Simply put, entrepreneurship is hard. At almost every turn, there are challenges and barriers to overcome. It can be difficult to keep your focus in the face of so many setbacks, but there's good news: new tools, resources, and technology are emerging every single day that will make your journey as an entrepreneur much more manageable. So in spite of all those challenges and barriers you'll encounter, the help and resources you need to succeed are at your fingertips.
Here are five tips and tricks that will make your entrepreneurship journey a little easier.
1. Remove the burden of technology
One of the most common excuses and distractions for entrepreneurs is the worry of not having the right technology to start a business.
Companies like ONTRAPORT, a Santa Barbara-based business automation platform, provide "tools small businesses and entrepreneurs need to drive measurable results." Its mission is to remove the burden of technology from early-stage entrepreneurs.
As ONTRAPORT's Lena Requist says, "Being an entrepreneur is challenging enough. It's important to make sure you find tools early on that can help you be efficient with your time."
2. Hire someone to take care of operations and finances
Most entrepreneurs would love to find a right-hand employee to take over the burden of keeping things running smoothly, but it can be a challenge to find that person. One new trend that could prove beneficial is that of online education sites evolving into platforms that connect employers with the right talent.
Take the company Bookkeeper Business Launch. Initially, the site's purpose was to educate bookkeepers, but it evolved into educating entrepreneurs about bookkeeping. Now, its mission is to connect entrepreneurs and bookkeepers. By choosing the right course, you may be able to connect with somebody better suited to an operations or financial role, freeing up your time.
3. Ask for mentorship
It can be hard to ask for help. While you may feel like a burden on someone else, don't let pride prevent you from getting the help you need. The truth is, there are plenty of entrepreneurs who want to pay it forward and help others succeed.
Over the years, I've spent countless hours mentoring young entrepreneurs. Identify people in your industry that you may have some connection to, or go to events that successful people in your area are attending. There are plenty of ways to find a good mentor - you just have to look.
4. Document your strategy, mission and vision
Every decision you make early on has the potential to make or break your business (no pressure!), so it's important to stay focused and prioritize. The only way to truly do that well is to identify your mission, document your priorities, and lay out the steps you're taking to move toward your vision.
As Caleb Elston, co-founder and CEO of Delighted, says, "My co-founders and I started Delighted with a core set of values that have deeply influenced how we build our product, which helps businesses collect and analyze customer feedback in order to improve the user experience, how we hire, and how we make the hard decisions. For us, these values are the lens through which all of our decisions are run. Without them, we would be rudderless."
5. Invest in your personal brand
There are tons of great personal branding experts to follow, such as William Arruda and Dorie Clark. There are also plenty of great tools, like BrandYourself, that can help you establish a personal brand early on. You should spend at least one hour each month focused on improving your personal brand. Whether you're working on your LinkedIn profile, or writing a piece of content to pitch to an industry blog, it's critical to make the time to invest in yourself.
Entrepreneurship is hard - there's no way around it. But that doesn't mean that establishing a business is something you have to suffer through. The resources, technology, and tools you need are at your disposal - you just have to take advantage of them.