Entrepreneurs have always had to deal with professional challenges and market battles. What’s different today is the fiercer competition – especially in the digital market – and an insecure business future. There are already predictions that some well-known American brands might not make it through the COVID-19 pandemic. In ten years’ time, some globally renowned brands will either cease to exist or merge with other companies.

All this means that present-day entrepreneurs are working in a more demanding environment than the previous generations of business owners. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some practical strategies that can skyrocket your entrepreneurial career from day one.

Master the Relevant Soft Skills

Entrepreneur climbing stairs
Entrepreneur climbing stairs

Mastering the following soft skills will help you stand out from the crowd and boost your confidence as an entrepreneur:

  • Friendly yet assertive communication: Your employees and clients need to know that you’re always on their side. However, draw clear lines and define the strict rules that all interested parties need to follow to ensure friendly, but assertive communication.
  • Interpersonal relationships and understanding: Bear in mind that both your clients and your employees are your most valuable assets. Show them you understand their positions and be empathetic toward personal issues.
  • Taking initiative and making decisions: Entrepreneurs need to be good listeners and open their minds to their employees’ ideas. That being said, you need to take the initiative and claim responsibility when it’s time to make crucial decisions.

Prepare to Leave Your Comfort Zone

Becoming a successful entrepreneur often means embracing a new lifestyle. Naturally, people don’t accept such pivotal changes easily if they haven’t prepared for what’s coming. It takes time, energy, and money to boost an entrepreneurial career.

For starters, get ready for longer work hours. A survey has shown that 87% of U.S. employees spend more than the traditional 40 hours per week at work. For entrepreneurs, we’re closer to the truth if we say that they typically work 60+ hours weekly.

So, if you were a company worker and now you’re setting off for an entrepreneurial journey, don’t let those changes catch you by surprise. Test your efficiency and productivity before you become an entrepreneur. Remove all major distractions and make a conscious effort not to procrastinate with the tough tasks. See how much work you can get done when completely committed to work.

Nurture Your Mind and Body

Entrepreneur meditating outdoors
Entrepreneur meditating outdoors

It’s hard to imagine an entrepreneur who isn’t exposed to stress. But while some people learn how to let off some steam and stay healthy, others, unfortunately, don’t get off the wheel until it’s too late.

Simply put, you need to take good care of your mind and body not only to stay sane and healthy, but also to thrive as an entrepreneur. Here are some simple and practical activities you can do:

  • Keep up a regular workout regime. Depending on your age and general condition, the exercises can vary, from walking and slow jogging to playing team sports and swimming.
  • Be mindful of your breath. Start doing some practical breathing exercises to ensure enough energy throughout the day. You can do them anywhere, anytime, and they’ll be especially useful during work.
  • Meet your friends regularly. Social life is extremely important for ambitious entrepreneurs. Arrange regular coffee breaks and outings with your friends. These occasions will help you let off some steam and recharge for new challenges.
  • Keep raising the mental bar. For entrepreneurs, there’s always immense room for growth and learning. It’s just up to you to take initiative and dedicate your time to learning something new even though nobody is technically asking that of you. For example, if you’re planning to expand to another country, learn the language spoken there. Learning new languages is especially beneficial in the entrepreneurial context because it challenges your brain while also opening you up to a different culture.

Stay on Top of Your Assets and Spending

Kickstarting a career as a successful entrepreneur requires a savvy approach to assets and expenses.

The golden rule here is to separate personal assets and business accounts. This especially refers to sole proprietors, whose private and business finances aren’t technically separate. If you start spending company money on personal matters and vice versa, your business is highly likely to go down.

Apart from that, limit your personal expenditure, as well. Don’t jump onto buying a new car or apartment only because you’ve finished one profitable project.

The same goes for business investments. Use your money wisely and avoid reckless investments. Think twice about whether you actually need to make a certain purchase. In other words, take a conservative stance when spending your money to make sure you don’t splurge. There will be plenty of time for that once your company is well-established.

The Takeaway

Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes a combination of soft skills, a willingness to adapt and learn, and a balanced lifestyle. Paving your path will also include careful asset management and wise investments. All these elements and strategies increase your chances of pursuing a long-lasting and successful career.

Have any more tips to skyrocket your entrepreneurial journey? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.