It is no secret that starting a business is hard work. It requires more from you than you ever realised it would including so much discipline and dedication. Honestly, a lot of soul searching needs to happen before you set out on the rollercoaster ride that is entrepreneurship. Making your own living is not meant for everyone. Just like everything, there are pros and cons which will be different for each person. Before even considering it, spend a lot of time really discovering the reasons that you want to do it. It is there you will find some important answers. It is important to drown out the noise around you and think about why YOU want it. We can sometimes pass off opinions and concerns of other people, as our own.
If you cannot answer these difficult questions about why you want to be an entrepreneur in the first place, it may not be right for you.
Your WHY is what will carry you through the inevitable failures that you will go through. Everyone’s WHY is different. There are no wrong reasons to want to run your own business. However, the reason must be strong and meaningful to you. Business owners that end up failing, are usually those who gave up or didn’t persevere. Many times that will be since they didn’t have a strong enough reason to start in the first place.
For example, perhaps your WHY is to be able to purchase a house with no mortgage. Every single time that things get tough and giving up seems inevitable, you will constantly remind yourself of why it’s worth it and that your goal can only be obtained if you keep going.
Here are some of the top reasons VAs fail:
- Lack of passion
- Not wanting to work really hard
- Running away from the unknown
- Lack of perseverance
LACK OF PASSION
Many of us who are now entrepreneurs left a 9-5 job that they loathed. So, are you going to start a business doing another thing that you’ve no passion for or interest in? No (well I should hope not!). After establishing your WHY, the next step is to find out what work is going to make you happy. Finding your niche and your ideal client can be challenging. It is something that a lot of business owners find out along the way and not before they launch their business. It can be about finding out what you’re really good at, what you are passionate about and what makes you happy. THAT is your niche. Finding your niche is finding your passion. The thing that excites you and motivates you and gives you that drive for your work! It will be the thing that pushes you to want to keep going when times get tough.
NOT WANTING TO WORK HARD
Your vision and idea of solopreneurs and “boss babes” from social media aren’t real! I really hate to break it to you. Do they have amazing lives that they have crafted for themselves? Yes. Are they location independent and get to take beautiful days off at the beach or work from a gorgeous cafe every day? Sure. Is there 99% of their business not plastered on social media that shows hard work, tears, failures, struggles, late nights, early mornings and self-doubt? HELL YEAH!
If you are only starting a business for the 1% you see on Instagram, call up your boss and ask for your job back. Being your OWN boss is by no means a get out of jail free card. Yes, you call the shots, make the rules and decisions and control all aspects of your business. The flip side of that is that it ALL falls on you to do and with that comes hard work and dedication. There is no one to hide behind or blame if things go south. That’s why you are going to have to work harder than you ever have before, NOT easier.
This is even more of the reality in the beginning as there are so many things that you will need to do to establish your business and make yourself known. Putting yourself out there, showing up every day, networking and making connections is a huge part of your day and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. It can feel like you’re getting nowhere (and you might consider giving up) but those who succeed are those who hold on until they’ve reached their sweet spot. Mine was when clients started referring my services to others!
RUNNING AWAY FROM THE UNKNOWN
Becoming your own boss can be scary AF! I’m not going to tell you that it’s not. You’re essentially diving head first into the unknown. It is that feeling of uncertainty that might end up causing you to give up on yourself. You need to understand that that is INEVITABLE in entrepreneurship. The word “risk” is literally in its definition: “a person who sets up a business taking on financial risks”. You must be willing to fail and always move forward into the unknown to succeed.
I can only speak for myself but it may bring you comfort to know that the rewards of this life have far outweighed all the trials and tribulations.
I want to challenge you. Write out YOUR pros and cons lists. Remember your list will be different from mine or anyone else’s. Once you understand what you’re risking for the unknown, you’ll know if it’s worth it for you. Nothing worth having is easy to obtain. Someone said that once, right? It is absolutely relevant when in the context of entrepreneurship.
LACK OF PERSEVERANCE
Gary Vee always talks about his road to success. One of the main takeaways from his speeches on his past is the fact that he didn’t give up. Not when a business failed, not when he got a nasty comment, not when he didn’t have two coins to rub together, NEVER.
You can’t give up when it gets hard. So you need to be ready. If your head is in a place where you are easily affected by failure, you will not be able to succeed. Your mind needs to be in the right place. Whatever stage of entrepreneurship you are at, you may have and continue to hear a lot about the need for mindset work. It is ALL about mindset. Read that again and let it stick. Resilience is something that we aren’t all born with. However, it is something that we can learn.
How can we learn resilience? By taking the blows of life in our stride and getting straight back up. The more you learn to persevere, the better chance you have to make it. So which scenario sounds better to you?
VA A: I lost a client and it wounded me so much I lost all confidence and gave up
VA B: What did I learn from losing that client and what am I going to do next?
VA B is going places…..
These aren’t the only reasons that VAs fail. There are a lot of reasons why and some are completely out of the VAs control. However, these are some recurring themes that I’ve noticed in my time of mentoring. I’ve come across a lot of VAs who spend months wondering if they are good enough, if they have the right skill set and if they are capable of making it, only to later fail because of something completely different.
So, if you are to take anything away from this post, know that being a VA involves running your own business. Running your own business involves hard work and perseverance. There will be times when you won’t know what to do and it’ll be on you alone to make the hard choices.
These are the things that make people run, not lack of experience. If you’re looking for a little accountability, join my Facebook group Virtually Done VAs to surround yourself with a community.