When it comes to entrepreneur struggles, what’s one struggle you have faced and how did you overcome it?
We asked experienced entrepreneurs and business owners this question for their notable challenges to help you learn from the struggles of successful entrepreneurs and how they overcame them.
From juggling work-life balance to lacking essential branding and marketing experience, entrepreneurs face a variety of challenges on their path to building a successful business that can serve as inspiration to new business owners in becoming their own boss.
Before we get started with the list of secret struggles entrepreneurs face, would you like to take a look at the behind of scenes of a multi-millionaire? Check it out here.
Here are 11 secret entrepreneur struggles and how to overcome them:
Struggled With Work-Life Balance
Very early on in my career, I struggled with creating a work-life balance.
Sometimes as women we have to make difficult decisions and sacrifices for our entrepreneurial endeavors. This gets much easier to manage over time especially as your kids grow up and become more independent beings, but in the meantime, it’s important to create a great support system.
Whether you develop the right environment at your place of work or prioritize important times and events at home, consider all your options. Be open about your struggles and let a family member or others help and support you in times of need.
Alisha Taylor, Alisha Taylor Interiors
Related Post: Here are 10 ways to improve your mental health as an entrepreneur because mental illness and day-to-day stress can truly affect your daily life and entrepreneurial mindset.
Learned The Hard Way To Delegate
As much as it’s a cliché, I spread myself too thin at first, even after I had assembled my management team.
Old habits are hard to break, especially if you trust your habits despite being surrounded by a gifted group of men and women.
I wish I could tell you I just decided one day to start delegating and to focus on the big picture. In truth, it took me dropping some balls and my team doing a great job of cleaning things up. I’m fairly certain next time around, I’ll be delegating from day one!
Joshua Chin, Chronos
Related Post: This is the contract template you’ll need to start delegating and hiring VA’s, freelancers, and others!
Young entrepreneurs often make the mistake of not delegating and putting in the sleepless nights and hard work, which isn’t a bad thing but you have to look at the bigger picture and seek help to grow your business.
Felt Lonely Running Everything
It can be a bit lonely being an entrepreneur. That’s one of the entrepreneur’s struggles I’ve experienced. In some ways, you can feel like a lone wolf who has to figure out everything on their own because there aren’t strong systems in place, there is no HR department or a supervisor to reach out to; it is all on you.
It can be a lot of pressure and a lot of unknowns for a number of entrepreneurs, especially in the first year. If you have a passion for forging your own path and are inspired by what you do, there is nothing more rewarding than creating something of your own—the small victories and seeing how far you have come to keep me motivated every day.
Sumeer Kaur, Lashkaraa
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Scared To Start
The largest entrepreneur struggle is finding the courage to start. There’s no denying that becoming self-employed is scary because all the responsibility for success or failure lies on your own shoulders.
Entrepreneurship can feel like equipping yourself with nothing but good ideas and business sense, then setting out into a vast, unknown ocean, hoping your preparations are good enough to keep you afloat.
There isn’t a quick heuristic to overcome this fear, but here’s how I did it: I recognized a need for more autonomy and agency in my career and began making a business plan.
There was no moment where my plan was perfect, but I had to find the courage to take the plunge anyhow.
Because, sink-or-swim, I knew that I’d be doing it on my own terms, by the merit of my ideas and resilience of my leadership.
Jaymee Messler, The Gaming Society
Make sure you do these 10 things before starting a blog and online business!
These are things I wish I knew before starting a blog as my side hustle while working full-time as a lawyer and turning it into a seven-figure blogging business.
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All entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs especially, have experienced self-doubt at some point in their entrepreneurship journey and even personal life.
It can be paralyzing to the point of giving up life-long dreams in the early stages. Even the most successful entrepreneurs can struggle with imposter syndrome and feelings of inadequacy.
The best way to deal with self-doubt is to start taking notice of the times you’re belittling yourself and your achievements. From there, you can slowly learn to accept recognition and acknowledge your own accomplishments.
