Whether embarking on a new concept or re-evaluating an existing business, entrepreneurs have to constantly revisit who they are and where they are headed. We need to continually feed that hungry spirit that got us here in the first place and always lead the initiative to keep our work creative, flexible, and innovative. So what does it take to keep that initial energy alive? Like in a good marriage, I doubt there’s any one magic answer, but here are some tips I’ve seen work for myself and for many of my entrepreneurial friends.
1. Stick to your ethics. No matter how much you may need revenue, clients, or recognition, if you compromise what you believe in to get there, you’ll never be truly successful. I’ve fired high-paying but abusive clients, fired friends who just didn’t belong in the job, and hired family members even when people thought I was crazy—all because I stuck to my core beliefs.
2. It’s important to know yourself—but more important to trust yourself. There will be plenty of people who give you advice and tell you what to do, what not to do, how to do it, or how not do it. Like with parenting, you have to trust your gut about what decision works best for the company you’ve built and the people involved in it.
3. Make faster decisions. I need to heed this advice more myself. Too many times I waste cycles thinking of all the what-ifs, ands, or buts, only to come to the same conclusion I had in the first place. When you overthink it, you can become paralyzed.
4. Don’t internalize or personalize. Being a business owner and an entrepreneur means you have to make tough and unpopular decisions. Doing so is often a conflict between how you feel as a person and what you know as a business leader (see above comment about firing friends!). These two elements do not always jibe—and you have to recognize that sometimes others just won’t understand. So be it.
CEO and Founder
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