9 Challenges to Overcome When Starting Your Own Business – #TomFerryShow

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You’re an entrepreneur… a creator… a business owner.

Which has a huge upside. It can be so incredibly rewarding.

But also throws challenges your way…

Pitfalls you must avoid.

In starting my own businesses and investing in 47 different companies throughout my life, I’ve identified nine of the biggest challenges you need to overcome as a business owner.

I’m sharing them with you today with the aim of preparing you for what to expect instead of being blindsided when you confront these challenges.

Ready? Let’s go!

(Also, make sure to download your free business builder checklist at the end of this blog.)


Business Owner Challenge No. 1: Belief

If there’s a fraction of doubt in your mind that your business is going to be successful, you’re already in trouble.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be practical.

But before starting a business, you need 100% belief that it’s going to work.

Without that critical element, your doubt will lead to paralysis, and paralysis leads to inaction.

Eliminate any doubts you have before taking that next step toward building your business.


Business Owner Challenge No. 2: Getting the Right People on Board and in Alignment

When hiring, you basically have two options…

You can go out and recruit people you don’t know and convince them to join your team.

Or you can team up with people you know and trust and slot them strategically into various roles.

I’m a big believer that when starting a business, working with people you trust and who are in alignment with your vision is absolutely crucial.

If those people need training to master their roles, get it for them. Get them the exposure they need and give them that opportunity.

But you gotta trust ‘em and make sure they’re in complete alignment with your vision.


Tom Ferry - Success Summit


Business Owner Challenge No. 3: Get Your Story Straight

If you’re opening a business, you need to know specific, measurable answers to these questions:

  • What do we do?
  • How are we different?
  • Who are we for?
  • Who are we not for?
  • What unique benefits do we provide?

Until those five questions have well-thought out answers, you’re not ready to start a business.

Get your story straight and know how to communicate it clearly.


Business Owner Challenge No. 4: Capital to Grow

Without sufficient cash to grow your business, you’re vulnerable to being taken out by a competitor.

Here’s the thing: Cash is cheap. Selling stock is expensive in the long run.

My advice is to pursue a business loan or home equity line of credit…

And maintain complete ownership of your business.


Business Owner Challenge No. 5: A Scalable Sales Process

Without growth, business isn’t fun.

That’s why you need to be constantly thinking about how to attract more customers.

Your whole business is about solving problems for other people.

How you communicate that is what leads to growth.

This idea of how to attract more customers needs to be at the forefront of your thinking. You need to schedule time to work on answering this question. Make it a priority and build it into your schedule.

This certainly requires more work on your end, but if you fail to devote time specifically to growth initiatives, your business will quickly stop growing and start feeling like a grind.


Business Owner Challenge No. 6: Understand the Time Commitment Required

Starting a business means you have a new priority…

When starting out, it’s likely going to require five years of working six to seven days a week to make it work.

Not only do you have to work IN the business doing the work, but you have to work ON the business after hours.

This is all a major commitment!

Which means…

…You need to be ready for it.

…AND others in your life need to be ready for it, on the same page and fully supportive.

Proceeding without this step is putting your most meaningful relationships in danger. Don’t do that! Have the conversations necessary to make it crystal clear that your most of your time (and attention) will be devoted to the business.


Business Owner Challenge No. 7: Discipline!

In theory, owning a business is so fun and freeing! You’re in charge, you get to do what you want, blah blah blah…

The reality is a much different picture. All those “napkin plans” you drew up don’t cut it in the real world.

You need an actual plan. With lots of specific details!

And then you need one more thing: The discipline to actually follow it.

Those who have the discipline to continually execute their plans are those who will succeed.

Those who lack that discipline will get stuck, get distracted, get off course… and will fail.


Business Owner Challenge No. 8: Make Decisions Based on Data

Don’t let intuition and emotion guide your decision-making process.

Instead, ask this question over and over and over:

What do the numbers show us?

Success in business is all about making quantitative decisions rather than qualitative decisions.

Rely on your business intelligence, not your emotions.


Business Owner Challenge No. 9: Create a Culture of Testing

I want you to imagine yourself three years down the road of your start-up.

Things have gone well, but a shift is taking place in the marketplace. A disruption.

Will you dig in your heels and hold your course?

Or will you accept these signals, adapting and evolving with the market?

I hope you chose the latter. Those stuck to the former won’t last long in today’s ever-evolving world.

Which also speaks to the importance of testing.

I encourage you to create a culture of testing in your business and let the results guide your future actions.

Create A/B tests for as much of your business as possible: Your marketing, servicing, past client follow-up… Whatever you can test, do it!

The more you examine – and re-examine – what’s working and what’s not, the more potential for growth and prosperity you have.

To help you work toward overcoming all nine of these challenges and to provide a reminder of their importance, I created a checklist wall poster for you. Download it here and keep it “up and visual” to keep you on track for success.



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