When you form a habit of positive self-talk, you no longer leave room for self-doubting thoughts. It can be a long journey, but it is worth it, as confidence is a crucial quality of a successful entrepreneur.
Maja Kowalska, Zety
Had To Deal With a Male-dominated Industry
Though we see strides for change, the business world is still a male-dominated industry.
As a woman at the beginning of my entrepreneurial endeavors, I felt I had to work that much harder to be taken seriously and have a seat at the table. To remedy the uncomfortable feelings that can arise from being one of few women in the room, I poured energy into building connections with other women in the industry.
You might not be able to choose who is in the room now, but you can choose who is in your network.
Amrita Saigal, Kudos
Here are 11 best books for female entrepreneurs to advance their skills and grow their businesses.
Being Unsure of Myself
Being unsure of myself was one character flaw that I discovered in myself that I needed to address. I sought out the expertise of a coach, who helped me learn more about myself and discover self-confidence which directly benefited my business.
It can be daunting to start a business and worry that you might make fatal mistakes. Once letting go of that fear, I was set free to commit to my actions and reach small business success.
Gerald Lombardo, The Word Counter
Need business and legal coaching? Don’t hesitate to schedule a call with me here.
Here’s how my customer, Quinton, felt afterward:
Also, it can be hard to market your business these days without social media but what if you are an introvert who doesn’t like being on social media 24/7?
You can still succeed with these incredible tips here.
Lacked a Clear Roadmap
As an entrepreneur, you don’t have a clear roadmap for what you are doing on a day-to-day basis. That’s one of the entrepreneur struggles that I faced.
Your success, however, will be developing a strategy for how to generate and build revenue and then sticking to the strategy by putting blinders on to all else.
As an entrepreneur, you are often seeking order and organization amid the chaos that you feel as you wear all the hats and do all the work for your business.
Offers will fill your email inbox with promises of increased fortunes, easy promotions and tools that are already done for you. These are shiny objects and I, too, have struggled with a severe case of “shiny object syndrome.”
I found over time that “shiny object syndrome” hits hardest when I am the least clear about what I should be doing to move my business forward.
When I take time to logically plan my roadmap and next steps, I can stay more focused while saying “no” to the endless “shiny objects” that are hurled my way on a daily basis.
Jennifer Drago, Peak to Profit, LLC
Related Blog Post: Here are 14 Brilliant Ways to Make Money Online for Beginners and build strong sales systems to reach your target market!
Experienced Partnership Disagreement and Breakup
The business I started was a product house – making short-form video content for ad agencies and their clients when YouTube pre-roll started becoming popular in 2012.
I was young but determined, and able to handle the back of the house of my business. My business partner was 10 years my senior and handled front-of-house – creative, ideation, and editing.
We landed a huge account, and were finally cash positive, after nearly starving for months to pay for equipment and our employees.
I thought it was the start of a great agency partnership. My business partner thought it was the first financing we needed to start on his short film.
We fought about it, intensely, and we were at an impasse. I wanted to put the money back into the business, and he wanted to put the money towards film – instead of advertising. I was devastated, and I had to walk away.
I sold my stake in the company, and informed my clients. The huge account left with me, and I ended up starting a new company on that account.
Adam Casole-Buchanan, DeckLinks
Avoid partnership disagreements with this proper Partnership Agreement that you should put into place whenever you are going to work with someone else in your business. Learn more about it in this blog post. This is a real struggle entrepreneurs face when going into business with each other without a proper contract in place.
A partnership agreement is a document that outlines the responsibilities and expectations of each partner in a business partnership. This can help avoid common entrepreneur struggles that can lead to misunderstandings or conflict.
Struggled With Comparison
As an entrepreneur, one of my biggest struggles was falling into comparison mode.
With social media and digital marketing being such a huge part of my world, it can be hard not to get caught up in what everyone else is doing in the business community. The way that I was able to overcome this mindset obstacle was to notice when I was falling into this mode and immediately log off my emails and social media.
