Survival of the Fittest

As your business grows, so do the challenges. Meet them with confidence.
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the December 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Like many entrepreneurs, I prefer selling my products to keeping the books. When I started my business, my dad teased me about hiring a great accountant. I couldn't justify the expense, so I dug into the financial aspects on my own. While working hard to find real solutions, I discovered that as long as I was willing to adapt, I could conquer any challenge.

Every entrepreneur faces a similar situation. As your business grows, you encounter new responsibilities that are beyond your current abilities. Fortunately, we entrepreneurs are a special breed. Our conviction to succeed drives us to achieve what others may see as impossible. We move forward against almost any obstacle, even our personal limitations.

Rather than stopping in your tracks when new challenges appear, conquer them with confidence. To concentrate your attention in the face of new business challenges:

1. Focus. A strong vision, combined with your belief in yourself, enables you to discover solutions that work. Review your daily activities each night. If any new areas of responsibility appear, name them, and record several tactics you can use to move forward. By focusing on defining the problem and its potential solutions, you make the process less intimidating.

2. Collect information that suggests new approaches. By looking at a challenge through others' eyes, you can discover alternative solutions that you'll enjoy implementing. Ask experts and other entrepreneurs to show you their secrets for how to accomplish your goal. Invite and encourage them to offer solutions. Ask tough questions about any assumptions they make, and discover the action steps that will help you enjoy your new responsibilities.

3. Establish unique systems that work for you. Update your plan with steps that point you toward your end goal. Financial software frustrated me, so I developed an Excel-based system that I could easily update. It's not traditional, but now it's easy for me to track my income and expenses.

4. Learn and adapt. Strong-willed entrepreneurs often power around a challenge rather than facing it. Instead, review your processes biweekly, uncover any new challenges, and revise your steps to success to address them. Find and use shortcuts that will make your work even more enjoyable! For instance, I added an area to the income section of my financial spreadsheet to track the issuance and payment of invoices. Tracking my accounts receivable is now much easier.

When adaptation is a natural part of your business growth, your resistance diminishes. Trust your judgment, and enjoy the process of creating the steps to success as much as the outcome itself. Be on the lookout for the areas of your business that aren't working, and have the courage to accept them. Persistently develop unique remedies, and move forward with confidence.

Editor's note: Looking for our "Countdown to Startup" series? We've compiled it into one easy-to-use feature. Click here to read it.

Speaker and consultant Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Dream Business.

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