As a new entrepreneur, you're focused on getting your business off-the-ground and reaching a level of stability. With that said, new entrepreneurs also face various obstacles and challenges that extend beyond marketing and operations.
In fact, as a new entrepreneur, your greatest challenges often manifest as lifestyle challenges, ones that threaten your emotional and mental fitness. When you go about building your empire and striving to be the best version of yourself, here are three overlooked truths that you must be aware of to create long-term success.
1. Friends and family may sabotage your success.
After deciding to leave medical school after one year to pursue my current endeavors, I faced resistance from friends and family. While it would be easy to assume that my friends and family don’t believe in me, an alternative is being mindful of the fact that they simply don't see the world through the same lens as me.
As someone who grew up in a non-entrepreneurial environment where clocking in and out for eight hours was the norm, it’s impossible to expect them to view the world as I do because they haven’t been exposed it.
In other words, when you have become an outlier to family and friends, be prepared to encounter resistance. It’s not that they don’t love you any more or that they are rooting against you, they just don’t understand the world you're entering.
While in your mind, you may feel as if you're escaping the matrix. To them, you’re leaving behind security and known experience for a host of unknowns and uncertainties.
Their fears can become your doubts.
When they’re giving you advice that seems like they don’t support you, realize that they merely want to keep you safe. Your family and friends can unintentionally place doubt in your head with comments such as “Why are you doing this,” “You’re crazy to give up [X amount] of dollars," and “How will you survive,” among many others. Self-doubt is an entrepreneur's Kryptonite. It can quickly derail your growth.
However, you don’t have to throw away all your friends and family because they don’t understand your new endeavors. Instead, seek out environments through Facebook groups, peers, forums or even meet-up groups, where you’ll be around like-minded individuals.
Your environment either propels you into growth or sends you down a road of stagnation and frustration. Choose wisely with whom you share your dreams and goals as well as with whom you spend the majority of your time.
2. A new cast of characters can support your growth.
Successful television shows that last for numerous seasons stay relevant and grow because they consistently add new characters to progress the story and prevent things from going stale.
As a new entrepreneur, you’ll need to treat your journey like a television show and be on the lookout for new characters to progress your specific journey.
Since I didn’t have any entrepreneurial friends or family around me, I needed to seek out new characters for my next season of growth. I decided to seek out a coach who was doing some of the work I wanted to be doing.
Besides that, I developed friendships with peers who were at a similar place along the journey and would understand the roller coaster journey of growing a business.
Your past friends and family don’t need to be written out of the show entirely, they just need to have a reduced role on the show (i.e. your life) to make room for new characters (i.e. peers and coaches) who can help your show grow into its next iteration, heading toward success.
Take some today and audit your close network and ask, "Are these people helping me grow or constricting me?"
3. Actions determine your self-worth, not achievements.
With social media around, you’re seeing the highlight reels of entrepreneurs and high performers -- without the full context of their story. Perhaps they made six figures in 12 weeks because they had previous experience along, as well as a great network to give them leverage.
Perhaps they achieved their six-pack in eight weeks because they’re a former athlete who had a personal trainer and catered meals, along with no stress, which created the ideal environment for those results. Therefore, comparing other's achievements and journey to where you are will send your self-worth plummeting because you’re comparing yourself against an isolated, unrealistic standard, full of unknowns.
Instead of comparing your achievements to others and letting your worth be defined by them, rate your self-worth through your daily actions and character. As Earl Nightingale explains in The Strangest Secret, “You’re a success once you define a goal and are on the path.”
Comparative and negative thoughts only slow you down and take precious energy away from creating your masterpiece.
As you trek along your entrepreneurial journey, construct an identity based on the actions you take each day, not on specific outcomes arriving at a precise time; because neither is completely in your control.