How much you know when you begin is less important than your willingness to learn.
Starting a business is a journey. It’s a tough journey and most people fail because they don’t have a mentor. I’m going to show you the seven biggest lessons about starting a business. I’ve learned them through my experiences and my failures, and now I’m going to convey them to you so you don’t have to go through the same challenges I did.
I’m a believer that education is everything. That isn’t necessarily formal education, although it can be. Education comes in many forms, including through experience and through mentors. I can’t emphasize enough how important seeking out a mentor can be, even if you must pay. It’s why I created the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge Team, so ordinary people can learn.
I’ve lost count of the number of arrogant entrepreneurs who think they know it all. Don’t go down the same path. Humble yourself and be willing to learn no matter how successful you are and how much money you’ve earned.
Don’t jump into a new business aimlessly. Know what you want and have a plan for how to get there. I recommend writing this down and updating it as your business situation changes. You’ll be surprised at the simple power of writing down your goal and referring back to it.
By studying your strengths and weaknesses you know how to make best use of your time. If you’re a marketer concentrate on the marketing side. If you’re no good with numbers bring someone else in to help you with that, even if it means making an investment. Don’t try to do everything, otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed.
Be happy with the progress you make. I know from experience that constantly aiming for big wins and quick returns isn’t going to help you in the long-term. Consistency in business is much more effective than trying to nail everything all at once in the first few weeks and months.
Right or wrong, business is all about who you know. Knowing someone who can advise you, knowing an investor, or just knowing someone who can provide you with emotional support can be invaluable. I wished I had started networking from day one. Every day that you’re not networking is a potential partner lost. Start networking no matter how big (or small) you are.
One of my crucial tips for traders is to love what you do. It’s the only way you’re going to get through the tough times. Passion drives us and if you’re not doing what you want to do in life…what’s the point? No matter what industry it is, if you love it and work ridiculously hard, you’ll excel eventually and the money will be there once you’re an expert.
Finally, the best way to run a business is to avoid procrastinating. Get started right now and begin working towards your goals.
This article was originally published at Entrepreneur.com.