In football interviews, you’ll often hear players say that “Championships are won in the offseason.” What this means is that they attribute their success as athletes to the hard work they put in every morning, day and night after the season has ended.
Their mental focus and resiliency affords them little rest because they know that their competition won’t be resting either. Getting bigger, stronger, faster and improving weaknesses is often characteristic of the most winning players during the offseason and draws parallels with what it is like to be an entrepreneur.
The difference with entrepreneurship, however, is that there is no offseason and mental focus is required every day. Here are a few ways to make the daily decision to run a business a little bit more rewarding and how your attitude has a lot to do with your success as an entrepreneur.
1. Competition doesn’t take days off and neither can you
Every day that you wake up as an entrepreneur is a day that you are focused on growing your business. While your competition may or may not be the first thing on your mind, the reality is that there is another entrepreneur running a similar business who shares the same passion for growth as you do.
As an employee, you can mentally “check out” of work mode, enjoy your weekends, and forget about work until you arrive on Monday morning. Entrepreneurs don’t necessarily have that luxury, always intertwined with their business and the daily decision to think about how to improve it.
This is not a bad thing necessarily, I think about my company MecSoft every day and it doesn’t even feel like work!
2. There is always some area to improve
When you are an employee you generally have a few tasks or areas of expertise that you focus on every day. As an entrepreneur, you must be well-versed in all the aspects of your business including but not limited to sales, marketing, accounting, human resources, customer service and product or service development.
As you are the top of the food chain you’ll need to address all of these areas frequently even if you have a trusted employee manning the ship. Smart entrepreneurs are always checking in with each aspect of their business to ensure that it is running at maximum efficiency and putting plans into action to improve processes where possible.
3. There’s no such thing as an average day
If you are seeking consistency and structure to your days, entrepreneurship may not be your calling. One email or phone call can turn the day on its head as can any unanticipated change in vendor relationships, client feedback or heaven forbid, computer problems.
Still, as an entrepreneur you likely value variety in your work and that is exactly what you will get on a day-to-day basis until you get a bit more established. I’d say that the earliest stages of entrepreneurship are the most chaotic and then the chaos seems to settle down after proper processes are put in place to limit items that take away from productivity.
4. Work-life balance is a constant challenge
As an entrepreneur, you can keep yourself busy eight days a week. If you don’t make balance in your life you’ll likely hinder your personal and social relationships.
One of the benefits of business ownership should be flexibility, but it is up to you to step away from your baby (the business) and make time for things that are important to the people that are valuable in your life. There is a good chance that you have a support system in place – whether it be your spouse, friends or family members – and you should always keep them in mind when balancing your life.
I find that getting away from the office from time-to-time can actually recharge my creative batteries and help me prevent burnout.
5. Show up every day
Showing up at work for an entrepreneur is different than showing up as an employee. Even if you know you can take your foot off the gas a little you may be thinking that your competition is out there flooring it. Constant improvement is always on the top of your mind and you know success doesn’t happen to those who don’t take action.
Sure, it’s challenging and takes perseverance day in and day out but you wouldn’t have it any other way would you?