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Marketing - Business and career development for entrepreneurs


By Jeff Shuford

Entrepreneurs who make it their mission to hone their business skills early on in their career are more likely to achieve success than 'fly by the seat of your pants' entrepreneurs. Understanding how to increase your chances of success as an entrepreneur is critical if you want to enjoy a life-long career as a business builder. The sooner you learn how to diversify your strengths and improve your skills, the sooner you can apply those life lessons to your entrepreneurial career. If you're an entrepreneur longing to build your own business, following are five essential business development lessons you should learn sooner rather than later.

Approach Difficult Situations as Learning/Growth Opportunities

If you learn to work through uncomfortable situations instead of giving in, your chances of long-term success increase, giving up on your business dreams or quitting at the first sign of trouble is no way to build a thriving business. Not only will you grow stronger as an entrepreneur if you force yourself to push through difficult challenges, but you'll also become a more knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneur as a result.

Work Hard But Don't Play Hard

Don't allow yourself to get caught up in the 'work hard; play hard' mentality of entrepreneurship. Some startup founders and entrepreneurs think partying, and carousing is a natural part of building an active business. Focus on building a thriving company and let your down-time be about rejuvenating your energy stores and participating in fitness-focused activities.

Don't Squander Your Chances

Not every entrepreneur gets the opportunity to build multiple companies. Some entrepreneurs approach business building with the attitude of 'oh well, I'll do things differently at my next company.' This isn't the right attitude to have and can cost you networking opportunities and potential funding investments. You want to be committed to your current company and not focusing your efforts on becoming a serial entrepreneur who doesn't care about making business-building mistakes.

Spend Wisely and Understand the ROI of Your Financial Decisions

Don't spend money needlessly while growing your business as an entrepreneur. Even when/if you raise investor capital, don't think that having investment funding is your license to burn through cash. Be cautious where you're spending your funds and
understand the ROI (return on investment) of each expenditure. You may believe the adage of 'you have to spend money to make money,' but that doesn't have to mean you're reckless when spending your company's cash.

Ongoing Skill and Brand Development is Crucial for Survival

Dreaming about becoming an entrepreneur is vastly different from becoming a successful business builder. If you want to make your entrepreneurship dreams come true, you must be willing to put in the hard work to achieve your goals. Putting in hard work means educating yourself on all things related to business development and your market sector, growing your network and building your brand, and developing longterm company goals you can pursue.

Remember these five essential business development lessons for entrepreneurs, and you can increase your odds of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Jeff Shuford is a two-time nationally syndicated columnist and an award-winning technologist specializing in innovative digital marketing.

Author: Jeff Shuford

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