5 Challenges Entrepreneurs Face – and How to Overcome Them
Entrepreneurship has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, becoming one of the most sought-after career choices for recent graduates, seasoned professionals, and passionate retirees. Even the devastating impacts of the pandemic on small businesses weren’t enough to hold back energized entrepreneurs from going after their dreams.
According to the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), in 2021, more than 5 million applications were filed to form a new business – a 53 percent increase from 2019. While not every one of those applications will result in a successful venture, many of them will go on to build powerful products, offer specialized services, and contribute to a healthier and more vibrant economy for all.
Entrepreneurship offers limitless opportunities, but not without various difficulties. Below are five common challenges entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them.
Nothing compares to the overwhelming excitement and energy an entrepreneur experiences when launching a new business. The high levels of confidence, passion, and drive make you feel unstoppable and untouchable. Unfortunately, the exhilaration wears off over time, leaving business owners feeling unmotivated and discouraged.
As with anything else in life, entrepreneurship takes constant work and adjustment. Every business owner goes through the emotional ups and downs of running a business. The key to maintaining momentum is to continually remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Staying connected to your why is essential to overcoming fatigue and burnout.
Let’s face it, one of the top reasons why millions of Americans are choosing entrepreneurship is because of its unlimited income potential. There’s nothing better than doing something you love and getting paid your worth, right? While many individuals start a business because of the financial opportunities, many also walk away from their business because of its lack of profitability.
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as overnight success, especially in entrepreneurship. While passion and work ethic are critical traits for entrepreneurs, remember that patience is just as important. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, do yourself a favor and don’t quit your day job. Establish your clientele, generate sufficient income, and create realistic expectations.
Entrepreneurship (or solopreneurship, as some like to call it), can get lonely, hence the solo part. Most of us spend the majority of our time alone in our small office space doing everything in our power to ensure our companies succeed. There are usually no co-workers, staff, or partners keeping us company or accountable.
Unlike large companies with impactful teams, business ownerships usually consist of solo work days, lonely breaks, and rare outings. Fortunately, this is one of the simplest challenges to overcome. By creating a network of fellow entrepreneurs, you have a tribe of like-minded professionals experiencing similar challenges. Keep these individuals on speed dial and schedule regular check-ins to keep each other accountable and on track to reach your goals.
Entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs, wear numerous hats throughout the journey. We’re social media managers, customer service representatives, salespeople, graphic designers, and so much more. To say that our hands are full is an understatement, so feeling overwhelmed is common. However, overcoming it isn’t impossible.
Be kind to yourself and don’t be afraid to walk away. I’m not telling you to throw in the towel and give up altogether. I am merely suggesting that you take regular breaks and give yourself grace whenever it all seems like too much. You’re just one person trying to build an empire. It will get stressful and at times seem like too much to bear, but never let go of that dream.
Solidifying systems and structures
One of the biggest struggles for individuals transitioning from employees to entrepreneurs is the lack of systems and structures we’re used to in corporate environments. These principles and practices help a business achieve results in an efficient and timely manner. Simply put, systems and structures help you work smarter, not harder.
There is no one-size-fits-all template to create systems and structures for a business, so you must take inventory of your business activities, goals, and bandwidth. When establishing these methods, keep your long-term goals in mind.