Challenges of Entrepreneurship

–10 Cold, Hard Truths You Need to Know About Before You Can Achieve Success

Positive Problem #6: They Will Ask You to Share Your Expertise… For Free

One of the side effects of success is that all of a sudden people will start to ask if they can “pick your brain.”  They will ask for your expert insights and input for free.  This happens to me often and it happens to a lot of my successful clients and students.  So what do you do when someone wants you to give away your expertise?   Decline as politely as you can and then suggest that they check out one of your e-learning courses, or training programs to get answers. I know this might seem selfish or uncaring to some people but it’s not.  I do give away some freebies but if they want more I explain that I do offer personal coaching sessions tailored to their specific needs and perhaps they would like to pursue this further in that format.

So when you resist sharing your expertise for free, what you are really doing is valuing who you are and what you do for a living.  Also by not giving away your expertise to anyone who happens to ask, you are also respecting every single one of your paying clients and customers.  People who are willing and happy to reward you for your hard work and expertise.  So when you say no to ‘brain pickers’, you are not being selfish or uncaring… you are doing the right thing.

There is however one exception to the “don’t share for free” rule and it is when you are dealing with a network of peers who are at the same level as you in their business and you want to contribute and support them and be supported in the spirit of generosity without any financial transaction involved. I do this by speaking at one of our local Meet Ups once a year as that is the only way I can help small business people as they generally cannot afford my workshops.  I do not get paid but I do get exposure and am allowed to sell my book there.

Positive Problem #7: You Will Wonder What to Do with The $$

Something weird happened when I started to make good money in my business… I had a whole lot of cash coming in and I had no idea what to do with it!  When you are not used to seeing big money coming into your business, you can easily start to get into a place of serious self-sabotage or overspending.  I have seen a lot of entrepreneurs getting stuck in fight, flight or freeze mode when they get to the high 6- or 7-figure mark.  The best idea is to hire a financial advisor to handle your investments as they have the expertise and you can learn from them as well.

Entrepreneurs in flight mode “run” from their success. They pretend like nothing has changed because at some level they know the truth… What got them where they are won’t get them where they want to go. They are uncomfortable about moving up to the next level where they need to learn a bunch of new things that are outside their comfort zone (like how to be a smart investor!).  So they try to stay where they are and they don’t come up with new goals, a bigger vision or plan that is congruent with their new financial status.

Then there are entrepreneurs who freeze. They think, “I have got all this money now and I don’t know what to do!” They wind up not managing their money well. They spend on the wrong things and reinvest pretty much all of their money back into their business. So instead of creating financial freedom, they end up stuck in a hamster wheel going nowhere and needing to earn more and more.

Okay, so where does that leave you? What do you do when you start seeing more money come into your business?  Stop thinking about “income creation” and start moving into “long-term wealth” generation. Basically this means it is time to start looking into investing your money in something other than your business… Things like real estate or stocks. And unless you have millions to spare (and maybe not even then!) don’t make the mistake of getting into wealth generation on your own.  Do the smart thing and hire experts that can help you get your financial ducks in a row.

Positive Problem #8: You Will (Probably) Become a Bottleneck 

A lot of entrepreneurs start out flying solo in their business.  So they take full responsibility for every single task and every creative and administrative decision.  But when you get to a place where you are starting to see big payoffs in terms of audience growth, impact and income, doing everything on your own is the worst possible thing you can do.  The best thing to do is  to step back and let some of your team members take over some of the day-to-day tasks and also whole areas of responsibility because it is not essential for you to do everything, in fact it is better to get others more involved.

Keep asking yourself this question…How do I replace myself?  It will give you the clarity and confidence necessary to create new systems and processes and hire great team members who are just as excited about the business as you are, so you don’t need to feel like you have the whole company on your shoulders.

Something else to keep in mind… Sometimes, feeling like you need to be fully immersed in the granular details of your business could be an ego thing.  The truth is it is hard to come to terms with the idea that not everything has to pass through you and it is even harder to exorcise your inner control freak (which you needed to achieve success in the first place).

It takes deep humility and courage to let others take care of the things you don’t need to do so you can focus on your superpower, whatever that happens to be.  It is all part of being an ambitious entrepreneur and if you are committed to success and if you want to go for bigger goals and expand into a greater vision of what is possible for you and your business.  You need to be okay with the fact that a lot of your time will be spent learning and working with skills that are outside your area of expertise.

Positive Problem #9: You Will Need Lots of Different Skills

Maybe you are a rockstar copywriter, maybe you are an awesome website designer or an energy healer or coach… Whatever your area of expertise, it is important to know that building a successful business means doing a lot more than practising your core craft.  For instance, if you are a life coach, you will need to get good at growing your audience, and marketing and leadership. You might need basic technical skills like setting up a group call or creating new pages on your website.  And as your business continues to grow and expand you might be pulled farther away from your craft, the original thing that you loved, the thing that inspired you to start a business in the first place.

Just to be clear…  Adding a lot of new business skills to your skillset doesn’t mean you will have to give up practising your core craft.   It just means you need to get honest with yourself and figure out just how far you want to go and how much you want to scale your business.  In addition, you need to understand that every phase of growth has its own demands around what you need to know and do and learn as a business owner.

Positive Problem #10: They Will Say You Are an A$$hole

Some people will get triggered by your success. This is guaranteed. Especially during a time when so many people are struggling.  I have found that most of the mean comments or name-calling that has come my way has to do more with the other person than it does with me.  I have realized with most people, it has nothing to do with anything I have done or anything anyone else has done to them but how they read into things.

For instance, I had someone who attended one of my workshops and she told me she LOVED what I had shared in the session.  You can never please everyone but if you try to adjust your presentation to meet the expectations and specific needs of you audience you will be more successful in keeping the attendees happy and satisfied.

People may also get upset when you say “no” and as Warren Buffet famous said, “Really successful people say no to almost everything.”  My advice? Don’t let them get to you and definitely don’t let them stop you from doing what you are here to do.

And, Yes, It Is All Worth It… 

When you get clear on your vision for your business when you stay in integrity and commit to serving at the highest level when you continue to do great work.  The voices of those who love you such as your clients, customers, and students who want to see you succeed will get to be a LOT louder than anything the haters can say.

In time, you will learn to focus on serving people who love you and your work and you won’t give a second thought to the insults, or catty comments and remarks that used to keep you awake at night. The truth is becoming a success isn’t the hardest thing you will do. Rather, the hardest thing is to hold on to that success while staying true to your values and who you are, who you want to serve, what you want to achieve in your business and most of all, why you are doing all of this, to begin with.

Lots of big-name entrepreneurs lose sight of why they do what they do and this is one of the fastest ways to heartache and burnout.  So let your “why” lead you forward and if you want to realize your full potential and have a great time on the way, commit to embracing the reality of success….the good, the bad and the ugly. Because when you do you will realize that there is a lot more good than bad and ugly.

Sandy Chernoffhttp://softskillsforsuccess.com/
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.