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.

Is fear of failure standing in your way?

As a business leader, I am well aware of the challenges associated with fulfilling your potential and striving for success. One of the biggest barriers that can stand in people’s way is the fear of failure – all too often, it prevents talented people from pursuing their dreams. However, there are ways to tackle this obstacle. Following are some insights that could help you to free yourself from self-doubt.

Embrace and accept your mistakes

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you test your abilities and embrace new challenges, the chances are you will sometimes get it wrong – at least to begin with. But this isn’t a reason to shy away from giving it a go. Everyone who has achieved big things in their careers has made mistakes. This is simply part of the process, and it provides you with invaluable experience and an opportunity to learn important lessons for the future.

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t

Never ever sell yourself short. Instead of focussing on the things you can’t do, think about all the skills you already have and those you’re in the process of developing. It might help to start a list of the capabilities you possess and the achievements you can claim – big and small,– and add to it as you acquire a new skill. It’s a simple way to see the range of qualities you already possess and how many you develop over time.

Don’t compare yourself to others

We all have role models who can help us to channel our ambitions and stay motivated. However, it’s important not to fall into the trap of continually comparing yourself to others to the extent that you end up feeling inadequate. Everyone is different, no one is perfect and even the most successful business people experience difficulties and doubts. By all means, take inspiration from others, but forge your own path that is defined by your own goals.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

While it’s important to define your own career goals and path, it’s also important to reach out for help when you need it. This is a skill that every successful business leader and entrepreneur has to perfect. Whether it’s asking for support from family and friends or seeking out mentors with expertise in your industry, or simply delegating tasks, having an effective support network in place is essential.

 

Chris Niarchos knows what it takes to overcome the fear of failure. As well as building a successful international business from scratch, he has earned respect through his talents on the racetrack. In this Dailysportscar interview with Chris Niarchos, he suggested he used to be an “awful racer”. But through perseverance, he went on to achieve impressive results before retiring from the track many years ago.