It usually pops up a lot more if I am doing competitor research and get stuck in an endless cycle of, ‘someone has already created an offer like this.’
The thing you have to remember is that no one is you. You are unique, your business is unique, and your experiences are unique. Stop focusing on what everyone else is doing and focus on your own business and competitive advantage.
Tara Reid, Tara Reid Marketing
Lacked Essential Branding and Marketing Experience
I started my bathroom business in 2005, from a storage unit no bigger than a small garage.
Although I had a deep understanding of the bathroom sector, I lacked experience in brand building and marketing.
When you are starting out you are effectively driving the business forward from an operational standpoint but are also building a brand. I recognized early that I needed to recruit talented individuals within key roles.
Recruiting was another challenge entirely, but by surrounding myself with individuals who were talented at their jobs helped me drive my business forward to success.
James Chapman, Bella Bathrooms
Overcome these entrepreneur struggles with this great guide on personal branding for bloggers and entrepreneurs
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SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is the tool you’ll need to rank your blog posts on the FIRST page of Google.
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Legal Struggles Faced by Entrepreneurs
One of the common entrepreneur struggles is not knowing how to legally protect their online business.
In my decade of legal practice, I’ve found that many entrepreneurs neglect the legal side of their business until they are threatened with a lawsuit or end up facing an expensive legal issue.
Preventing a legal problem is less expensive than dealing with it once it has arisen.
There are a number of legal struggles that entrepreneurs face on a daily basis.
These include issues such as website accessibility lawsuits, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and not using proper legal documents in business.
Additionally, entrepreneurs often struggle with and make these 13 costly legal mistakes. Learn how to avoid them in your business ownership.
Related Blog Post: Read this blog post to learn 15 expensive legal mistakes to avoid as an entrepreneur
RELATED BLOG POSTS ON HOW TO LEGALLY PROTECT YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
Check out these blog posts on essential business contracts, legal documents and tips you need to ensure your business are legally compliant:
- 16 DIY Legal Documents for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs
- 3 Must Have Legal Pages Entrepreneurs Need
- How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant
- 15 Expensive Legal Mistakes to Avoid as a Blogger and Entrepreneur
Common Challenges of Being an Entrepreneur
Now you know about the 11 most common entrepreneur struggles above but what is the most common challenge faced by entrepreneurs?
After asking this question to many successful entrepreneurs, we found that: The most common challenge faced by entrepreneurs is time management.
With so many plates spinning at once, it can be difficult to find the time to focus on each individual task and get everything done in a timely manner. This can often lead to stress, working longer hours or all hours of the day, and burnout, which can have a negative impact on both your personal and professional life.
The good news is that you can use this awesome resource to work less and earn more! It will help avoid lots of struggles business leaders face.
What Struggles Did Donald Trump Encounter as an Entrepreneur?
In his book “The Art of the Deal,” Donald Trump detailed some of the struggles he faced as an entrepreneur.
He discusses how he was often underestimated by others, and how he had to fight for every deal.
Trump also talks about how he learned to take advantage of opportunities, and how to negotiate from a position of strength. This is not an easy task but this kind of attitude sets you up for success.
While Trump has had success as a businessman, he has also faced several challenges. In the early 1990s, Trump was nearly bankrupt due to the mismanagement of his businesses. He was able to revive his business career by licensing his name to businesses, and by investing in real estate to overcome those financial concerns and issues.
Many entrepreneurs don’t know how to manage their business finances accurately, which then results in mismanagement and, in some cases, financial ruin.
The first step to take when learning how to manage your business finances is to get organized.
This means keeping track of all your income and expenses, as well as any other money that flows in and out of your business.
Use this accounting software to make sure you are managing your finances accurately every month!
