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As we focus on promoting entrepreneurs from all parts of the world and from all contexts, I am reflecting a lot on how non-traditional entrepreneurs can realize their dreams. Sometimes it means illiteracy Lessons are taught in our school.
The day you graduate and enter the professional world, there will be no manual waiting for you. (If only!) There was a lot I knew early in my own career, and I could have saved young entrepreneurs from the same education curve. Below are some basic lessons about entrepreneurship that are not taught in school.
1. Your win will not always be linear
As students, we are told that if we study hard enough, we will pass the exam, and if we carry out all our assignments, we will get full credit. At school, there is a tendency to find out what you have left, often in a very predictable and measurable way. You know that X. The amount of preparation you will probably get Y. Test grade.
In the case of entrepreneurs, this is not often the case. You can work incredibly hard and still not see results and vice versa. Some opportunities may fall into your lap and feel like a “right place, right time” situation. Other opportunities may completely avoid you no matter how hard you try to reach them.
When I first started the market, I was working 12-14 hours, doing everything in my control to keep the business as sales and eye as possible. But it didn’t always get the results I wanted. It was hard to process whether I was competing in a much wider landscape such as competitors having more funds, or competitors being better networked. My work ethic was not enough.
I finally realized that when entrepreneurs create the formula for success, we are not the only variables. Some variables that cause our final outcome are within our control, but not many. Effort always leads to a consistent result. I need to make room for many other variables to expand my formula and go into the equation.
Related: 9 key lessons entrepreneurs can learn from a newspaper boy
2. Rejection is going to be part of your regular routine
If you are a driven student and are accustomed to consistently getting positive results from your efforts at school, it is difficult to accept rejection at first. But the huge number of people you are trying to sell to, be it consumers, buyers or investors. This is the nature of entrepreneurship. Rejection is normal and consistent.
The first time my company created a wholesale account, it was with a large retailer that I really admired. I felt really good about our pitch. I felt that our products and prices were mandatory. But after the pitch, I never heard back… and never heard back… and never heard back. Still, I had hope. And then finally, I didn’t get one.
At the time, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. But that’s because I still haven’t made enough scar tissue around the rejection. The more business you have, the easier it will be. Rejection became a normal part of the growth process.
Related: 3 Lessons to Surviving Your First Year in Business
3. Not everyone will like you – and that’s fine
Regardless of who you are, what you do and how you treat people, there will be some people who do not like you. It’s hard at first, because when I started working, I thought, If I am good to everyone then everyone will be good to me. That is unfortunately not always the case.
This does not mean that I would advise you to change your attitude towards people or move away from kindness. But you also have to accept that no matter how pious, warm or simple-minded you may be, there will be some people who do not like you. And that’s okay!
It’s not just a reality, it’s something that is perfectly acceptable. There is no one on this planet that everyone likes. And the more success you can enjoy – meaning more exposure across a larger organization or business community – the more people who don’t like you may increase, simply because the number of people who know you increases.
4. Managing people is just as important as managing your work
When I first started my career, I didn’t understand what it meant to manage people. In school, we are taught to focus on our own workflow. Much of our training as youngsters has been about excellence in content rather than excellence in representation, team coordination and team management.
But as I got older I learned that managing people is not as important as your work portfolio. This means more than just your direct reporting: it’s about professional interpersonal relationships and managing in a way that maximizes value creation among all parties.
This is especially true for entrepreneurs. When you create an organization, you become the leader of the leaders. Your job is to enable the whole organization to improve, and the first line of defense is the leaders who report you.
When our journey to the market reached a point where we became an executive leadership team, I was so used to managing my own workflow that I had to make a change. I began to devote much more time to empowering and empowering other leaders in the company.
Thinking about direct reporting was a relatively small part of my workday, and now it’s mostly. Most of my time is spent working directly with organization leaders and making sure they get what they need to go out and strengthen their team.
Related: 6 Strong Lessons I Learned Early In Being An Entrepreneur
5. Be your biggest champion
Growing up, the emphasis was on humility at home and thinking of others than oneself. At school, there was little need to promote yourself, because the teachers had to give you feedback. But when I entered the business world, the rules were different. I realized that being my own champion was important to me, not just for myself, but for my ideas.
In high school and college, I was accustomed to getting feedback on my work from instructors. As an entrepreneur, there was a sudden zero compulsive response. In the professional world, there is no forced review process where your work is being considered. People to even consider If my business says yes or no, I have to actively tell them about what I was doing. I had to learn to reach out to people, to attend events, and to outwardly pursue my own goals.
It’s important to remember that no matter what your age or how far ahead your career is All right The question is not knowing how to do everything right. The key is to never hesitate to raise your hand, look at your work and be willing to learn ideas that no longer serve you.
Related: 4 Entrepreneurial Lessons You Don’t Learn in the Classroom