3 things I didn’t know about being an entrepreneur

I know from my own experiences that starting out as an entrepreneur can be exciting and professionally rewarding – and it can also help you to provide a good quality of life for your loved ones. But before you set up your own company, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what’s in store. With this in mind, here are three things that you may not know about setting up and running a new company.

You can’t expect success to come overnight.

We’ve all heard examples of entrepreneurs being propelled to fame and fortune virtually overnight, but for the vast majority of businesspeople, it takes time to build up a successful company.

The initial stages of setting up a business are in many ways the most demanding and you will need to have patience to get through them. It can take some time for even the best start-ups to turn a profit so you have to be prepared to play the long game.

To achieve results and ultimate success, you must have a sound business plan in place and then be willing to put in the necessary hard work to bring it to fruition.

You’ll spend a lot of your time reassuring others.

One thing that takes many entrepreneurs by surprise is the amount of time and energy they have to devote to reassuring those around them. From telling partners and family members that the long hours you are putting in will eventually pay off to assuring banks that they will hit their targets, there are plenty of people to inspire and/or put at ease.

To maintain morale and motivation levels within their companies, business owners also have to provide their teams with visionary and positive messages. If you want to do this convincingly, you must have confidence in your business and in your abilities as a leader. You can’t let your self-belief waver; it’s important to remain upbeat and optimistic about the future – for your own piece of mind as well as that of others.

It’s hard to switch off.

When you’re in charge of a company, especially one its infancy, it’s difficult – if not impossible – to think of anything else. Even if you’re on holiday or trying to relax at home, your thoughts are likely to turn to your business.

Worrying about issues to do with the day-to-day running of your organisation, sleepless nights and fretting over whether you’re on the right track and trying to keep up to date with all the latest industry trends and developments is natural – especially in the early stages. But it’s important that you find ways to rest and recharge so that you’re able to make the best decisions for your business and, of course, for your personal life.

The good news is this tends to get easier over time. As you get used to running a business, you should develop a more balanced perspective and find you’re able to relax more easily outside of work – at least some of the time. You’ll never completely switch off when it comes to your own company, but you should be able to achieve a healthy work-life balance and, crucially, enjoy the rewards of your hard work and success.

 

Chris Niarchos has decades of experience as an entrepreneur, having established his first company at the age of just 22. Chris Niarchos’ passion for marketing saw him set up the Appco Group, an industry leader in face-to-face customer and donor acquisition.

How to earn respect as a business leader

Respect isn’t something that business leaders can simply expect; it is something they must earn. My career has taught me that if someone wants to be well regarded by their team members and the business community more widely, they have to show leadership, courage and a range of other compelling characteristics. Following are some of the qualities and actions that I believe to be crucial if you want to be respected by the people around you.

Lead by example.

To inspire your team to be diligent and committed, you must lead by example and be an inspirational and positive role model.

Those in the Appco Group network will most certainly have heard this business described as one where we “show don’t tell”. And I believe this is extremely important because people are much more likely to respect and emulate you if they know that you practice what you preach.

On the other hand, if they see that there are differences between your personal approach to work and the approach you expect others to adopt, they will be less likely to trust you as a leader.

Set high standards.

I am also a great believer in setting high standards for yourself and for the people around you.

If others see that you’re willing to cut corners or you’re prepared to settle for mediocrity, their estimations of you are likely to fall and their own standards may drop.

My experience tells me that people are most likely to respond to a leader who strives to achieve the very best in all they do, and who challenges them to do the same. The harder you work for something, the more you value it.

Have the courage to make bold decisions.

Having the foresight and nerve to make bold business decisions will earn you self respect as well as the respect of others. For example, challenging the status quo and step out of your comfort zone in order to improve your company may be a difficult move in the short term, but this is the only way to develop as a business leader.

And, even if a decision doesn’t work out the way you planned, you will gain respect for taking the leap and, just as importantly, learning from the experience regardless of the outcome.

The leaders who people really look up to have the courage of their convictions and are prepared to take action even when the odds seem stacked against them.

Show respect for and appreciation of those around you.

Showing respect for others is essential because, as I highlighted in a previous blog, every great entrepreneur needs a great team around them.

Acknowledging the successes of your team members, rewarding their hard work and treating them with courtesy and respect, will build people’s trust in you as a leader and encourages the same qualities in them. On the other hand, failing to recognise the achievements of others can dent morale and the ultimate success of your organisation seroquel 100mg.

Be confident in your abilities.

This plays a big part in gaining the respect of others. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, you will have a hard time convincing others to back you.

There may be times when you doubt yourself and wonder if you are up to the job of running your company, but it is crucial that you stay positive and have faith in your skills as a leader, and in those around you.

 

Chris Niarchos knows exactly what it takes to earn respect as a leader. As founder and chairman of the Cobra Group of Companies, he oversees an impressive portfolio of businesses. For more facts about Chris Niarchos, check out this Bloomberg Business profile.