5 Tips to Survive as an Entrepreneur and Avoid Going Back to the 9–5
I see so many people get started on eBay, Amazon, or Shopify, or they start up their own businesses. And then if you ask them two or three years down the road how things are going, they admit they are back at their day jobs. I know deep down that is not where they want to be. So here are five tips to survive as an entrepreneur and keep from going back to the 9–5 world.
#1: Manage Your Projects Closely
Each and every day, you want to be aware of what projects you’re working on. The goal shouldn’t be working 15 hours a day to make progress. You want to survive and not burn out. Let’s say you have multiple projects going on. Maybe you have your hand in Amazon FBA, a YouTube channel, and a Shopify store. Every day you want to make sure that you’re doing something to move the needle forward.
Making progress is what it’s all about. If you make a little bit of progress each and every day, then three months, six months, or nine months down the road, you’re going to have massive results. If you only work a couple times a week on things and are inconsistent, it’s too easy to forget about a project. Two weeks can go by and maybe you forget to list or monitor your correspondence. You need to be consistent every single day and make a little bit of progress.
You can use different software to help you manage your projects daily whether it’s Trello, Google Drive, or some other Cloud-based systems. Then nothing will get lost. You can access the necessary information from your phone, from your computer, and in different locations.
#2: Have Multiple Streams of Income
Don’t listen to those people who are telling you only to focus on one thing. While that philosophy does stand true to a certain extent—if you want to build a $100 million company, start your own eBay, or have your own Google—most people just aren’t going to have that much success. A more reasonable expectation is to have multiple projects and multiple businesses that you’re running.
I don’t like the word backup, but in a way that’s the point here. Because when you’re selling on eBay, you’re playing in their sandbox. When you’re selling on Amazon, you’re playing in their sandbox. When you’re running your Shopify store, you might think to yourself that, yes, you have your own website and have all the control. But if you take a look at how you’re achieving your sales, it’s probably 80 to 90 percent Facebook ads. What happens if Facebook shuts you down?
You always want to have multiple streams of income. The people who are in the game for longer periods of time tend to have various things going on. The ones who give up after a year usually only have one thing. They have one platform that they get kicked off of or fail to have success at, and they can’t make it work. If you have multiple projects, you have a better chance of succeeding.
What has allowed me to survive as an entrepreneur over the last five years is having multiple income streams. A lot of times I’ve had more than 10 streams going at once. And not all of them have required active effort every single day for me. A lot of them have been passive. But that’s the beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur. You can have projects that are very active, such as eBay or Amazon. Then you can build up side projects, such as having a YouTube channel, selling products on Gumroad, or building email marketing campaigns.
#3: Always Be Planting Seeds
Many people don’t typically try to start planting a new seed until their specific section of the garden—whatever business or project they currently have going—is dying. And then they start thinking about planting seeds. That’s not what you want to do. You want to start planting seeds when things are going well.
Maybe you’re doing $500,000 a year on Amazon FBA as a retail arbitrage seller. You’re going to Target, Wal-Mart, and Barnes and Noble. Then an inauthentic claim comes in and knocks you out, and it takes you a month to get reinstated.
Don’t wait until that happens. When things are still going well, start planting the eBay seed, the Shopify seed, or the YouTube seed. There are so many things that you can do. Maybe buy a piece of real estate and have some passive income coming in that way.
You don’t have to spend 15 hours a week to nurture a seed. You can spend an hour a week to get a little side business going. And be consistent with that. And then four or five months down the road, you have a little passive income coming in because you planted that seed.
#4: Don’t Listen to the Haters
All haters want is to bring you down. It’s like a bucket of crabs. One crab tries to climb out of the bucket and do something new, unique, something the others aren’t doing. And the other crabs pull that one crab down. Do not let the crabs take you down. Don’t let other people sway what you believe in, what you want to accomplish, what you’re excited about, and what you enjoy.
The haters are worried about other things, so don’t worry about the haters. Don’t pay them any attention. Now, if you’re getting common feedback all the time and notice a pattern, you always want to listen. You want to take things in and take necessary action when possible. But don’t let the people out there who don’t believe in their dreams take you away from the dreams you want to accomplish.
#5: Leverage Other People
After several years as an entrepreneur, I realize that I have my strengths. I’m great at creating a vision, staying consistent with something I’m passionate about, having that 30,000-foot overview on a project, and creating content and motivation. But I have my weaknesses too. I’m not the greatest at web development, graphic design, and back-end administration. So I’ve learned that I have to focus on my strengths and outsource my weaknesses.
Certain things in your business are going to make you the most money, create the biggest change, and help the most people. And then other things aren’t. Outsource things like customer service and graphic design, and hire people who are much better and more talented than you at those things.
When you start to develop as an entrepreneur and build up your various income streams, don’t think that you have to be the one to do everything. Focus on what you’re good at. You don’t want to get locked into tasks that could be delegated so that you get pulled away from what really makes a difference in your business.
You want to know what matters the most?: thinking, learning, problem solving, being strategic, reflecting upon what’s working and what’s not working, relationship building, and networking. Even more important are things like having fun, enjoying yourself, and getting healthy. You do not want to get so mired in your business that you lose touch with what is most vital in business and your life.
Survival Is the Goal
These five tips are how I’ve been able to survive. I haven’t been perfect. Some people catch on more quickly than others, but I’ve certainly been learning a lot, developing, and growing. You can too.
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