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What is the biggest challenge you face as an entrepreneur?

(Question asked by one of our awesome interns!)

Oh wow, this is a loaded question – how can I pick just ONE! As much as I love being an entrepreneur and I wouldn’t change it for the world it’s filled with challenges every day.  I think if I had to really narrow it down it would be knowing how to tackle a challenge. May sound cheesy but it’s true.

You can run your company perfectly and there will ALWAYS be some sort of challenge. So learning how to handle them both individually and as a team was such a priority for me.  I tried to avoid them, and still do but really they are inevitable so it’s best to figure out the easiest and most efficient way to handle them.

Here are my tips on facing challenges:

  1. Take a breath, step away, do whatever you need for 10 seconds to just settle your mind before you go into action.
  2. Communicate – I swear by communication as your biggest tool when it comes to running a company, and the best way to communicate is to get all the players in the same room to quickly talk it out. Take the ideas and suggestions of your team as they may know of a better solution than you do.
  3. Use your network – There is no need to re-invent the wheel if your challenge needs help outside of your organization then look at your toolbox of contacts and see who you can call in to help.
  4. Don’t point fingers – someone screwed up? Unless you have a time machine you can’t go back to change what happened so now is not the time to get upset as that will likely make things worse.
  5. Make a plan – What needs to happen to handle this challenge and who needs to do what. Be clear about your plan, each person’s roles, and expectations and of course timelines.
  6. Check-in – When people are stressed or panicking they often interpret things differently, or let their emotions get the best of them. Check-in as many times needed to make sure someone hasn’t gone too far off the path.
  7. Regroup and Reevaluate – Some challenges are just that and others are the result of an issue or problem that happened. Once your problem is solved be sure to gather one more time and look at how this happened and why so you can be proactive in the future and correct any systems that need revisions.

In the end, challenges happen, in life, and in business no matter how hard you try to avoid them they will always find a way to sneak into your life. I truly believe that your outlook really impacts the way you handle challenges and remember to be logical and try not to let your emotions cloud your decisions. A challenge is just that, a challenge. It’s not the end of the world so don’t let it slow you down!

 

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