Do you want to know what sets apart an experienced entrepreneur from a newbie?

It is the number of failures.

Any entrepreneur who has been around for a while has experienced success… and failure. Both conditions can provide valuable experience and lessons in what makes you successful and what can lead to failure.

When you start a business you don’t have to figure it all out because you can learn from more experienced entrepreneurs.

For the benefit of first time entrepreneurs, here are some of the best tips:

Find a co-founder.

If you look at some of the most successful businesses, you see that many of them have been started by two people. Starting a business with a co-founder increases your chance for success. As long as you find the right co-founder, you will succeed faster and have more fun doing it.

Keep an idea journal.

It will take many ideas to come up with the right business idea. Your ideas have value, and although you think you’ll be able to recall them later it’s always better to write them down. Always carry a notebook with you.

Share your business idea.

Many wantrepreneurs are paranoid about their business ideas. They think that their business ideas are like the winning numbers to the next lottery drawing. Trying to protect your business idea is a waste of time and money. The idea is not what will help you succeed. It is the execution.

Focus.

The best businesses have great focus. Instead of trying to solve many problems focus on one. Become the best in the world for a niche. Don’t get side-tracked. Do one thing perfectly.

Get your pitch ready.

From potential customers to investors you have to be ready to quickly explain the core of your business. If it takes you longer than 30-seconds, you have work to do.

Don’t expect other peoples’ money.

It sounds great to get loans or investors to fund your business. The reality is that most businesses will get neither. What that means to you is that you can build a business without other peoples’ money. Many before you have done it.

Stay humble.

Even if by some miracle your business succeeds right off the start, stay humble. Sooner or later, there will be tough times in your business.

Focus on profit.

Many businesses, wrongly, focus on revenue. Your business will not survive without profit. Measure your success in how profitable you are instead of how much revenue your business generates.

Network horizontally.

These are your peers, learn all you can from them and share your experiences as well. They’ll be with you a long time. Reach out to other first time entrepreneurs. You can learn from each other and push each other.

Network up.

Look for mentorship opportunities to strengthen your network. Try to find entrepreneurs with a lot more experience than you. It also helps if they are in a similar business to yours, but it is not an absolute must. If someone has been in business for years, s/he will have a deeper understanding of business.

Be open to advice.

Your business and your life can benefit from listening to the right advice. Even if you disagree with the advice, consider it.

Don’t listen to just any advice.

Take everything with a grain of salt, trust your gut.

Work with people you like.

Working with people you like maximizes your opportunities. You can’t thrive surrounded by people you neither like nor respect.

Brand yourself.

Real security in the entrepreneurial world comes from having a great brand. For most businesses, the brand is where the value is.

Learn something new every day.

Problem solving and learning on the go is the key to successful entrepreneurship. Practice every day by consciously deciding to learn something new.

Write down what you learned.

Look at the things you’ve learned on those days where you need a boost. Reminding yourself of all you’ve learned gives you strength.

Use LinkedIn.

Network on a global level, read blog posts to keep yourself informed and don’t forget to boast about your own accomplishments on your profile.

Eat healthy.

Seems simple, but it is often overlooked. Your energy level is dependent on your eating habits and you’re going to need lots of energy. Watch your health and eat right.

Hire slowly.

Especially, when you are starting a business, you have to be very careful about the people you hire. A new business can’t afford bad hires.

Fire quickly.

The only thing worse than hiring the wrong person for the job is to hang on to the person. It is human to make a mistake and to hire the wrong person. If you made the wrong decision, you have to replace the bad hire with the right hire.

Ask for help.

Asking for help is a sign of strength. It’s true, asking for help shows a willingness to learn. Never underestimate the power of being humble. Entrepreneurship is too hard to tackle alone, especially for first time entrepreneurs.

Take risks.

Being an entrepreneur can be full of thrills and exhilaration which comes from seeing something work. You can’t get there without trying, and trying means taking risks. Take risks, but control as much of it as you can.

Cold email everyone.

It offers a great way to make new connections to build your business. You could cold email a potential strategic partner, a mentor, a team member, etc. Your next opportunity could be just an email away. Try it.

Disconnect.

One of the most important things to learn in business is to disconnect. It is easy to be always in your business, but it takes strength to disconnect. Disconnecting is vital to your longevity as an entrepreneur. Reenergize, and give your brain the opportunity to reboot. Many a problem has been solved when you stop trying to solve it.

Exercise regularly.

Once success is upon you, you want to be around long enough to enjoy it.

Read everything.

Blogs, newspapers, magazines and books. Information is power.

Get a part time job.

You might say, “Hey, I am an entrepreneur. I don’t need a job”. You can’t focus on your success if you’re worried about money. Having a part-time job or a day job is a great way to reduce the pressure on you to generate money with your new business. Plus, the workplace is an excellent opportunity to gain new skills for your new business, and potentially gain clients.

Get active on Quora.

Get involved on forums like Quora. Ask questions and read responses by entrepreneurs. It is a great feeling to have your questions answered by multiple people who are willing to help. When you post a question you will get multiple answers. It is a great way to get multiple points of views. Just like in other areas of life people will have many different answers tot he same problems. This is a great way to learn that there are multiple possible solutions to your business challenges.

Don’t ever give up!

As a first time entrepreneur, failure awaits. So if one idea doesn’t work, start another. You’re an ENTREPRENEUR no matter what. Remember that.

Know when to quit.

Sometimes it is better to shut down a business than to continue. It is not the end of the world. A business could fail for many reasons out of your control. The important thing is that you have tried. You will get another chance, if you keep trying.

Originally posted 2017-09-07 06:00:00.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.

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