Being an entrepreneur simultaneously tests your strengths and shines a spotlight on your weaknesses. Serial entrepreneurs get used to this grind and learn to thrive through failures and navigate unknowns, but it’s hard when you’re in your rookie season! I started KickHouse in the middle of 2020 and I am still learning through my first years of being an entrepreneur. On this eve of Thanksgiving, I’ve cataloged five things I am thankful for as a new entrepreneur with the hope that it may inspire someone who is considering entrepreneurship.
According to the Small Business Administration, only two thirds of new businesses survive their second year. KickHouse is midway through year two and I attribute that success to the team that is bringing their unique super powers to the KickHouse business. I am so grateful to my team members who work tirelessly day in and day out to make KickHouse great and to consistently level up across the organization. They are often working harder than me with more attention to detail, and I truly trust them to build and make the best decisions for KickHouse. When you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, select your initial team members carefully and then get out of their way.
I worked long hours before I became an entrepreneur but being in the driver’s seat is a different level of stress and commitment. I am so grateful and thankful for my family who understands what I am trying to build and why. My son is 11 at this point and I still get mom-guilt over the school events and baseball practices that I miss. But on the other hand, he describes my job as being the “biggest boss” and he knows that his favorite pizza place is a franchise. (To pre-answer some questions: Yes. He does know what the franchise fee is. No. He has not yet started to save for the franchise fee. His dollars are mostly allocated to Fortnite V-Bucks.)
Being an entrepreneur requires a 24/7 kind of work schedule and if you’re going to be pushing your limits, you need to know how to recover so you can push again the following day. As much as I know the importance of hard work, I equally understand the importance of good sleep. I typically get eight hours of sleep a night which is enabled by the Calm app and a weighted blanket.
Before you dive into an entrepreneurial journey, get your exercise, nutrition and sleep dialed in. A decline in your total health can really negatively impact your ability to run your business.
As a new entrepreneur, you must have a thick skin for critics. There will be people who question your concept, the timing and/or the likelihood of success and you have to embrace them. As difficult as they can sometimes be, critics offer perspective that you may not be seeing. They can help you avoid pitfalls and they can help you develop a data-backed decision making process that will withstand the view from their critical eye.
My True Believers
If you’ve tuned into the Netflix movie The Christmas Chronicles, you already know the power of a True Believer. True Believers carry the same clout in your business because their optimism and positivity can balance out the critics and keep you moving forward even when you feel like you’ve hit a wall. As a young entrepreneur, seek out, celebrate and empower your True Believers as quickly as possible.
The most humbling part of running KickHouse is seeing how many True Believers are out there really pulling for the brand. They are embracing the brand as their own, posting on social media, telling all their friends and family about KickHouse and generally sharing the same love I have for KickHouse. I am so thankful for the True Believers of KickHouse as I know we wouldn’t be where we are today without their support!
If you’ve had a business idea in your mind or have been considering entrepreneurship, start today. Even if it’s a small, exploratory step. By next Thanksgiving, you’ll have plenty to be thankful for.