I am sharing my biggest challenge as an entrepreneur through a partnership with Office Depot Business Solutions Center and sponsored campaign with Socialstars #GearLove.
I’ve often gone on record many times and called myself an accidental entrepreneur. I worked for the better part of my adult life in an administrative role in Corporate America, first as an assistant, then as an HR Generalist, and lastly as an HR manager. I thought I was happy making my way up the ladder of success, and I was headed towards an executive role. And then the bottom fell out.
I was notified that my services were no longer needed, and just like that, I was out of a job. And this didn’t happen just about two weeks before Christmas, but during one of the worst economic periods of the last 30 years. I could find a job yes, and was offered many positions, but none paying what I was used to being paid.
There was the fledgling blog that I had just started a few months prior, so I began focusing on that. Could I actually make money writing about topics that interest working parents and entrepreneurs? Would I be able to craft a business that would allow me make full-time money?
I didn’t know the answers to those questions at the time. I only knew that I had to try. And so I did.
I was a big failure at first. My web design wasn’t up to par, I wasn’t consistent, and I didn’t know what my voice was yet. I will say it was through trial and error that I began to develop a following locally on social media. And from that, I was able to grow my traffic and my blog. Slowly but surely, I was on the path to being a true entrepreneur.
The biggest setback or obstacle I faced was believing in myself and overcoming self doubt. Because I didn’t have an entrepreneurial mindset, I wasn’t hungry enough to reach for opportunities. It took me months before I grew a backbone and started to be proactive, rather than being reactive.
When it comes to overcoming self doubt, I learned the following three things:
Motivation is everything
Being motivated is key when you are an entrepreneur. You have to be a self-starter and able to self-motivate. Whether it’s a mentor or coach, book of inspiration, or motivating quotes, you have to find that spark that helps you ignite your flame to continuing to work towards your goals each and every day. The Office Depot Business Solutions Center has an article 15 Motivational Quotes That’ll Keep You Going, Even on Your Worst Days that I wished was around when I first began my journey four plus years ago.
Closed mouths don’t get fed
If you don’t ask for what is that you want, then it won’t happen. You have to ask to be paid what you want and then demand it. You have to be be proactive, not reactive when charging what you are worth. You have to be forward thinking and always on top of your game. You often hear of entrepreneurs and small business owners opine about how they are being underpaid. But when you understand your value and what you and your business brings to the table, that doesn’t become an issue.
People buy from people they like and trust—even if your price is more than someone else’s. So price your services and products accordingly and don’t be afraid to charge what you are worth. It took me a few years to learn that lesson—talk about wasted time.
Need help learning to negotiate? Read the Office Depot Business Solution Center article, 8 Rules of Negotiating Every Professional Should Memorize.
Confidence is necessary
There is something about someone who is confident, especially when it comes to their business savvy and know-how. People want to work with people who are successful and know about what they are talking about, so put your best face forward. I often lacked confidence at the beginning because I didn’t know what I was doing. Professional blogging was a new arena and the rules hadn’t been written yet, so you know what? I wrote my own. Work with a mentor to help build and boost your confidence and don’t be afraid to blaze new trails and mark your territory. Being confidence when it comes to your business can be a game changer.
Overcoming self doubt took me years to achieve, And now that I am embarking on my fifth year as an entrepreneur, I finally be confident and knowledgeable in that I am doing. The best is yet to come, and I am ready!
Special thanks to Socialstars and to Office Depot for giving me the opportunity to share my entrepreneurial challenges as a part of this campaign. Click to read more of my #GearLove posts.