Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

4 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Small Business

Leave your ego at the door, create a firm direction, then just do it.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting my business career was tough. I made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t regret those mistakes. They were important learning experiences for me, but I wish I had known then what I know now. These are the top four things I wish I’d have known before launching my first small business all those years ago.

Tara Moore | Getty Images

You can do it.

My initial optimism was always tempered by that little voice in the back of my head that said I couldn’t do it. Don’t underestimate the power of self-confidence. Think back to your childhood when your parents told you that you could do something. Didn’t it give you the strength to move forward?

That doesn’t change when you become an adult. You can do it and you do have the power. Make sure you’re confident, and if you can’t be confident approach someone you look up to for reassurance.

Related: 8 Online Careers You Can Start Today From Home

It won't take as long as you think.

Conventional wisdom says that it takes at least five years for you to achieve a profit when running a small business. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can achieve big profits without putting everything on the line within the first year. It’s certainly not uncommon.

Don’t be put off by the people who say it’s not going to happen anytime soon. I achieved tremendous success with some of my small businesses within the first year, and sometimes within the first six months.

Related: 6 Things You Must Quit Doing Now If You Want to Be More Successful

Concentrate on your key milestones.

You must have a firm direction. It’s the same principle for any new venture. Create realistic goals and track your progress. Do the same with your small business.

Create daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and annual goals. Don’t be afraid to get ambitious with them. Push yourself at all times to greater heights.

Related: Why Your 20s Is the Perfect Time to Start a Business

You need help.

Probably the most important thing I ever learned from starting a small business is that everyone needs help. Everyone needs a mentor. Ninety percent of all successful business people had help from someone else. That could be a family member, friend, or just a mentor they met at a conference somewhere.

Seek out the help of those who's more successful than you. Be willing to humble yourself and don’t assume you know it all because you don’t.

When I first started it was easy for me to want to keep control and to want to do everything myself. That was a dumb idea and my progress was much slower because of it.

Open your mind and leave your ego at the door.

Related: Why These Founders Train Their Employees to Quit

Last Word – Start Your Small Business Today

Your small business lives or dies on the decisions you make and the attitudes you hold from the very beginning. I’d always say that you should leave your ego at the door, create a firm direction, and then just do it.

Don’t procrastinate. Just do it.

Timothy Sykes

Written By

Timothy Sykes is an entrepreneur and a penny stock expert, trader and advocate. He has been featured on CNN, Fox News, CNBC and more. Watch his media appearances and speeches on Youtube here.