What I have Learned As An Entrepreneur...

As we honor entrepreneurs for National Small Business Appreciation week, I’d like to salute my fellow entrepreneurs for the contributions and hard work we make each day to truly live out the American dream.

National Small Business Week began in 1963 when the President realized the need to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. According to sba.gov more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories.  

As an entrepreneur, in honor of the week, I wanted to share with you three things I have learned since starting my own company.

·       The expression that “time is money” is true. As an entrepreneur you must guard and value your time. It is important to keep yourself organized by measuring all opportunities and task against your overall business goals. Many times we have opportunities come up and I have to look back at our goals and what we are trying to accomplish to see if they line up. It is not a bad thing to have to pass up an opportunity if it does not line up with your overall goals. You cannot be all things to all people.

·       Stick with the mission and purpose of what you started out to do in your business. Don’t be swayed by the changing of the wind. It is so easy to jump from one idea to the next, one website to another to realize that you are not getting anything done. You have to focus on what you started out to do. You have to define goals and strategies and stick to them. One thing that can truly help overcome the urge to drift is by having a business plan.  A business plan is one of the best investments I've made.  Initially, I thought that I didn’t need one and then once I decided I needed one, I was going to do it myself, and then finally I realized I needed some help in that area. One of my best decisions. You may change as a company slightly, but having an ultimate roadmap that keeps you on track is key.

·       Listen to your gut, follow your passions. Many times we forget that our passions often drive what we are naturally gifted in. To be successful you have to tap into your passion. You have to listen to the instincts you have around those passions. Passions are what make you and your business unique.

It has been a journey for sure, of ups and downs but ultimately it has been an incredible ride seeing my dream built and continuing to grow one step at a time. What have you learned as an entrepreneur? 

Chris Howell