Being an entrepreneur has awarded me a number of personal and professional successes. It has been exciting, fulfilling and a lifelong dream worth pursuing. You probably sense a “but” coming, and your instincts are on point. The entrepreneur journey is not a road free of obstacles. In fact, it can be a mountainous backroad with obstacles around every turn.
Knowing how to approach those obstacles along your entrepreneur journeyis part of the journey itself. There is not an entrepreneur among us today who hasn’t had his or her fair share of obstacles, and even failures. Paul Allen once said, “In my experience, each failure contains the seeds of your next success — if you are willing to learn from it.”
Luckily, many entrepreneurs have come before you. Instead of relying on your own grit and determination, you can lean on others. It’s like roadside assistance for entrepreneurs, but without the cool pickup truck and flashing lights. The following can serve as your guide to overcoming the obstacles ahead.
Have a strong network in place for valuable insight.
One of the best ways to overcome obstacles impeding your entrepreneur journey is to have a strong network of people who have valuable insight to share. It is like reading this article, only 100 times better, because it is a conversation with a mentor or esteemed peer.
The value of having a network can never be overlooked. And if you have yet to build a strong network, the time to start was yesterday. You can begin leveraging those in your current network, no matter how small. Ask if there is anyone in their network who would be good for you to have as a connection.
You probably read articles, watch videos and listen to podcasts as a budding entrepreneur. Note the authors and presenters of these assets and connect with them. This could be something as simple as sending a LinkedIn message letting him or her how much you appreciated their work and you would like to connect.
Find more efficient technology to overcome obstacles.
Obstacles are waiting for you to face. This can be an overwhelming thought as an entrepreneur, but it doesn’t have to be. Why? Today’s digital age has ushered in unbelievable technology. When an obstacle presents ahead, find an efficient solution using technology to overcome it.
For instance, let’s say your new business endeavor has hit a snag in the logistics department. What may seem like a six-month problem can become a two- or three-month one using automated shipping technology to streamline fulfillment from the warehouse to your customers. Before throwing in the towel and accepting what is said to be true, leverage technology to produce efficient results.
Develop an entrepreneurial mindset that encompasses success.
There is a big difference between an entrepreneur and a successful entrepreneur. What is said difference? Mindset! You know that there are obstacles lying silently waiting for you on the road toward entrepreneur success. How you overcome those obstacles is key, but having the right mindset will make the entire process easier.
Instead of hoping obstacles don’t pop up, embrace them by changing the way you think about them. For instance, successful entrepreneurs don’t necessarily see obstacles as problems. They are viewed as moments to learn and grow to make their business the best it could possibly be. This type of entrepreneur mindset can move mountains.
Stay humble and always be respectful.
Entrepreneurs have their hands on a lot of projects and come across people from all walks of life. This makes staying humble and having respect a must to overcome obstacles — you never know when you may cross paths with someone you met previously.
Let’s say you meet someone at a networking event that is truly enthusiastic to meet you and simply wants to discuss your journey as an entrepreneur to date. Instead of being humble and indulging this person with a few notable moments, you quickly end the discussion and move on.
Fast forward a year and you run right into an obstacle you need to get sorted to finish a very important project. Guess who is the gatekeeper to your solution? The person you blew off at the networking event. Not good. Moral of the story, treat everyone the way you want to be treated and be humble, no matter your successes.
How will you overcome the entrepreneur obstacles in your way?
Running headfirst into an obstacle is only a matter of time. Being prepared and having the skills to overcome those obstacles faster and more efficiently sets you apart from the pack. From cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset that sees obstacles as opportunities to build a network to help you along the way, it’s worth considering the above ways to overcome awaiting obstacles. Are you ready for the road ahead?
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This Article first appeared in Forbes