Author: Steve Raack, CEO [ n e w k l e .u s ]
The journey is real. Embrace the process. As an entrepreneur, there are weeks which push you to the limit of doubt and despair, then there are weeks where you never stop smiling. This was a week of ear-to-ear smiles. Below are the 5 things I learned this week.
1) The above graphic is 100% true! You're going to have your ups and downs. Self doubt will creep it. It's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when". Keep pushing forward. Download the graphic above and make it your home screen on your computer. When you're down, don't dwell in your self pity. Look at the graphic. It happens to EVERYONE. Hustle harder, an upturn is right around the corner.
2) Get yourself a cheerleader. In the good times, celebrate with this person. Rah-Rah-Rah!!! Enjoy the small victories along the way. Those are important milestones. In the bad times, this person will give you a much needed kick in the ass. Your cheerleader is not your business partner, not an investor, not a board member...they are someone outside your business completely. They are impartial and objective, but understand the vision, mission and values that you are fighting for. They see the big picture and understand the journey.
3) Kiss lots of frogs. Understand that your business is not usually top of mind to people. They are consumed with too many projects already. They try to plan out their year during the budgeting process, quarter by quarter. Projects are stacked on top of each other already. When you arrive on the scene, pitching your product, you are competing with a plan already approved by their Board of Directors. Your goal is to be compelling, but understand the context of what is happening in your prospective client's head. You are another project, even if your promise can deliver a massive ROI. Fill the funnel, show value and you will find your way into their priority list.
4) Patience and persistence. Probably the best lesson I've learned as an entrepreneur. You get so excited about changing the world. Your product is the best thing since sliced bread. So, why isn't everyone beating down your doors to get started? It's because they are busy / distracted and in some cases afraid to go against the status quo. You just gave them something else to think about. Something else to consider on top of their already busy calendar. Give it time, but don't disappear. Offer advice, send over articles with key learnings, stay on their radar but don't sell 100% of the time. That's annoying. Be helpful, be a resource.
5) Ask for help. My 2017 New Year's Resolution was to "ask for help." This is new for me. I'm scrappy and refuse handouts. But I realized, you don't have to conquer the world by yourself. It's a small world and people like helping. Well, most people like helping, I should say. Get clear on your "ask", be specific and respectful of their time, but ask people with connections to help you. You'll be amazed at the results.
It's been a great week! Thanks to everyone who continues to support our company and me personally. #gratitude