5 tips for growing as an entrepreneur

Going places means stepping out of your comfort zone.

You’ve probably heard the saying “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” That’s because the world is in constant flux. If you stand still for too long, you’ll be left behind.

Every entrepreneur has an opportunity to innovate, create new jobs and have an impact on society. It’s our responsibility to continually grow and push forward, often beyond our comfort zones. Here are five tips to grow as an entrepreneur.

1. Understand your business in and out: Do not get into something you don’t have a passion for. You should be ready to eat, sleep and breathe your business; it will be the epicenter for the rest of your life.

2. Seek out diverse points of view: It’s valuable to get the counsel of someone who has done it before, but I think we can get too fixated on having a mentor. The truth is, one single perspective isn’t enough. It’s better to seek out advice from a variety of people with different life and business experiences. You might choose to have regularly scheduled meetings with your band of peers, or just informally meet a colleague or two for coffee or a walk. Just be sure to expose yourself to a variety of life experiences and philosophies. And, if the people you talk to always agree with you, you’re meeting with the wrong people.

3. Don’t be scared of the failures: They will be a part of your journey. Learn from them. Stumble, get up and run again. It will not be easy but that shouldn’t stop you from beginning the journey. Just be ready to pick yourself back up again after you stumble.

4. Read books and articles: For many new entrepreneurs, first mentors are often found in the pages of books and blogs. Much can be learned from the writings of others, and fortunately today, people are sharing their experiences more than ever. Read chapters in books, blog posts and articles to absorb new ideas and skills. Some concepts may not be directly relevant to what you’re doing today, but may come in handy a year or so down the road.

5. Keep diversification on your agenda: Diversification is vital, especially in today’s business environment. Unless you are the likes of Airbnb, you cannot sustain long enough in just one line of business. You need to keep diversifying. Diversification also helps you diversify your risks. If you fail in one, you know that there is another one to hold you straight.

6. Take regular breaks: Running a business is like a marathon, not a sprint. If you don’t pace yourself, and maybe stop for the occasional break, you’ll burn out pretty quickly. Some entrepreneurs sacrifice everything for their business for years on end. The simple truth is we are better at things and happier doing them, when we take regular breaks.

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