The First 90 Days: Three Key Lessons Learned as a Full-Time Entrepreneur

For many people who work both a 9-5 and a 5 p.m.-until, the thought of full-time entrepreneurship sounds enticing. The freedom. The flexibility. The power to set your own schedule and hours, take lunch and vacation when you please and, for many, the chance to do what you love. But when corporate door after corporate door closes unexpectedly, and you’re pushed into the middle of the entrepreneurship ocean without a life jacket, it’s sink or swim. Literally.

3 Key Lessons for Entrepreneurs

In just 90 days, I’ve learned three key lessons that I’m sure many full-time entrepreneurs have encountered somewhere along the journey.

Lesson #1 – Have The Right Mindset

Your mind has to totally transform from employee to CEO. You can no longer focus on the day-to-day tactics and deliverables. You have to focus on strategy, business development and growth and client retention. Your mind has to be stable. You can’t be a double-minded man. There’s no time for doubt, fear, laziness, second guessing who you are, what you do, and why you do it better than anyone else. Find the confidence. Pull it from somewhere. The same confidence you had in yourself when you were trying to climb the corporate ladder is the same confidence that’s going to keep your head above water as an entrepreneur.

Lesson #2 – Value Your Time

Just because the phone rings doesn’t mean you should answer it. Insulate yourself. That doesn’t mean isolate. It means filter the people, the circle, the colleagues you associate with during your season of transition. Everyone who asks, “How’s the business going?” isn’t asking to encourage you. Believe it or not, there are people who, for whatever reason, get off on the downfall (or slow crawl) of another. Screen your calls. If it’s important, they’ll leave a voicemail. If not, they’ll call back. But if picking up the phone is going to throw you off track for the rest of the day, or it’s going to upset you, or it’s going to throw off your deadline—decline.

Lesson #3 – Avoid The Distractions

Guard your eyes and ears. What are you listening to? What are you watching? Do you even have time to watch TV? I find myself playing worship music (even in the background while I’m working) and reading motivational books, in addition to the Bible of course. Here’s what I know: If you do absolutely nothing to hear or read good messages, bad news, depression, negative thoughts will come naturally. You don’t have to do anything to attract them. But you have to be intentionally intentional about repelling them. Listen to motivational videos by speakers such as Eric Thomas (E.T. The Hip Hop Preacher), motivational audio books, or that special genre of music that helps you get stuff done (as long as you don’t dance around your office too much)!

If you would like to share your successful tactics as an entrepreneur, then please contact me.