13 Ways Starting a Business Will Make You A Better Person
Being an entrepreneur and starting a business is one of the greatest things you can do. Entrepreneurs, and the businesses they start, create amazing new products, provide revolutionary solutions to real world problems, and alter the course of history.
If you want to change the world, become an entrepreneur and start a business.
Over the past few years, as my businesses have grown, I've met hundred of entrepreneurs. And, one thing I've noticed from meeting these great people is that they're also focused on personal development.
The more these entrepreneurs invest in themselves, the more their businesses grow. If you want to solve problems that keep increasing in complexity, you have to find newer and improved ways of thinking.
Plus, if there's one thing the Thrive: Make Money Matter conference has taught me, it's that making money and making a difference can go hand in hand. Entrepreneurs who make money and make a difference are not only great business people, but they're great humans too.
If you truly want to make a difference in the world, start a business. To truly change things, don't settle for a cubicle somewhere, get out there and solve a problem.
13 Ways Starting a Business Will Make You A Better Person
Starting a Business Teaches You to Think for Yourself
When you're sitting alone in your office, studio, garage or shop, there's no one telling you what to do, when to do it, or how to move forward. To be successful as an entrepreneur, you'll have to think for yourself.
Starting a Business Teaches You How To Manage Your Money
Growing up, we're rarely taught how to manage our money. I remember in elementary school, 2nd grade I think it was, a bank came in, set up a table in our main hallway, and let us start a savings account for just a few pennies. But that was about it.
To start a business, you have to learn how to manage money; if you don't, you'll run out. If your expenses exceed your revenue, you'll go out of business. If your revenue exceeds your expenses, you make a profit. Successful entrepreneurs are good money managers.
Starting a Business Teaches You Patience
Most of the successful entrepreneurs we see have failed more times than the average person is even willing to try. When you make the decision to start a business, you won't always get it right, but you can't give up if you want to be successful.
Patience is required in almost every part of your business, and when working with customers, employees and business partners. I often find that I move much faster than people I work with, but I've had to learn patience. Success takes time, and not everyone moves at the pace we want them to.
Starting a Business Boosts Creativity
Entrepreneurs have to be creative. Not just creative in the areas of art or design, but in problem-solving, customer acquisition, and almost everything else in their business. Sometimes things go according to plan, other times they don't.
Starting a business will teach you how to be creative, think on your feet and outside of the box, and approach problems with an open mind.
Starting a Business Teaches You How To Work Well with Others
On the one hand, when you start a business, you get to choose who you want to work with. I get to choose my clients, who I want to work with, and who I'll form partnerships with. On the other hand, there's no way to grow your business and completely avoid working with someone with whom you don't get along.
If you're going to be an entrepreneur, you're going to have to learn how to work well with others. While Steve Jobs is an excellent example of one entrepreneur who could force the “my way or the highway” mentality, he's the exception, not the rule. Don't forget, Jobs had to make many compromises, and he got fired.
Starting a Business Teaches Initiative
My business runs on the philosophy, “If it's meant to be, it's up to me.” If you're going to start a business, you can't sit back and wait for things to happen, you have to take the initiative.
Whether it's creating new products, reaching out to new clients, or figuring out new systems and processes, you will have to take the initiative in your business if you want anything to get done. You have to put yourself in the driver's seat and put your foot on the gas. No one will tell you to go, and you can't delegate initiative.
Starting a Business Teaches You How to Deal with Rejection
I get rejected all the time. People don't want me to coach them; or, they don't want me or my team to build their website or handle their marketing. Rejection is a part of life.
However, in business, when prospective clients say “no,” they often really mean “not right now,” or, “I need more information before I can commit.” Depending on what you sell, your sales cycle can be a long one, so don't give up. Just because someone isn't ready to buy today doesn't mean they won't be ready tomorrow, or six weeks from now.
Starting a Business Teaches You How To Plan for the Future
In most jobs, unless you're in a management or sales position within the company, you don't have to spend much time planning for the future. However, when starting a business, you can't avoid planning for the future.
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Entrepreneurs have to plan future product developments. They have to plan for and build a pipeline of clients so they know where their next sale will come from. Entrepreneurs have to budget their sales from today so they won't run out of money two quarters from now. And, they have to plan for future growth and expansion.
An entrepreneur's job is never done, and there's always planning to do.
Starting a Business Teaches You How To Communicate Better
Most problems can be reduced to a matter of poor communication; TV sitcoms thrive on miscommunication. When you make the decision to start a business, you'll also have to decide to become a better communicator.
As an entrepreneur, there's virtually no part of your business where you won't have to communicate. From the emails you write to the technical specifications of your product, to the sales copy on your website, and even in the videos you might produce for your advertising, you business will rise (or fall) on how well you can communicate.
Starting a Business Requires a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude is HUGE! Over the past few years, I've been able to eliminate almost every negative influence in my life. It's a stark contrast to the prior few years while working in Corporate America where I was surrounded by people with bad attitudes and negativity. And, to be honest, my attitude wasn't all that great then either.
You can't make a positive change with a negative attitude.
But nobody wants to work with someone with a bad attitude. You can't change the world with a bad attitude. Sure, you can have a chip on your shoulder or a wrong you need to make right in the world, but you have to go about it with a positive attitude.
Starting a Business Teaches You How to Deal with Adversity
From a very young age, we're told what to do, where to go, where to sit, what to eat, what to study, how to behave… and the list goes on. Our education system is designed to create workers, not thinkers.
So, when you decided that starting a business is something you want to do, you'll have to learn how to think on your own and deal with adversity. Even some of my best friends and business partners have differing views on how things should be done, and finding a compromise has been key to my business's growth.
Starting a Business Teaches You How To Be a Leader
You cannot start a business if you're not a leader. If you can't make decisions, entrepreneurship isn't for you. And, if you can't make decisions, you can't be a leader.
Entrepreneurship is leadership.
As an entrepreneur, you must lead your clients to a mutually beneficial decision. You have to lead your teams to get things done. You have to lead yourself to get out of bed (even on the bad days), to focus on your work (and not on YouTube), and to make sure things get done.
If you can't lead yourself and others, you have no business starting a business.
Starting a Business Requires You to Solve Problems
As I said in my interview on Smart Passive Income, your business must solve a problem. If it doesn't, pack up and go home. Or, better yet, redirect your energy toward something that changes the world for the better.
But an entrepreneur's ability to solve problems is important even beyond the product development phase.
As an entrepreneur, you'll have to solve problems when your product doesn't work as intended. You'll have to solve problems between your business partners and employees. You'll even have to solve problems with your clients when you don't see eye to eye.
The attitude of “my way or the highway” won't help you start or grow your business. Conflict resolution is a required skill if you want to be successful.
Though I know not everyone has the skill or will to start their own business, I think everyone should try. Starting a business, in addition to the things above, teaches self-reliance. It shows us that we are the architects of our own future and that we can achieve amazing things.
If you're interested in entrepreneurship and you'd like someone to guide you along the way, go to ellorywells.com/coach and check out my coaching page. Schedule a call, and let me help you change the world!
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