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Deciding to start a small business is no easy or small decision.

There are numerous sacrifices and challenges you are faced with every single day as a business owner, and they can become extremely overwhelming, however, there’s still that little voice in your head telling you to “just keep going.”

If you’ve decided or currently are a small business owner, there’s a few things you may have realized within your first “guinea pig year,” that you may or may not have been completely prepared for. Don’t fret—we’re here to help! Here are five things you should or may have learned in your first year of entrepreneurship. Check them out below, and let us know which ones you’ve definitely learned (and even mastered).

5 Things to Know in Your First Year of Entrepreneurship

  1. Just Keep Going— Don’t Give Up

Giving up is so easy—it’s literally the easiest thing you can do as an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, your first year is going to be extremely tough. The downfalls, the setbacks, the mishaps—they all will happen, but you have to keep going! Don’t allow the feeling of defeat to consume your business or mindset. Be persistent in all that you do, and keep in mind that your business is like your baby– both take lots of nurturing, care and attention and you don’t want to give up on either of them!

  1. Surround Yourself with Those that Magnify Your Energy

The transformation of energy is real. Who you surround yourself with and allow yourself to keep company with is extremely important—especially for your business. When you’re surrounded by positive and optimistic people, you are able to be present, and present your absolute best self. Being around those that are passionate, driven, and motivated will only cause you to feel the exact same way, so keep those kind of people around! 

  1. Start Small and Gradually Grow

When it comes to your first year of entrepreneurship, it’s important to start small and gradually work your way up. This will allow you to not only pinpoint the focus of your business, but it will also relieve you from a ton of debt—especially when you self-fund your first year. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, start small and once you reach that goal, move to the next one. 

  1. Learn From Other’s Mistakes

Within your first year of entrepreneurship, you’ll quickly realize that you won’t need to make certain mistakes that you may be aware of based on other’s experiences. Mistakes are teachable moments, regardless if you personally experience them or not. As long as you’re making sure you’re taking the necessary steps to avoid making those mistakes that you’ve read or heard about from others—it could potentially save you a lot of time, money, and headaches!

  1. Don’t Create New Products, Solve Problems

Before you decide whether or not your business, brand, product or service is needed, stop and evaluate whether or not there’s a similar product or service out there. Then, your second question should be—how is your product or service different from others and what new problem is it capable of solving. These two questions are pivotal to your brand as a first year entrepreneur, and will help you develop a successful product and/or service.

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