Famous Entrepreneur Struggles Quotes to Motivate You
Below are five best entrepreneur quotes you should live by. Remember that entrepreneurship is not an overnight success; it’s long term and takes much time to build a successful business:
1. “I have failed again and again throughout my life. That’s why I’ve been successful” – Michael Jordan
2. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks” – Mark Zuckerberg
3. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison
4. “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them” – Ernest Hemingway
5. “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today” – Franklin D
Final Thoughts on Common Entrepreneur Struggles
There are a few reasons why entrepreneur struggles are important.
First, they provide valuable lessons that can be applied to future endeavors.
Second, they help to build character and perseverance.
Third, they can ultimately lead to success. Take a look at this entrepreneur’s struggles and success story here as an example.
Finally, they inspire others who may be facing similar challenges and connect you with the right people.
While early struggles can be difficult and discouraging in your entrepreneurial journey, it is important to remember that they can also be immensely valuable. By learning from our mistakes and using our failures as motivation, we can push ourselves to achieve great things the right way.
So, the next time you face a setback, remember that it could be the key to your success for a lot of things.
Related Blog Posts on Entrepreneur Struggles
In addition to entrepreneur struggles, read this post to learn the 20 best qualities of an entrepreneur. These will help you keep a good attitude every single day, especially when things get tough in the early days of entrepreneurship.
If you are looking to avoid more legal mistakes made by entrepreneurs, check out the helpful blog posts I put together on various legal topics here. Some of these are based on my own experiences as a lawyer that I have seen entrepreneurs struggle with.
So check them out below because it’s a good idea to be legally protected in your business and be on the right path to success.
You also need to make sure your website is ADA compliant. So check out more helpful blog posts below to learn new things you didn’t know and take the next step to protect your business!
- Lawyer’s Guide to ADA Website Compliance – Use this checklist
- 6 Essential Business Contracts Every Entrepreneur Needs and Why
- Hosting a giveaway? Learn all about Sweepstakes Rules and grab your Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions template here
- Are you accepting guest posts on your website? Learn how to protect yourself!
- What other legal contracts should you have? Check these 16 DIY Legal Templates
- Terms and Conditions template for online courses (that course creators must have with their students)
- Want to use someone’s photos, testimonials, or videos legally? You need this Media Release Agreement.
- Want to start your own affiliate program or already have one? Protect yourself with an Affiliate Agreement
- Are you a coach offering 1:1 or group coaching? Learn about the 3 essential legal contracts you need as a coach!
- 50 Entrepreneurs Like You Reveal Why Free Legal Templates DON’T Protect Your Online Business
- Protect Your Business Secrets With a Confidentiality Agreement
- Looking to hire a freelancer or provide freelance services of your own? This is the Freelance Contract You Need!
- Everything You Need to Know About Blog Disclosures and Disclaimers (with Examples)
Don’t forget to join my awesome Facebook group with over 7,000 incredible entrepreneurs. You’ll be welcomed into this supportive group with bloggers, business owners, and go-getters. Plus, you’ll get helpful legal, blogging, and business tips for free.
COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW WHETHER YOU HAVE FACED ANY OF THESE STRUGGLES AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
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Love this! The self-doubt when I started my business was so real! I still have my moments but I am doing better. Thanks for the tips!
I think we all suffer from self-doubt! It’s totally normal 🙂
I definitely feel the one about having a lack of direction! It’s hard when you start anything new. You don’t know how to start or what to focus on and it’s so easy to get off track!
Yes, so true!!
I love that you included the “scared to start” one! I’ve learned to just simply start with the smallest of small baby steps. If you take one baby step each day toward your goal, you’ll get there way quicker than if you hold off starting until things are “perfect.” Great post!
Thank you, Skye! Yes, “scared to start” was definitely one of my struggles as an entrepreneur 🙂
I can relate to feeling lonely. I am guilty of going all in and getting so focused on my business. It is just me running things so it can certainly feel lonely at times. Making all the decisions is nice but it can also be a lonely challenging thing at the same time.
Yes definitely! I feel the same way.
thanks for all these great resources
You are welcome, Jimmy!