Arm yourself with education: Knowledge and education are going to be the strongest weapons you can put into action to help you out. This could be knowledge about your niche or your focus, of course, but also knowledge and education relating to business, marketing, and even something like negotiating with customers. There are courses you can take in post-secondary institutions, as well as books and videos on the subjects.
Pick a business you are passionate about: When you are looking at setting out, pick a business or a focus that you love. There’s no point in working for yourself rather than “the man” if you hate your niche, right? You are going to be responsible for babying your business (more on that later), so if you are simply looking to please your audience, you’re going about it wrong. Love what you do, first, and the right customers will come!
Be ready for a fight (and keep fighting): As mentioned above, you are going to have to baby your business. For the first 5 years+, you are your business. It means long days and a stressful, frustrating experience from time to time. You’ll have to continue fighting even when the going gets hard, and that’s what separates the latter group from the former, above!
Never dabble in the gray area: There are all sorts of supposed shortcuts to making it as an entrepreneur. From rigged SEO to faking customer reviews, to simply taking on any job out there, even if it’s sketchy, they will all fail. Even if they work short-term, the only true way to succeed is to stay the course and keep your nose clean. Always stay in the “white” as far as the gray versus black areas of business.
Understand what progress looks like: Progress can’t be measured by your competition or even by the opinions of consultants or experts. It is best determined by comparing your stats and analytics from one quarter or year, to the next. Progress is only measured against yourself!
Keep on learning, always: No matter what, continue learning about your niche, your business practices, your customers, digital marketing, etc. There’s always a way for you to deepen your knowledge!
Be patient and keep your eyes down the road: Success takes time and it may take longer than you would have thought. Keep your eyes on your long term goals and learn from mistakes as much as you can. It’ll get you to where you want to go.