Being an entrepreneur is trending nowadays and everyone wants to carry that title. This is a good thing. However, "entrepreneur" is a title that requires you to bear the pain and pleasures that come with it.
In this article I focus on how entrepreneurs can tackle five of the top problems associated with this role.
1. When a key company employee leaves
It's always a draining experience when you receive a resignation letter from a key employee. I have myself had to face such situations a couple of times. Your role as an entrepreneur in this situation is not to worry about how you will go out business and fail to deliver. That only adds to the stress. As difficult as it might be to ignore those thoughts this is the best time to exercise empathy. Get yourself into the shoes of the individual leaving your company and try to understand their pains or motivations. This not only gives you a better standing on why they are leaving but it's a perfect time to also get constructive feedback on how you can further grow your company. You will realise that most of this information is kept locked inside when someone is an employee with you but when they are about to leave take it as an opportunity to learn from them.
2. When a new competitor comes up
Sometimes we come up with new and exciting ideas in the market and everyone is seemingly blown away by what you do. This only means someone is justified to come in and join the party. Usually these competitors would have gotten inspiration from your business or innovation or they simply realised it later than you. In such situations, it is important to remain cautious of your next step. Failure to calculate your moves properly will result in you totally losing it. I would like to come with the "bee philosophy." No matter which animal steals honey from a bee hive it can never manufacture more of it. Only the bee can do that. It's then up to you as the bee to realise your potential and show that your idea or product is part of your DNA, it's a matter of repositioning yourself where no one can steal your honey and you continue to make more honey. Never let a new competitor make you undermine your abilities to innovate further and remain efficient.
3. When there is a knowledge gap
Being a young entrepreneur, is more of taking a long walk in the woods and hoping to get to a place by just going straight. It's important to note that regardless of how old you are or at what stage of the business you might be, knowledge might start missing or running out. The greatest ability of an entrepreneur is to learn. When you stop learning your ideas die with you. You have to be willing to either teach yourself a new skill or get someone with the expertise and experience to plugin to the organization. Many times we try to cover up our lack of information and compromise the quality of our products. This is the single most common mistake. There is no rush, engage in the right form of research and get the right brains for the job. Do not stress about it, there is always a solution to a problem.
4. When technology fails
I'm sure many people have been failed by technology. This can be at individual level or at organizational level. I have seen people fume and stress about their technology problems. The best advice for this is to be humane about it. The only one who will come out hurt or disappointed is you the entrepreneur. It is important in this situation to calm down, seek help from an expert. Sometimes the problem can be easily solved by someone else. When it's one of your teammates, blaming them will only lead to nothing but negativity hence again we ought to focus on the intention rather than the outcome. If it was working towards a good goal then it fails, that's no one's problem, it is a machine or system after all.
5. When the future just feels uncertain
Managing the unknown, I have heard stories of people who have ended up in accidents or being hospitalized owing to failure of managing the unknown. Whether you are waiting on a pending claim, investor phone call or simply how your presentation will go, it is only natural that we panic and freak out. However as entrepreneurs, our entire journey is a complete unknown. That's one thing we have to put in mind, by being able to calm ourselves and focus on the progress that we have made rather than how bad things will be if A or B goes wrong. There is danger of losing sight of the bigger picture. Always remember that a human mind is designed to protect them and sometimes we magnify a small problem. We anticipate in the future ten times bigger. This is definitely something we can never remove from a nature but consistent reflection and focusing on the progress you have made rather than future or current unknown will keep you motivated