There seems to be a trend I'm noticing amongst people just starting their career. They'll work hard for a couple of years and then it suddenly hits them.

"I am NOT doing this for the rest of my life"

Maybe it's just because most of the people I hang around are my friends from university who studied Civil Engineering and the whole construction industry is pretty physically and emotionally demanding.

Whatever the case, it's around this time they'll stumble upon some blogs giving rise to business ideas they'll be itching to start. Before anyone jumps into a Full-Time business or entrepreneurship career, there's definitely a bunch of things to take note of.

I've been on the hustle for almost 3 years! I've learned a tonne and my mindset has changed massively from when I first started.

1. One thing at a Time

I had a list of things I wanted to do when I first quit work. It was a long LONG list. I thought I could do them all at once and that's what I tried to do.

I'd set aside 1 hour for each project a day.

Guess what happened? Nothing.

I made such little progress on any of them. Mostly because, I'd ditch the idea and move on to something else and also because my focus was so bad.

It's a better practice to focus on ONE thing till you make it work. When you're whole body, mind and soul synchronise with each other in order to achieve one goal a beautiful thing happens. I can't even explain what it is but basically you begin to obsess about it so much that you're every habit becomes tailored to achieve this goal.

From the food that you eat, the time that you wake up, the tasks you work on, etc, you're very core wants only one thing, and that's to achieve this goal. Whatever that goal is, make sure it's specific.

Don't aim for something like, 'I want to have a car business'. That's silly because there's no depth. You can't measure if you're succeeding or failing.

A better goal would be, ' I want to have at least ONE $100 profit day with Pay per call campaigns'. Now your mind know what to strive for. It knows what information to chuck away and what to add. It will begin to correct it's path automatically as you progress.

2. Self discipline is HARD

I still struggle with this.

I used to make set timetables for myself during work which I thought I'd follow once I'd be working for myself.

  • 4am - wake up
  • 4.30 - 7.30am - first work session
  • 8am - 10am - gym
  • 10am - 2pm - second work session
  • 2pm - 3pm - eat lunch
  • 3pm - 8pm - last work session
  • 10pm - sleep

I didn't realise that it would take months if not years to get into something solid like the above. It doesn't happen over night. The body will reject every aspect of that till it starts to adjust to it.

I'm much closer to something like that now then I was when I first started. Don't expect to use 100% of your time wisely.

Your body will adjust to it slowly so start implementing changes at a pace you can manage.

Begin with waking up early and doing a solid 2 hours of work. Then add some healthy eating. Start some regular health and fitness items of your choice, etc, etc.

These small implementations will add up and eventually you'll be on a great routine you're body is happy to follow.

Financial Insecurity is a killer

3. Stay Healthy

You're an entrepreneur now. You'r body and mind doesn't work on autopilot anymore. You'll need to be physically and mentally healthy enough to apply your 100% to your work.

There's no pressure from your boss to get things done and when there's no pressure, the human being becomes a slack, 'I can't be bothered doing anything' object.

One of my biggest turning points was when I conquered this thinking by eating healthy and killing that lethargic feeling I'd get every morning. Instead of hitting the snooze button, I jump out of bed ready to go.

Most if not all successful entrepreneurs will have some sort of health focussed activities implemented within their routine.

Whether that be a gym session or a bike ride or even a healthy smoothie in the morning. It's MANDATORY to be in a good health space to entrepreneur effectively for years.

4. Expect Criticism

Whether you like it or not, you'll get some naysayers. You might even be getting them now. People that are so miserable and yet stay in the 9-5 grind because they have no faith in themselves.

Don't let these people rub on to you. You HAVE to believe in yourself and your abilities. Every single person has it in them to make something of value in this world. Whether or not you believe that is up to you.

It might be your immediate family or friends but whoever they are, don't let their words discourage you.

Be part of healthy Online Entrepreneurship communities. Aff Playbook, a skype group of your choice, some FaceBook groups, Entrepreneurship meetups, basically others you can emulate.

As long as you know it's possible, that should be enough. Keep working at it till it becomes a reality.

5. Get used to Failure

This one's a weird one to get around and be comfortable with. Statistically a huge % of people fail on their first business idea. Over 90%, particularly if you're a first time entrepreneur, i.e, have zero business experience.

Not only does the first idea fail but so does the next, and the next and...the next. What does this mean? Does it mean you suck and should go back to full-time work?

No. This is NORMAL. In fact, it's normal to fail a lot more. The idea is to fail FAST so you can learn QUICKLY.

Failure is necessary for a human being to reflect and troubleshoot his past process to figure out where he/she went wrong. If you're always getting things right, will you ever look back and improve? Probably not. You'd just continue to the next step.

I've failed at most things in my business career but I'm ok with that. I understand that's how it is and the small things that DO work, make me good money.

6. Get used to Spending Money and Getting Nothing Back

This ties in to the first point a little.

Maybe it's just the nature of the business I'm in, (affiliate marketing), but I'm pretty confident it's a universal business thing.

Spending money in affiliate marketing has usually been to 'test' if a certain idea/theory works. I'm basically buying data and gaining knowledge that I feel is important to me in some way.

These knowledge points could be,

  • 'which of these 6 images, people respond to more'
  • Are males better buyers than girls in this particular niche
  • Does this kindle book get good engagement on FaceBook
  • How much cost is required to make this business idea work

Most or all of these can be found out with less than $50 but with the data I get back, I can make a product that'll have a much better chance of success and will ultimately save a LOT of time and money on assumptions that have no merit, (data).

Moral of this point is to understand that money buys information that makes you a better entrepreneur. Just be smart with spending and ensure it's nothing too crazy that will be a struggle to recover. I.e, don't go buy a TV ad for a product before getting some customer feedback.

7. Have a Savings

Having some money in the bank will stop you from going back to finding a job. There will always be a little voice in your head telling you to go back to work and that voice will get louder, the more desperate your financial situation is.

I had a very healthy mid 5 figure savings to play with. I was saving it to buy a franchise but it didn't go through. This allowed me to work mentally free for a whole year never holding back with experimenting.

If you don't have money, spend some time earning and saving before you quit. It helps a LOT.

8. It Takes Time - Be Persistent

I'm sure you've heard this one before. I don't think people really understand how much time it actually takes.

Some people take months, others take years to find a decent income online. The harder you work, the quicker you'll find it but at some point you will question whether it's time to hang up the gloves or to keep going.

Actually, you'll find this question pop-up almost every step of the way.

The ones that make it however are the ones that always opt to keep going. The best way to evaluate if you're doing things right is to to look back a month and to evaluate your learnings.

Did you learnt a lot that month? If yes, you're doing it right. If no, then somethings wrong. Either you keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result or some part of your process is not right.

At the end of the day, you'll never be 100% prepared for your adventure. Managing yourself and the hurdles you come across is part of the process of making it.

Good luck

- Mateen


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Written by Mateen