“To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art.” – Chinese Proverb.
One of the most vital ingredients for creating a successful business built for longevity is stamina. Entrepreneurs must be willing to fight a war of attrition with competitors in hopes of them backing down so that market share could be won. It is a battle of wills where you want your competitors to cave in, or close shop, before you do and the best methods for achieving this feat is through the efficient use of resources and endurance.
As we’re aware, entrepreneurship is not an easy task and all entrepreneurs must be prepared for the long-haul. Because problems are inevitable when owning a business, you must have the stamina to not only survive but also retaliate against unforeseen problems and challenges.
With this in mind, I would like to focus on helping you build the required stamina and endurance to be a successful entrepreneur for many years to come. To win the war of attrition, every successful entrepreneur possess these 5 traits that’s prevented them from succumbing to the multitude of obstacles that arises in business.
Before venturing down the entrepreneurial path, you must ensure that you’re passionate about your proposed business. Since start-ups are rarely profitable at first, you must really love what you’re doing, especially when faced with extreme stress due to intense workloads, problems, etc. Plus, it’ll be a very difficult climb to the top if you’re not passionate enough to the point where you’re fixated on becoming the best in your industry.
Tip: Start a business where work does not feel like work and you’d be willing to do it for free.
As an entrepreneur, you must also be motivated around the clock to the point where it resonates with internal and external stakeholders, such as partners, employees, customers, etc. Not only must you be motivated to do the best for yourself and your business but also relay that focus and motivation in an effort to instill the hard-working spirit in others.
Surprisingly enough, I recently read a survey concluding that roughly 70% of entrepreneurs start a business hoping to make around $35,000 – $40,000 per year. To me, this is one of the main reasons why most start-ups fail. With such a low financial motivational factor that doesn’t even surpass the average U.S. income of $42,500, it’s no revelation that most entrepreneurs would typically surrender when encountering significant challenges and obstacles.
Tip: Your motivational factors should include doing it for your loved ones and a financial goal of $1 million, or more, in gross sales and you can design a business plan that’ll help you produce the results you want.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you must also realize that the learning never stops. You must continually learn about your business, along with keeping abreast of the latest fads and trends within your industry. In addition, you must also learn from all your mistakes and believe me, there’ll be many crucial lessons every entrepreneur could take away from their failures, especially when they’re catastrophic.
Tip: Become a bibliophile and learn as much as possible about your industry, along with following others on social media that could help you not only learn but also improve your business.
Conditioning is another prerequisite of successful entrepreneurship. Like any prize fighter, you must be in shape and willing to go another round even when it’s hard to breathe and every muscle in your body aches. Even when your body tells you it’s time to throw in the towel, you recognize in your mind that victory is possible and it’s not about the actual defense, or offensive blows, but who remains standing at the end of the fight.
If you want to be properly conditioned to win the war of attrition, you must ensure that you’re doing the right exercises as an entrepreneur. This includes setting a mission and vision statement, along with other goals; continually assessing your current business practices and incorporating improvements to meet those goals; manage employees and delegate tasks and holding people accountable for their actions; generating and monitoring financial reports; innovating; protecting your firm and limiting liabilities.
Tip: Get familiar with all aspects of entrepreneurship and if you’re not comfortable in any area, you could swallow your pride and hire an employee or business trainer / partner, who specializes in that specific area to help your business grow.
Last, but not least, is exercising. To ensure that your business continues to survive and thrive through the years, you must exercise regularly in an effort to build the stamina and endurance to keep up with it. Medical research has also shown that a 20 minute exercise session not only assists with increasing energy while reducing stress levels but also improves sleep and eating habits.
In essence, when you’re healthy, your business is healthier because you’re more conditioned, focused, energetic, rested, optimistic, etc. Please note that the type of exercise doesn’t really matter as long as you’re physically doing something to help raise your energy levels. It could be as simple as walking and jogging, or doing more complicated exercises, such as yoga and sports. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to remember that exercise consistency is more crucial than intensity and that small portions of moderate exercising is all that is needed to make a difference.
Tip: Start with a 20 minute walk per day at least 3 times a week and gradually work to increase your time and exercise routines.
To end, I leave you with another Chinese proverb wisely stating that it’s “easy to run downhill, much puffing to run up.” That the true test for any entrepreneur is not when things are going good but how he, or she, behaves and reacts when things become challenging. Rather than quitting and looking for a job, successful entrepreneurs show emotional fortitude and resolve by not being intimidated by these challenges – all of which could be accomplished with the 5 traits mentioned above.
So before starting any business, make sure that you realize that entrepreneurship is not a sprint but a marathon that requires exceptional stamina and endurance to win the war of attrition.