Short-term success is easy. Entrepreneurs with new startups usually have high energy in the beginning. So they may experience early success after acquiring their initial clientele. However, that energy usually dies down. So naturally, growth will slow down as well.
So how do you keep it on full throttle? How do you maintain that high energy, long term?
The word stamina refers to physical strength and endurance. In business, entrepreneurial stamina is your inner power to endure mental and physical fatigue, hardship, distress, and difficulty.
You need unfaltering entrepreneurial stamina in order to maintain business growth. If you already have it, great! If you don’t, let’s develop it before you launch your next business startup.
The difficult life of an entrepreneur
Your life as an entrepreneur will be very difficult, especially during the early stages. You’ll live and breath your business day in and day out. And you’ll work super long hours in order to succeed.
In the beginning, you’ll wear many hats. You’ll be required to perform most duties, whether you like them or not. Also, you must perform many tasks in which you may not be proficient at.
The long haul
So are you in this for the long haul? Are you willing to work harder than you have ever worked before, and for an extended period of time? Hopefully your answer is an enthusiastic YES!
So please allow me to share with you my latest experience with a business startup. My entrepreneurial stamina is being put to the test in a big way.
My latest business startup
In Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Mexico, I recently started an English academy called LADAIA (La Academia De Aprender Inglés Acelerado). My first order of business was to hire an assistant. I found a local new college graduate, Ulises, the son of my friend Jorge, a prominent business owner in Puerto Peñasco. Ulises has been working for me since the beginning.
I gave Ulises his first task right away. He performed a thorough competitive analysis to fully understand the other English schools in town. Then he provided me with a full report about those schools – who they are, how long they’ve been there, how much they charge, and the condition of the facilities. This knowledge allowed me to set the bar properly.
After securing a location for the English academy, we started developing the business. Our initial tasks included:
- Business model development
- Floorplan layout
- Wall construction
- Furniture procurement
- Teaching method creation
- Hiring teachers
Over the period of two months, we accomplished it all. We worked harder than ever to get the school up and running quickly. And by the time we were ready to start classes, I had provided Ulises with two assistants and two teachers to cover the morning shift and the afternoon shift. Ulises was now a manager in training.
We had a very high level of energy from the start. We rushed to fill students into many time-slots on the schedule, early morning to night time, Monday through Saturday. And we really hustled.
We put flyers in every business and signs on the street. Our social media exploded and we found businesses who want their employees to speak English. We hit the streets hard. And it was fun to hear about the buzz we were creating.
Entrepreneurial stamina in action
After a couple of months of operation, energy levels started to diminish. The team had started settling into their daily routine. So they now needed re-invigoration to help with our continued business growth.
It took my entrepreneurial stamina to reinvigorate the team. Our attrition rate was higher than expected. So we needed to regain that initial energy level in order to grow. So I made sure that my entrepreneurial stamina rubbed off on them.
Business owners need entrepreneurial stamina to keep themselves and their team going strong. Employees don’t have the same motivation as business owners. They receive paychecks each week regardless of how the business is progressing. So give them incentives, but also, motivate them regularly.
Your entrepreneurial persona
It starts with a mindset. Entrepreneurs have a burning desire to create something profound – something which will provide financial freedom – something which will meet a need or fill a niche in the marketplace.
Entrepreneurs are pioneers. They break new ground, and they seek out new territories.
Entrepreneurs are game changers. They know how to change the status quo.
Do you have passion and the determination to stick with it through the rough times? Are you risk averse?
What are the realities of business?
Many deceptions exist out there which distort reality. So you need to realize the truth. You must understand the realities of business to avoid failure.
“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality”
– Ayn Rand
Reality #1 Entrepreneurship takes time
You must practice careful strategic planning and plan execution through each step of your venture over a great many months to be a successful entrepreneur. Perform proper market research. Research your competitors. Dive into the nitty-gritty each step of the way.
As a military General, would you go into battle without a plan? Of course not! So why would you launch a business startup without one? The marketplace is a battle-field filled with foes ready to fight (compete) with you.
Reality #2 Your competitors are predatory
If you find or create a new market, you may fall victim to a lion in search of prey. Whenever a smaller predator makes a kill, a lion usually takes it. Big companies are always in search of new avenues. And when they find a company who has started to exploit one, they come in and take over.
Think of your competitors like sharks in your fishing hole. Patents and other legal protections may be your protective cage to dive in. But you can swim with your competitors without a cage if you understand and fear what they’re capable of. Remember – you’re much smarter than sharks!
Reality #3 Your competitors are strong
Entering an existing market is tough. Companies with large bank-rolls and well established market-share will always put up a fight. You must be ready to compete. So develop your entrepreneurial stamina by exercising your mind regularly – study your competition and increase your business knowledge all the time.
Reality #4 Your competitors have loyal customers
Many of those customers who’re a part of your competition’s market-share are loyal. They may see you like a Coke lover sees Pepsi. It’ll never happen. They literally have Coke ingrained in the same part of their brain where religious beliefs reside.
In 1984, Steve Jobs put out a television commercial which had a profound impact. It caused Apple customers to view IBM and Microsoft as an enemy. Even today, smart phones which perform better and cost less still have a hard time competing with iPhones. Apple has a very loyal following. They don’t care about performance or price. It’s illogical! But you must contend with this by depending on your entrepreneurial stamina.
Far too many people start doomed businesses. The business startup failure rate is eight out of ten in less than two years. So you shouldn’t start a business unless you understand and accept these realities. And you must have great entrepreneurial stamina to keep your business growing, long-term.
Thank you for reading:
Entrepreneurial Stamina – Do You Have What It Takes?
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