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Nothing in life is guaranteed, but I’ve known I wanted to be an entrepreneur before I even started preschool. I felt like it was my destiny, my purpose, my life’s work. Throughout the years, I have drifted further and further away from that calling. I worked dead-end jobs, bounced back and forth between majors in school, and have tried unsuccessfully to find my footing in entrepreneurship. I started this blog without clear direction, pitched to multiple blogs and clients, starting virtual assisting, and so much more, while working a 9-5 level entry job. Once I left that job to pursue entrepreneurship full time, I still failed as an entrepreneur.
So, where did I go wrong?
The #1 Reason I Failed As An Entrepreneur:
I didn’t try! I claimed that I was trying, but whenever I would get frustrated I would cry and give up. It took me almost a year to buy my domain and hosting, a month to actually set it up, and I wrote 5 blog posts before scrapping them to start over. I felt like if things were going wrong, then I didn’t deserve to become a business owner. What I didn’t realize is that becoming an entrepreneur is hard work, and it takes more than passion to make your business ventures successful.
I have given up so many times when all I had to do was try. My fear of failure kept me from pursuing a lot of different projects, and in the end, it made me fail anyways. I have come to terms with the fact that it is okay to not be successful my first attempt at something, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try. Recognizing my fears, I have started to become better at making an effort towards projects, even if I feel like nothing will come of them. Because in the end, I will have either
a. Succeeded at my endeavors or;
b. Learned a valuable lesson
Comparing My Success To Others
I have compared myself to others my entire life. I was raised thinking that I had to be perfect and that if I wasn’t outshining others, or if others were better than me in any aspect, I was a complete disappointment. Growing up that way made me feel as if I could never be good enough, and when I saw other people succeed, it made me feel as if I were incompetent. My upbringing was not the reason I failed as an entrepreneur. My attachment to my upbringing did. I know now that I can’t always blame my past as to why something goes wrong.
As humans, and especially as women, it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in another person’s success. I am not saying that you can’t be happy for someone else and their achievements, but you should never feel guilt or jealousy. If you start to feel that way, it is time to take a step back and acknowledge all of your own accomplishments, even if they are deemed small. In doing so, you are learning to accept yourself for who you are, and that someone else’s accomplishments don’t have to mirror your own.
I Let Others Judge My Choices
Many people don’t realize the work that goes into your business, even if they say they do. I had someone ask me if it was easy to “ just write a few words and call it a day”. She didn’t realize that content creation is so much more than writing an article and posting it. She didn’t realize what all it took to become an entrepreneur. Needless to say, we don’t talk anymore. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.
If I lived my life and ran my business based on what others say and judge me on, I would NEVER get anything done. I realized that I can’t let people’s opinion of what I do change my own opinion. In the end, I have to do what makes me happy. I may not become a millionaire, and I may not be someone else’s definition of success, but if I am happy and my family is taken care of, then that is all that matters to me.
I Didn’t Plan
Another reason I failed as an entrepreneur is that I had so many ideas running through my head. I also wanted to go in a ton of different directions, instead of focusing and having a well thought out plan. Not only did this make me frustrated, but it also created a lot of confusion and bouncing around. As a natural planner, I am surprised that I thought I could dive in head first, but I like to chalk that up to mommy’s brain.
When I figured out what I was doing wrong, I knew I had to take a break, get my plan in order, and come back with everything written down. Now, I have a schedule, a mission statement, and so much more. (Ready to start your own business? Check out my free business plan and ebook here). I found my reasoning as to why I wanted to do this, and from there, I built a plan of action. Planning is extremely important as an entrepreneur. You can’t expect anything to get done, and get it done the right way if you aren’t planning.
Now, I don’t sit down on my computer and stare at the screen for an hour. I don’t spend the little time that I have searching for things to do. Instead, I have a list of everything I need to accomplish each day, and I get those things done. Planning has become an essential part of my business, and I don’t see myself winging it anytime soon.
I Want To Be My Definition Of Success
Now, onto the reason why I am trying again as an entrepreneur. The main reason I will keep trying is that I believe in my vision. I know I have something to give back to this world. I know I can make a difference, even if it’s just in one person’s life. Another reason is that I want to achieve my definition of success.
It may seem so simple, but when I look around me, I see a lot of unhappy, unsuccessful people. So many people are working in jobs they hate. They spend so much of their lives at these jobs just to provide for their family. I don’t want to work my whole life away, just to realize that I missed out on opportunities. I want to LIVE, not just survive. My last reason is that I want my daughter to be proud of me, and I also want her to realize that she can live her life the way she wants it, even if others don’t approve. I want her to grow up and love everything she touches, and I want her to know that her mom achieved her goals, so she can too.
Contrary to the title, I don’t really think I failed as an entrepreneur. I don’t believe that I failed because I see failure as completely giving up. I do know that I made mistakes, and hit a few bumps in the road, but that is all part of the process. If you don’t want to fail as an entrepreneur, go for your dreams, and become so successful that you wonder why you ever doubted yourself.