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Hackernoon logo10 Lessons Learned From Being An Entrepreneur by@FailedEntrepreneur

10 Lessons Learned From Being An Entrepreneur

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My failures are your gain. I help people make money online!

Today more than ever, I strongly believe it's time for everybody to have a side hustle.

Our economy faces an uncertain future. Automation is a growing threat with the potential to decimate the workforce. Outsourcing and remote work has already put a dent in paychecks around the country. More and more, companies are looking to squeeze every dime of profit they can from what little investment they can put up.

Add it up, and it doesn't take a crystal ball to see any job, in any profession could be under threat in the near future. 

I was a high school history teacher for 11 years and have no illusions that in a decade the job could look radically different than it does today because of these reasons. Which is why I wanted to become and entrepreneur. Not only to make more money for myself, but as an insurance policy against any unwelcome surprises life may have in store. 

I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. And I gained a lot of knowledge that’s worth sharing. One reason to share is because I was an entrepreneurship teacher and I really enjoy inspiring others to live their dreams. And the other is because, I wish somebody had told me all these tips when I first got started! 

1. Focus on one idea at a time. My biggest flaw is I have too many ideas and the entrepreneurial equivalent of ADHD. Constantly jumping from one idea to another is a great way to get a lot of experience in things, but no way to create anything meaningful. 

2. Set goals! Few people start on a road trip without knowing the destination. Have a concrete idea of what you are trying to build, when you want it to be done, how much you are willing to spend, and what does success look like. 

3. Drive towards that goal. Yes there may be detours and unexpected delays along the way, but as long as you are making constant steady progress towards your goal, you will get here. Maybe a little late, but constant forward motion will make success inevitable. 

4. Be patient with yourself and your mistakes. Starting any business is incredibly difficult. (If it was easy everybody would be doing it.) You will make mistakes. Big ones, small ones, and ones you aren't even aware of yet. It probably will take longer than you’d like to make a profit. Stay patient, keep working, and learn from them. 

5. Patience also means you don’t beat yourself up on bad days. Cause let me tell you, there will be days when nothing goes right and you will question your very existence as well as your amazing idea. Try not to get too high. And don’t get too low. Stay professional and build on that that work ethic instead.

6. Grit. When I was in education, a common complaint during teacher meetings was many students' lack of grit in the classroom. The slightest mistake or negative feedback would get many kids to crumble because they didn't have the tools and experience to overcome obstacles, no matter how slight. If you quit easily or become discouraged you will need to build up your grit. 

7. Take calculated risks. Starting any new business is always risky. You are spending either your time or money to build something and both are valuable resources you need to protect. Risk is part of the game, but that doesn't mean every decision needs to be made like you are on the floor of a Vegas casino. Do your research, explore your options, and weigh the pros and cons of every big decision and choice you make that eats up your resources. 

8. Always be willing to learn. There is a ton of information on the internet that can help you on your journey. No matter how original your idea is, I guarantee you somebody has already done something similar already. So look at their websites. Watch their videos. Ask questions and make connections with people who have been there and done that to help speed up your learning curve and make attaining your goals that much easier. 

9. Start marketing now. Every chance you get, take advantage and work on pitching your idea to others. Creating something is difficult, but selling it is half the battle. The more comfortable you get at selling your idea to others, the better you will become at doing it when the time comes. And like any skill, practice makes perfect. Keep refining and crafting your pitch like a comedian tests new stand up material. Keep what works, ditch what does not. Hell, start a Youtube channel if you have to. 

10. Have fun! Be excited! You are starting a business and are an entrepreneur! That’s cool! It’s exciting! And it’s a great conversation starter at parties. Enjoy the process as much as you can. Having fun while working on your idea makes those long hours and late nights fly and leads to awesome content and products. 

Of course there’s more to entrepreneurship than this, as I could easily make another top 10 list, but having these initial concepts at the ready will help you on your journey and give you a strong start. The most important thing I’ve found is to just get started. Actually, that would be number 11 on my list. But I’ll save that for next time. 


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