The past year was a time of reflection for many people around the world. Disruptions in normal working hours and the transition to a remote working resulted in thousands of young professionals considering entrepreneurship as a viable option. The flexibility and possibilities for early success make starting a business a tempting option for those who feel burdened by a typical ‘9-to-5’. Unfortunately, many go into entrepreneurship without fully understanding the intensity of the work, and the pressure of the job.
In my new book, Start-Up Kudos, I offer numerous practical tips and personal experience to give potential entrepreneurs a realistic look at the path they are considering. With many years of experience with start-ups, I’ve had my fair share of successes and failures. Here are ten of my top tips to kick start your knowledge of the start-up economy and prepare for your entrepreneurship journey.
- Focus on your niche
Don’t cast your net too wide. In order to do a good job, it’s better to specialize in something specific and stick to it until you can afford to expand. Focusing on one specific niche allows you to spend moretime gaining expertise in one area, to rise above the competition and solidify your position in the market.
- Be patient and accept that failure is always a possibility
Nothing works instantly, and no road is without some bumps. Starting a business will take considerable time and a lot of trial and error. Ultimately, those trials will be the key to your success and industry knowledge. In the meantime, remember this age-old wisdom: without making mistakes, one never really learns.
- Be willing to pivot
In today’s economic climate, trends and attitudes change at lightning speed. If you’re not willing to change your ways and drive in another direction, you will be on a road that leads nowhere. If there was a big sign on the road that suddenly appeared and read “Closed Road Ahead,” would you keep driving? Don’t forget that flexibility allow you to avoid setbacks and take a different, equally profitable, path.
- Remain authentic to your own values
Nothing is more important than remaining true to yourself and to your core values, no matter what you might lose. After all, your values are the only thing you can hold onto until the end and that no one can steal from you, so hold on to them tight. Confidence in your own morals and ethics more easily allow you to make business decisions, choose team members, and form a clear objective for your brand.
- See it as a slow, complicated boat ride rather than as a one-way flight
Making it in today’s industry is not easy and will surely take time and dedication. It is important to view entrepreneurship as a journey and not as a simple destination. After all, the journey may be intense and tumultuous, but it is also the most enjoyable and enriching part.
- Surround yourself with positive and likeminded people.
Negativity can seriously bring you down, while positivity can encourage you and your team as you forge ahead with your vision. Having confident, optimistic colleagues will help you move forward, focusing on the prize rather than the risks. In entrepreneurship as in life,your vibe attracts your tribe.
- “Watch me”
Prove people wrong, it is the best motivation. Have the confidence to recognize when you are at a high point and don’t be afraid to share that success with your community. Sharing your achievements with your community and getting positive feedback is a great way to boost morale for the whole team. Plus, proving the haters wrong is a great motivating factor!
- Build relationships
Whether you like it or not, entrepreneurship requires building relationships and keeping tabs on them. You can’t make it alone in such a people-oriented field, and your success will rely on who you associate or network with.
- Evaluate, don’t compare
When it comes to your competitors, comparison is useless if you don’t use it to your advantage. Evaluating your competitors and learning from their rights and wrongs is a great way to learn the ins and outs of an industry. You will gain invaluable lessons and get a lead on what to do and what not to do, based on facts and observations.
- Take advice from mentors and experts
Any successful entrepreneur has a mentor. Whether it be a family member, a close friend, or just a business partner, advice from someone with better experience is invaluable and will get you a long way in the field. Although the industry keeps altering, some core values remain the same and can be passed on from generation to generation.
For more tips on how to succeed in as a burgeoning entrepreneur, check out Start-Up Kudos on Amazon.
Rami Alame is a lawyer and serial entrepreneur founding one of the first legal tech startups in the Arab World: Lexyom, Inc. He graduated with an LLM in Financial Services Law from New York Law School; He worked for a few years in New York before leaving the Corporate World to launch several startups in Tech.