Being in business was never going to be easy. But as a founder, you quickly find out that there are some major startup headaches you can do without.
Here are some of the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur and what to do about them.
Headache #1: Entrepreneurial Burnout
Entrepreneurs tend to be an enthusiastic bunch. But according to Melinda Emerson, the author of the SmallBizLady blog, this can lead to burnout and a lack of motivation. Entrepreneurs, she says, have a habit of burning the candle at both ends, working early in the morning until late at night and failing to get adequate rest on the weekends. She suggests that entrepreneurs totally unplug from their businesses for a day or two every three months. This could mean doing anything, from chilling out with friends and playing computer games, to going away on a camping trip. Emerson also says that entrepreneurs should stop work at a reasonable hour at least one day a week and give themselves time to wind down before bed. Staring at a computer screen until late every night isn’t good for one’s health.
Headache #2: Financial Troubles
Headache #3: Computer Equipment
Modern businesses are almost totally reliant on functional IT. But the problem is that most small business solutions don’t work very well. Fortunately, businesses can now get reliable IT support from third party companies, meaning that there’s no need for them to develop expertise in-house. What's more, many of these services can be bought on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning that there’s no need to pay for cover you don’t need. Ultimately this saves you money because you don’t have to hire your own IT experts.
Headache #4: Decision Fatigue
Making decisions is tough. It takes up our cognitive energy and leaves us feeling depleted. Most people can retreat or leave decisions to others in their personal lives. But entrepreneurs can’t without putting their business at risk. Decision fatigue is a real, measurable phenomenon, so it’s important to limit its effect wherever possible.
Emerson says that decision fatigue can be overcome by trusting your instincts more. Many entrepreneurs experience fatigue when they feel that they have to make a calculation for every decision that they make. But it turns out that most entrepreneurs operate on instinct or gut feeling.
Emerson also says that education and experience help in the long run. The more you learn about the pros and cons of decisions you make, the better your decisions will be. Emerson also suggests getting a second opinion from another founder or entrepreneur to share the decision making load.
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