Leadership is at the heart of every successful business. There is no doubt that every business will have its successes and failures. Being someone who can stay focused on the vision and lead employees, customers, partners, vendors…whoever is on board, through the ups and downs is what differentiates a leader from a manager. I knew I was a good manager before I started my own business. I was organized, focused, hardworking, outspoken. I knew how to get the job done. Now that I’m an entrepreneur, that’s not enough. I have to lead. I have to see how all the pieces come together, put them in the right order and, most importantly, inspire people to join me. A business plan will help you put and keep the pieces together, but your gut and willpower are the secret sauce.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be honest with yourself. Do you have what it takes? Are you willing to put in the hours and discipline needed to build a business? I find myself working as many hours, if not more, than I did when I worked for someone else. I carry the weight of the success of my employees and the happiness of my customers on my shoulders. I stomach the ups and downs in cash flow and endless commentary of naysayers. But because I’m willing to do those things I have the freedom to choose my path and create my purpose every day. It’s a very cool thing, but not for everyone. That’s why knowing where you stand in the market and what is needed to get to your goals is so important. It will help you stand your ground and push forward.