The Trials and Tribulations of the Entrepreneur Having 101 ideas in your head is something that many people would be envious of. In fact, if you mention to others that you are running your own business, they might remark with wonder and encouragement at your actions. However, one thing that isn't discussed as often as it should be is how business owners keep their heads screwed on. How do they cope with the ideas that are in their heads, and not become overwhelmed by the enormity of it all? There are a few common traits amongst those businesses that have achieved a certain level of success. They know they can't do it all Having lots of ideas is one thing -- trying to do them all yourself is another. Although having others complete work for you is a real challenge -- especially when you are starting out and have limited money -- it is often one of the key elements why the business owner still has their sanity. They roll with the punches As kids when we were growing up, parents or adults might have told us to "roll with the punches." This most likely made no sense to you as a child, but as we grow up, the wisdom of this saying was quickly realized. Life, in all its glory and unexpectedness, delivers curve balls to us every day. As such, we have two choices -- be flexible and respond, or strike out. Successful businesses have learnt that the economy, people, and business in general, is dynamic and organic -- it changes all the time. In fact, the most "together" business owners have developed an attitude that helps them cope with these circumstances. When things don't go the way they planned, they quickly assess the situation, focus on doing those things they can control, and for those areas of the business that they cannot control, choose to accept the fact and move on. They know what they want to achieve Every successful business has "made it" because they knew what they wanted to achieve. They had a compelling reason to keep on going through hard times. This doesn't mean that they had it easy, nor does it mean that they had a truly defined focus for the business. Once reality kicks in, sometimes even the best laid plans go out the window. But it was the compelling reason that helped these successful business owners push through and find a way to achieve their dreams. This compelling reason can be anything that drives you -- something you are passionate about. For example, it could be providing a better life for your family. It could be the desire to build a business that you can leave as a legacy after you die, for the benefit of your family and community. Whatever the reason, it must be strong enough to help provide you with the fuel you will need when powering through the rough times that every business owner has. Being a business owner -- an entrepreneur -- is a hard task. When starting off, it isn't uncommon to see yourself doing 50-80 hours of work each week in the business, and you are still barely breaking even. Sometimes, despite the efforts you have made, you lose money. But, after a while, things will change. The sales will start to increase. Customers will start coming back to you again and again. Others might call this luck. It isn't. It is the outward representation and reward for all the hard work and internal "fine-tuning" that you have been going through up until that point. All the trials, tribulations, set-backs, disappointments and foiled ideas are all necessary for you to be ready for the success when it comes. So, if you have a clear vision and reason for your business; have a flexible plan and attitude; and an iron-will and dogged determination to achieve despite frustration and disappointments, success will be yours. After all, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. There is a very valid reason why it isn't "crowded at the top." The question is -- Are you prepared to go through your trials to get there?