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Three lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs

by Catherine | on Nov 21, 2015 | Comments Off on Three lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs

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“…. if you had, one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment. Would you capture it, or just let it slip?” Eminem. Lose Yourself.

Entrepreneurs are risk takers willing to take the leap, face uncertainty and seize the opportunity.  It’s not for the faint of heart or the security minded. It has its ups and downs; twists and turns; surprises and challenges.  And it comes with a lot of lessons.

I was recently asked to speak at a Women Entrepreneurs Day event.  It got me thinking about the entrepreneurial journey I started 15 years ago and the lessons I learned along the way. There are many. Here’s the three I shared at the event.

Trust yourself: Never forget that you are the master of your destiny; the captain of your soul. No one is ever going to care about your career successes or achievements more than you… (except perhaps your Mom!).  Being an entrepreneur is all about jumping into the unknown because none of us know what the future holds.  But trust you have what it takes. Trust you’re going to land. Trust you’re going to figure it out as you go.  And you will.  You will falter.  You won’t always make the right decisions. You may even fail. Those are the times when you learn the most about yourself, your resiliency and your ability to bounce back.  Speaking from experience, there’s nothing better than the feeling you are making things happen and creating value on your own steam.

Challenge your preconceived notions of yourself.  I didn’t think I had what it took to start my own consultant practice and business. I didn’t see myself as a risk taker. In fact I thought I liked structure and stability.  I thought I’d always need the security of a regular pay cheque. I thought I could never sell my services let alone a business case or strategy! I’ve challenges all of those assumptions and have surprised myself. Now I can’t imagine that predictable world.  Sometimes we can be the biggest obstacle in our way so let’s not limit ourselves.  Challenge those notions.

 Be flexible and adaptable: It’s been said “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is most adaptable to change”. Markets change. Bubbles burst. The economy sinks. Clients decide to go another route. These things are out of our control, but what’s in our control is how you adapt to the downturns and the opportunities. Nothing stays the same. So do more than embrace change, create it! You’re an entrepreneur. Take risks, get out of your comfort zone, be imaginative, pivot, leverage…. start something new. It’s like yoga; the more you stretch the more flexible you become. That’s how you survive and succeed as an entrepreneur.

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