The 7 Lessons To Remember For Your Entrepreneurial Journey
Imagine having the opportunity to make 250k per year and choosing to make zero. Or worse, spending all your hard-earned savings. Imagine leaving your family in one country and starting a business thousands of miles away in another from scratch. Imagine going to a country that your family and friends do not want to return to and millions run away from. Imagine starting a business that no one thought they needed.
This is how I began my journey. Now, I am a successful entrepreneur. Looking back on my experience, I felt it important to share some tips for how others can prepare themselves as they begin their own entrepreneurial journeys.
1) You must get rid of your ego.
A big ego, or “hubris syndrome,” is kryptonite to a startup. Some of the greatest challenges I faced as an entrepreneur involved working with people who had big egos.
It is important to see the roadblocks that go up as a result of that ego. I learned to always be gracious and humble, and appreciate the support offered to me.
2) It’s rewarding.
My company, a preventative health organization, started two months after my own father passed away from cancer. I was sick and tired of people getting diagnosed with their illnesses after it was too late to treat them. Now, we're changing the way people treat themselves.
If you are thinking you want to be part of the startup world, think of a cause or concept you are deeply connected to. You will be living, eating, and breathing it!
3) You can’t be an island.
It’s a global village. To thrive and to innovate, it is crucial that you incorporate people from a variety of perspectives to inform your work. Diversity makes us smarter - it’s science!
For me, I began by networking with people in the same industry as me and then tapping into their networks. It was important for me to learn more about areas outside of my immediate industry that could help bring my business to the next level. Networking benefits need no explanation.
4) Fund your weaknesses.
Most of us don’t know how to do everything. Don’t be penny-wise and dollar-foolish. Prior to starting my new venture, I wanted to learn to code so I could develop the platform myself. I wasted so much time learning basic coding, when in the end I ended up hiring a tech team to do the development.
Good talent is everywhere! I developed a team through resources that I had acquired from taking courses, getting advice, reading articles, and good old-fashioned referrals.
[Related: You Can't Be Well-Rounded in Isolation]
5) Listen to your audience.
The sky’s the limit when you have the perfect idea, but if it’s only perfect to you, then it will fall flat on its face. Listening to your audience and your employees helps you find product market fit.
Listening doesn’t need a complex system. Ask customers for feedback and see how you can be better. It also makes for great company culture.
6) Bend, don’t break.
Getting into the startup world means you must fiercely believe in what you’re doing and ignore failure as even a remote option. I love what the founder of Hinge writes about the balance of naïveté and flexibility.
Things happen that we can’t control. As long as it won’t take away from the integrity of your brand and quality of service (also make sure it’s legal!), don't fret too much. A VC in California may call you on the East Coast after months of waiting. They’ll then want a face-to-face meeting that night.
Managing employees also come with the unexpected. Life is uncertain, and nothing is more uncertain than entrepreneurial life. If you can’t bend, then you will break!
7) Keep going toward the pot of gold.
Place your intention toward your business goals. Chase those goals down with intention. With proper care and resilience, you will grow and reach that pot of gold.
Pursuing entrepreneurship is much like the exhausting (but fulfilling) path of parenthood. Some days will leave you sucked dry of any energy and rethinking all your life decisions. Other days, you’ll feel invigorated and invincible.
On those tough days, pour yourself a glass of wine, revisit your plans, call a friend, and make a plan for a better day. You’re no good to your business or to your family if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
Dr. Lola Adeyemi never faced a problem she didn’t want to solve, or a situation she couldn’t make better through hard work, strategic thinking, and an innovative spirit. She is passionate about increasing access to healthcare and improving people’s quality of life - particularly in Africa.
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Founder and CEO
I never faced a problem I didn’t want to solve, or a situation I couldn’t make better through hard work, strategic thinking, and an innovative spirit. Whether starting my own preventative health company, launching a healthcare technology app, or beginning a social impact company that empowers young women to pursue their dreams and reach the highest heights, I never give up until I drastically improve people’s lives and their communities. I am passionate about increasing... Continue Reading
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