A simple Google search on entrepreneurial advice would pull up thousands of resources from business experts, excellent coaches, and even people who have no idea what they are talking about. Information is everywhere and at the fingertips of almost everyone, but not many teachers or advisors would clearly explain to eager learners how holistic the approach to entrepreneurship should be.
Focusing solely on learning only the technical know-how of running a business might get you started, but it won’t exactly keep you going. Entrepreneurs are trained by experiences and in reality, knowing how to handle the physical, emotional, and psychological demands of business is the only way to guarantee a real chance at success.
Most times, the best advice on entrepreneurship comes from people who have nothing to gain from sugar-coating the truth. According to German entrepreneur and international business coach, Sebastian Scheplitz, having a clear vision for your business could quickly turn into a painful experience when you don’t know how to get started.
Essentially, just gather as much information as you need to lift off the ground and continue learning as you move forward.
“Don’t fall for the trap of over-researching and over-strategizing,” Scheplitz says. “You don’t need the fanciest website, product, or service. Just make sure to offer the best quality and set yourself apart from your competitors. Especially in the beginning, you’re allowed to make mistakes – as long as your clients’ or customers’ lives and businesses don’t suffer from it.”
Even the most successful people would still have a lot to learn at any point in time. The learning process never ends, and trying to soak up everything within a year or two would eventually keep you stonewalled for a longer period. The smart strategy is to absorb as much as you need to offer quality services and real value and figure the rest out on-the-go.
Working on the entirety of yourself
Scheplitz is the founder and CEO of four digital marketing agencies namely Translation Royale, The Content Spa, Hotcopy Asia, and Mastercut Video. These companies employ a wide range of content marketing strategies to help brands put their businesses in the spotlight. Also, as a way of giving back, Scheplitz spends a great deal of his time inspiring other entrepreneurs to simultaneously seek personal and business growth through leadership, relationships, mindset, and health.
As Scheplitz explains, most people think the only way a business can fail is when funds or customers are in shortage. This is not entirely true. A business can be ruined by the poor quality of the entrepreneur’s life and this is heavily fueled by surrounding toxicity.
Nothing ruins your life and therefore your business more than toxic people,” he said. “This even starts with friends who are constantly out partying and can’t understand why you don’t want to be hungover all weekend after you’ve clearly told them your goals and dreams. Toxic behavior is toxic behavior and it won’t get better just because you’ve known some people since middle school.
To succeed in business, you must embrace self-discipline and actively eliminate the bad habits wasting your time. How are you supposed to build an empire when you spend 14 hours a day binge-watching TV series? You must make sacrifices regarding time and energy to push your startup forward.
One of Scheplitz’s favorite principles is to quit listening to other people’s opinions if they are not where you aim to be. This doesn’t mean that you cannot seek out advice as a growing entrepreneur, but too many people have unfounded opinions about things they know nothing of.
Following his heart is at the center of Scheplitz’s personal and business growth journeys. He suffered major injuries from a terrible car accident as a six-year-old. He had to relearn to walk and was told he would never play sports again. Nine years later, Scheplitz delved back into sports, swimming at expert-level and eventually taking on a basketball coaching position. People told him to stick exclusively to the doctors’ opinions that nothing could be done to fully fix his injuries, but he knew his body and mind more than anyone else. He sought out alternative treatments and has been thriving ever since.
He started his career working as a freelance marketer, and when he was ready to strike out and start his own agency, people discouraged him. Over a decade down the line, running several businesses that employ over 250 people around the world, Scheplitz is thankful he’d developed a thick skin to random opinions.
“If I had listened to every single piece of advice I’ve gotten, I would probably still be stuck in some job that I hate. Maybe going from one short-term contract to another. If you’re dreaming about starting a business, then don’t listen to anyone who’s always only been an employee. Listen to other entrepreneurs who have been there and have done that,” said Scheplitz.
Be determined to see your brand succeed
On the business front, you must completely understand the nature of your niche and your target audience. What problem are you trying to solve for these people? What’s the age range most likely to patronize or sign up? In what part(s) of the world are they most likely to be located? Is your service seasonal or year-round?
“You might even have different target groups for the same product/service, and each of them is different from the other – and needs to be targeted as such,” says Scheplitz. “However, it’s crucial to only start with one of them first and focus your efforts on this group, instead of trying to appeal to everyone.”
Next, you must unlearn the comparison culture. A person may run the same type of business as you do but your journeys are still entirely different.
“Don’t compare your day 1 to other people’s day 1000,” Scheplitz advises. “It doesn’t make sense to compare yourself to someone who has been doing what you’re just starting for years. Getting inspired is great. Comparing and judging yourself isn’t. Get inspired and motivated by the best in your field, but don’t compare your starting point with their years of experience.”
Finally, you need a proper work-life balance. Especially at the starting stage, most business founders insist on doing everything themselves. This might save labor costs but it’s counterproductive, reduces efficiency, and would eventually leave other parts of your life bereaved. Certainly, there would be sacrifices to be made, but a balance must be struck at some point.
Always focus on all of life’s pillars: work life, relationships, wealth, and health. If you leave one out, your life will lose its stability – and who wants to follow an unstable CEO? You can always choose to emphasize one or two of them for a short period. However, ultimately, your business will only run smoothly if all of them are stable.
Having endured the same growing pains of business himself, Scheplitz is committed to ensuring that his clients and other entrepreneurs sail smoother than he did. By hacking the secrets of content marketing, he teaches his clan to grow with the process either by running point themselves or engaging his professional services. However, helping people is at the core of his vision.