it comes to persevering in entrepreneurship include:
1. Anticipate rejection.
The vast majority of entrepreneurs will hear the word “no” hundreds of times as they set out to build a business. People who do not prepare for this rejection may take it personally. However, when individuals understand that rejection is part of the process and anticipate it, they will not take the word to heart.
While entrepreneurs need to give each pitch their all, they should also avoid putting too much stock into any particular opportunity. When the opportunity does not pan out, rejection could prove devastating. By recognizing that rejection is likely, individuals can quickly pick themselves up and move on to the next pitch.
2. Find community.
Entrepreneurship can prove a rather lonely path, especially in the beginning. Individuals generally do not have an office or a team until later in the process, so they will be alone quite a bit in the beginning. For this reason, it is critical to find and develop a community that can provide support.
Community can come from many different places, from mentors to professionals in similar positions. Today, individuals who do not have obvious options for community can turn to the internet to connect with other entrepreneurs. This provides the added benefit of serving as a sounding board for new ideas and to help generate potential solutions to problems that arise.
3. Respect feedback.
When entrepreneurs start pitching their ideas, they are bound to elicit some feedback. While not all feedback is created equally, it is important to take it seriously. One-off comments can usually be ignored, but when themes in feedback arise, it is time to take action and make some changes.
By evolving, entrepreneurs can feel like they are making progress and creating a product or service that is more appealing. When individuals fail to respond to feedback, they can quickly burn out, especially if they continue to hear the same points. On the other hand, when individuals change based on feedback and get a good response, they can see their hard work pay off.
4. Reframe failure.
One of the most critical components of persevering is reframing failure. Too often, entrepreneurs view failure as something shameful or something to be avoided. While no one wants to fail, setbacks should be seen as an opportunity for learning and improving.
The important thing is that entrepreneurs take the time to reflect on why the setback occurred and how they can avoid similar issues in the future. Making changes based on this reflection is how people shape stronger companies and ultimately find the way toward success. Dwelling on failure is not helpful and will only make entrepreneurs feel like they do not have what it takes to succeed.
5. Hire wisely.
Entrepreneurs are only as good as the team members they hire. When the time comes to bring more people in on a project, it is critical to hire people who truly believe in the idea and will fight for the company. Passion is a critical component of resilience and perseverance.
While no one will have the same passion for the company as the person who founded it, hiring people whose passion reminds entrepreneurs why they are pursuing this lifestyle is of utmost importance. A great team will support the entrepreneur and help find solutions even when the situation seems hopeless. If individuals are not adding to a culture of perseverance, perhaps it is time to look for different employees.
6. Prioritize self-care.
Everyone has different needs in terms of self-care. Part of the process of entrepreneurship is discovering and understanding these needs. Entrepreneurs always need some time away from the business, so it is important to figure out how much time is needed and how that time can be maximized.
Staying away from the company for too long is dangerous, but failing to take time for oneself will quickly lead to burnout. The basics of self-care include getting adequate sleep and leaving some time for fun. Many people also enjoy yoga, meditation, or something mindful that can help them refocus. Each person is different, so it is important for individuals to identify what works for them early on.