When you're just starting out as an entrepreneur, it's easy to become overwhelmed; there's so much to do.
Well, we're here to help you out! Take a deep breath and take baby steps. Here are six no-fuss, must-do tips for the amateur entrepreneur:
1. Learn all the ‘rules’ of your industry
....so you can decide when to break them. Every industry has its own language and norms - from the way offices work to what we wear and how we speak. Some things matter greatly to the success of your work, and other things are antiquated habits of times past. Don’t accept your industry’s culture blindly; question why and if every action matters to your customers or to your business. If it doesn’t - toss it and move on.
2. If someone’s willing to teach you, be humble enough to learn.
When I first entered my industry I had my eyes and ears wide open to anything that established architects were willing to teach me. A decade later, I realize that I’ve learned more from customers, friends in totally different fields, and tradespeople. We can learn from anyone who’s been in the trenches.
3. You have to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Creatives and designers have to be good listeners - that’s standard. But if you can truly imagine yourself in another person’s job or position, and anticipate the problems and challenges THEY will face, then you can max out your customer’s investment in you.
4. If you have one customer - they are your treasure.
Focus 100 percent on helping that customer grow his or her business. There have been times when we haven’t had a ton of customers lined up, or despite the best of efforts, maybe we lost an opportunity. It’s easy in those times to get anxious. The answer is to shift your focus on the person who has trusted you: that one special customer or that one group of customers. Put your best, most productive time into your customers and treat them like gold.
5. Invest everything you have in your team.
Their professional development, their career paths, and in many ways even the trajectory of their personal lives rest on your leadership. For your top-performing employees, roll out the red carpet for them. Push them to the next level. You are their coach, and they should be able to trust you completely.
6. Have some fun every single day.
Little habits like stopping to really find out how someone spent their weekend or getting a good laugh when something silly happens leads to a culture where people feel comfortable having fun at work. When you’re figuring goals for efficiency and production, factor in some time for people to have fun!