My Blog
Entrepreneur

Eight Entrepreneurs Discuss The Obstacles They Never Anticipated When They First Started


When you decide to become an entrepreneur, there are certain obstacles you know you’re going to have to face—obtaining funding, advertising your business or making that first sale. However, there are often many more obstacles you won’t be prepared for or didn’t even realize would happen.

Nevertheless, with the right strategies and plans in place, each of these hurdles can be overcome. For more insights on how to prepare for these hardships, consider the following advice from the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Here, they each discuss one obstacle they faced in their career that they never thought to prepare for when they started their company and how they recommend other leaders prepare.

1. Feeling Isolated

I didn’t anticipate feeling so alone, even when surrounded by friends, peers, teammates, mentors and paid coaches. At the end of the day, it’s you against you, and if you struggle to be alone with your thoughts and fears, this will be a challenging road for you. If you’re a new leader, get comfortable being uncomfortable and find a network now to support you. Find the person you can fall apart with, a rational mind to talk you off the ledge and especially someone whom you can safely celebrate your wins with. I come from a lower-middle-class upbringing, and when we hit our first seven figures, I had no one close to me to tell who wouldn’t be offended by my success. Find the people who will be there no matter the season and keep them close. You’ll need them. – Trivinia Barber, PriorityVA

2. Stepping Away To Start A Family

One obstacle that I didn’t anticipate when starting my business was what would happen when I started my family and needed to take time off after the birth of my kids. I knew that I would be away and focusing on nurturing my baby, but I assumed I would still have brain space to check in on the business. As it turned out, I really needed to be disconnected from work for at least three months, and even though I had a team in place to keep things going, I wish I had done more training with them so I wasn’t required at all. In the end, I was much better prepared for my second parental leave, but I wish I had spoken to more mothers to hear their experiences beforehand. I believe it’s possible to keep a business running, but you just need the right expectations and plan in place during maternity leave. – Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly

3. Selling My Business

When I think about unexpected obstacles I’ve faced in my career, selling my business comes to mind. I never imagined my company would be big enough to sell. Once I realized this was a possibility, I learned there was more to the situation than simply handing my company to someone else for a big paycheck. A lot of legal paperwork and technicalities need to be sorted out before you sell your business or merge with a larger brand. You also have to train the incoming team so they know how to keep things running smoothly. Plus, if you’re like me, you want to find a partner or seller with similar values and passion for the industry. I suggest preparing for this obstacle by researching potential buyers and selling processes as soon as you think you may want to sell your business. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

4. Needing To Find A Business Partner

One unexpected obstacle I faced early on in my career as an entrepreneur was needing to find a business partner. What I’ve learned with time is that enthusiasm for entrepreneurship can easily blind us to our weaknesses. Bringing on a business partner to balance out one’s strengths and weaknesses can make a massive difference in what’s possible. So, being able to identify the right type of partner is a core skill every entrepreneur with big aspirations needs to learn as early as possible. To discern the best business partner, it’s key to interview many candidates rather than picking a friend. Learning the goals and struggles of the partner you’re considering is crucial for developing an effective business alliance. Taking these steps also helps foster communication that’s vital for success. – Richard Fong, Disability Help

5. Dealing With Copycat Companies

When I started my company, there was no one else offering the niche services we had. I expected to hear “no” and to have doors closed—both of which happened numerous times at the start. However, what I did not expect was to have dozens of copycat companies pop up modeling their businesses after mine. Many of them chose to offer the exact services and packages we did, and a handful even took the verbiage from our website and included it verbatim on theirs. This helped me learn one of the most important skills of a successful entrepreneur: innovation. We are not afraid of change and growth, which has helped make us pioneers in our field. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

6. Facing Unending Rejection

When getting started, I never thought to prepare for unending rejections from investors. Raising investment is a dream come true for most entrepreneurs, but finding the right investors can be challenging. Even if you do eventually find them, they’re often unwilling to invest because you’re new in the industry. I had to face countless rejections, which really shook me up. Though I didn’t give up and eventually found the best people to invest in my venture, it was very difficult to receive so many rejections and keep pushing forward. To prepare for this, I’d recommend entrepreneurs focus on PR and making connections. The more connected you are with the right people, the more likely you are to raise investment. Also, be prepared to face rejections, but never give up. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

7. Dealing With The Evolution Of E-Commerce

I own an e-commerce business, and the changes that have needed to be made to our systems, software, processes and more since day one are more than I can count. Just when things are working seamlessly, something outside of our control changes and we need to react and adapt. The best way to prepare for this is to build an agile company, website and processes. Stay on top of trends in your industry and try to get ahead of the curve when you can. Make sure you have the right talent on your team (or accessible as contractors) to help you make changes when they come. In e-commerce, the one thing you can always count on is change. – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com

8. Accepting A Lack Of Control

The hardest thing for me in my career as a leader was accepting that I do not have control over everything and never will. However, when something goes off the rails, I am the person who is responsible for it, and I have to own it. When you are young and unprepared, getting a customer complaint over something you thought was taken care of or getting a negative review from a past employee when you didn’t see it coming can really hurt your feelings and discourage you from moving forward. To overcome it, I had to change my mindset—all successes belong to the team, but all failures belong to me. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

Related posts

Campbell Soup Corporate Is Why Staples Shares Will Outperform

newsconquest

Who To Rent And When

newsconquest

3 Methods To Foster A Happier Crew

newsconquest

Leave a Comment