There are all sorts of different things that could happen to an entrepreneur, that could throw their professional aspirations off track, and leave them with a pretty substantial issue or two to deal with.
Being an entrepreneur is one of those things that has the potential to change your life in a range of highly positive ways. But, at the same time, every entrepreneurial journey takes a good deal of resilience, careful planning and insight, not to mention hard work.
If you are an entrepreneur already, or if you are on the verge of creating your first start-up, there are various tips that you should keep in mind for avoiding some of the most unpleasant pitfalls that come your way.
Here are a few tips for avoiding pitfalls as an entrepreneur.
Prepare in advance for serious potential issues
The Scout motto of “always be prepared,” is great advice for pretty much anything you might care to do in life – but it can often save your business from near-certain ruin, if you are an entrepreneur.
There are all sorts of potential serious issues that could develop in your professional life, and while many of those will be (or at least will appear) pretty much unfathomable until they actually do occur, many others can be anticipated and planned for in advance, if you are willing to do your due diligence and reflect on some potentially heavy possibilities.
If your business is already established and relies, absolutely, on certain key individuals, for example, then getting “key man insurance” from a company like MyKeyManInsurance.com could help to shield you against the potentially catastrophic consequences of something happening to one of your most important people.
By the same token, you may have reason to suspect that a brand name or logo of yours could present a copyright issue with a large competitor down the line, if and when your business becomes substantial enough to warrant their notice.
The easy thing to do would be to shrug your shoulders and decide to “cross that bridge when you come to it,” but the smart thing to do might be to get an informed legal opinion right here and now, and to adjust that brand name if needs be, before it becomes an entrenched part of your official identity.
Prioritise your health and well-being as a point of urgency
As an entrepreneur, you are your own number one resource, and anything that serves to diminish your health and sense of well-being is a major point of urgency not only from the perspective of you, the person, but also from the perspective of you, the professional.
It might be the case that everything is going well in your business, and things are moving from strength to strength, only for you to then suddenly be hit by unexpected chronic fatigue and difficulty thinking straight. Clearly, this kind of scenario could spell ruin for your business and for all the strategies you have been busy developing over time.
This is particularly important advice to keep in mind, because entrepreneurs are notorious for not sparing themselves when working on their businesses. Tales of burnout are never-ending, and things like work-life balance and adequate sleep often go out the window at once.
There are lots of things that can happen to you that will diminish your ability to do your job, but which could have been avoided with enough attention to health and well-being.
Make sure that you eat well (and enough). Be sure to get enough sleep – it really matters, as sleep scientist Matthew Walker would happily tell you all about. And take a good multivitamin supplement to make sure that you aren’t seriously deficient in anything.
Become a master of time management and always try to do only one thing at a time
The life of an entrepreneur isn’t a life that forgives disorganisation and poor time management lightly, never mind the associated issue of procrastination.
In order to be properly on top of things, and to ensure that molehills don’t turn into mountains, you need to be able to manage your time excellently, and you also can’t afford to make silly mistakes due to a lack of focus, when you actually do get down to work.
In addition to working diligently to hone and refine your time management skills as an entrepreneur, it’s also important that you develop the skill of doing one thing at a time.
As the author and academic Cal Newport says in his popular book “Deep Work,” it’s this kind of focus that can make all the difference.