Taking the leap to entrepreneurship is like moving out of a house where you have been living for years. In that house, you had comfortable furniture and familiar décor, but now, you moved out and bought an empty lot. No house. No walls.No furniture. Building a house from scratch can feel overwhelming. Where should you even begin?
Whether you are in the beginning phases or you are a seasoned entrepreneur, certain challenges are common in all steps of building a business. Understanding these will help you move forward with an empowered mindset and feel confident about your future.
Experiencing Doubt and Insecurity
“I struggle with seeing potential in myself like others do.”
—StephanieSteiger, Mary Kay
When you are an employee at an established business, the structure helps make your priorities and role clear. However, as a business owner, you must create your own structure. An important way to counter your uncertainty is to get clear on your foundational priorities and surround yourself with supportive people.
Challenge # 2
Managing Time and Priorities
“As a mom of little ones, a wife, and someone who likes to be busy . . . managing time and priorities is my top struggle.”
—Megan Shane, Young Living Essential Oils,
Be realistic about the time you have available while juggling other responsibilities. When you have a hard time deciding which project to work on, make a list of all projects, divide them into categories, and break each project into small manageable steps.
Challenge # 3
“Sometimes I feel like I’m not good enough at what I do, even though my clients, who are authors, are reaching best-sellers lists.”
—Susan Helene Gottfried, Editor,
The “not good enough” feeling usually has nothing to do with our competency in business but derives from a deeper belief about ourselves. Being a business owner often brings up our inner fears, even when they defy logic. Choose not to listen to that inner voice and, instead, focus on your personal strengths and the skills you bring to your business.
Wearing Many Hats
“I don’t mind wearing many hats. I just don’t like wearing them at the same time.”
—Jennifer Johnsen-Nazareth, State Farm Insurance,
While juggling multiple tasks and roles throughout our day is inevitable, multi-tasking actually leads to stress and decreases productivity. Focusing on one thing at a time and giving it your full attention works better.
Being More Visible
“I fear thatbeing visible online will make me a target for criticism.”
—April Ebeling, Singer,
Being the face of your business can bring up feelings of vulnerability and fear, especially fear of being criticized or judged. Take small steps toward showing up in your business in a bigger way. Notice the discomfort, but know that as you continue to move forward, it does get easier.
Shifting Out of Negative Self-Talk
Because we often work independently—making it difficult to get other’s perspectives—getting stuck in our own head in a cycle of negative self-talk is common. Remember that these thoughts are not the truth. When you need to shift away from the negative voice in your head, choose a positive phrase to use as a mantra. Also, walk around, open the window for some fresh air, turn on some fun music, or talk to an encouraging friend to help change your perspective.
Receiving Money for your Products or Services
“I hate to ask my clients for the money they owe me.”
—Maryann Liddle, Liddle Architectural Design
When we share our prices with a potential customer and request payment after a product or service is delivered, we are valuing ourselves and respecting our time and talents. This can be challenging, though, if we do not yet have complete confidence in ourselves or have underlying negative beliefs about money. I recommend working with a coach or therapist if you struggle with this.
Taking Time for Yourself
“One of the biggest reasons womenhave difficulty taking time for themselves is guilt.”
—Lisa Purk, Life Coach,
We feel guilty taking any downtime because we are afraid that we may fall behind, which we assume means a potential loss of income or opportunity. However, if we don’t take breaks from our business, our productivity goes down, and we can experience burnout.
Challenge # 9
“Because I provide software services, everything is remote, with very little interaction with my clients.”
—Christine Turner Coppola, Arch Business Resources
When you work mainly from home, you sometimes feel isolated and alone. If you are an introvert, you may enjoy this to an extent, but over time, staying motivated can be hard, if you are not interacting with others. Make sure you schedule time out of the house several times a week networking and enjoying time with friends or family.
Dealing with Technology
“Technology is one of my greatest challenges.”
When you are just starting out, you may use basic technology systems that you can manage alone, but as your business grows, you don’t want to spend much time managing the technology. Hire an expert as soon as you can so you can focus on the message and purpose of your business and not be overwhelmed with learning new technology.
We undoubtedly face a lot of challenges for business owners. To move forward successfully, seek support, take small steps, and stay focused on your passion and purpose.