Michael Candelario is an entrepreneur at heart, and his expertise ranges from holistic healthcare to real estate. As the owner of Original Goods and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and The Virginia Military Institute, he’s faced a number of challenges throughout his career.
He knows just how difficult the first few months of entrepreneurship can be, and why many people never even attempt it in the first place. Pushing past the barriers takes a tremendous amount of faith in yourself, but it is possible. Candelario shares some of the tips that helped tipped the scales on his way to success.
Set Your Expectations
Some people enter into an industry expecting instant or near-instant success, but Michael Candelario knows this is a mistake. No matter what someone else’s experience happened to be or what the rumors in your specialty are, your only competition needs to be against yourself. Instead of measuring by financial goals at first, ask yourself if you did better today than yesterday.
The more you keep your expectations realistic, the more rewarding your experience will be — particularly if you’re broke at the beginning. Thinking about something other than monetary success can be the best thing for entrepreneurs who are starting without a lot of capital.
When you feel completely overwhelmed, sometimes the best thing you can do is keep moving. Entrepreneurs often feel like they’re drowning at first, but the ones who do succeed won’t let themselves be dragged under entirely.
Michael Candelario can tell you that how you move will have a lot to do with how you schedule. Be sure to give your brain a chance to rest up (so you can still be creative), but don’t let your breaks run away from you. If you’re at a loss for how to handle the next steps, take a walk or go for a drive. Give yourself some space to work out a plan, but don’t put off the decision-making process for too long.
Acknowledge the Pitfalls
The pitfalls of a failed business are serious. From bankruptcy to divorce, there’s no glossing over the consequences. Ignoring the ramifications is not recommended, but neither is getting too caught up in them. For Michael Candelario, he had to acknowledge what could go wrong and safeguard against it without letting that keep him from his future goals.
Find a Mentor
Entrepreneurs have to be strong in their ideas. Too much compromise will usually lead to a compromise in the quality of the product. However, trying to go it alone entirely is a good way to stunt your proverbial growth. Look for people who believe in your vision and give you honest feedback about how to make it better.
Check Your Pride
There is something to be said for not giving your services away, but when you’re an entrepreneur, you may not have much of a choice. If you work for free or for experience at the beginning, it’s not a waste of your time. In fact, it can be the best decision ever made. If nothing else, you give your skillset a boost and perfect your trial-and-error model.
Real entrepreneurship isn’t glamorous. It’s not staying up all night for a month in a garage to build a prototype before you make your first billion. If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared for serious financial stress, long nights, and lots of failure in the beginning.
Michael Candelario can tell you that setting up a business from scratch can take every last bit of your energy, even when you feel like you have nothing else to give. As long as you’ve mentally prepared for this, you should be able to handle the pressure.
Weigh the Odds
‘Never quit’ sounds like a great motto, but it simplifies a very complicated situation. There are entrepreneurs who are great at what they do, but perhaps have selected the wrong path. In some cases, it will be better for them to quit their current venture and invest the experience they gained into their next venture.
However, in other cases, it will be far better to stick it out, even when it seems like you’re not making progress. Part of how people climb the ladder is just by being consistent. The more people get used to you in a given industry, the more trustworthy you are. It can just take a while for your talents to be recognized on the scale you need them to be.
Celebrate Your Successes
An entrepreneur isn’t a failure because their business fails. Michael Candelario will be the first to tell any fledgling professional that all the work you do is valuable, even if it doesn’t work out. Celebrate what you learned before you count what you lost.