Most entrepreneurs are prepared to give something up for the success of their company. It's rare, however, that an individual understands exactly how much they'll have to forfeit while growing their business.
One of the most effective ways to support a new business is to prepare yourself — and those around you — for which responsibilities will have to take the backseat.
Here are four sacrifices you'll need to make to achieve success.
New businesses require risk, and risk means sacrificing security and stability. You'll not only sacrifice financial security; in a way, you'll also risk the security of your reputation on this venture. This pressure can feel overwhelming and present a major obstacle to productivity.
Prepare yourself and your dependents for this loss of security by clearly outlining your financial commitment to the business. Know exactly how much money you will commit and what will happen if that investment is unsuccessful.
Have frank discussions about the potential failure of your venture. These conversations will not only help you create a fall-out plan, they will also help you identify risk factors. The better you understand how your business could fail, the better you can defend against those potential scenarios.
2. A "regular" schedule
Your business is a lot like a newborn: It has no respect for your sleep schedule, appointments, or family dinner nights. It will demand attention at inopportune times and you have to nurture it in a highly responsive way, especially in its earliest days.
If you've left a traditional, 9–5 job to pursue your business dreams, you'll need to train yourself to seize every opportunity to relax, sleep and spend time with family. Entrepreneurs have to be highly flexible and never expect things to go as planned.
The best way to prepare yourself for the irregular schedule of a new business owner is to improve your time management skills. Find ways to take advantage of 5-, 10-, and 15-minute windows you might find at odd times during the day.
Learn to be spontaneous with your plans and maximize productivity in your windows of unscheduled time.
When you aren't physically absent from your home, friends and family, you're likely to be mentally absent. A new business will require consistent problem-solving and brainpower. Every day brings a new challenge — which is both a joy and a burden.
To prepare for this sacrifice, clean up your daily life: Avoid mindless games, excess television and other activities that aren't high priorities.
When you do have a moment when your mind is clear and you need a break from the business, utilize it: Call a friend you've been ignoring, or write a quick, appreciative email to your partner.
Again, time management skills are the most important tool in preparing yourself for the loss of headspace you'll experience while growing a business.
A business can't grow until an entrepreneur is ready to hand over some control. Control is a sacrifice every entrepreneur has to be not only prepared but eager to make.
Unfortunately, this is rarely easy. There is often a lot of emotional investment in a new business and it can be difficult to let others get involved. But as you expand your team and hire new employees, you will have no choice but to sacrifice some power.
The best way to prepare for this loss of control is by fine-tuning your hiring process. The more detailed and efficient your strategy for finding and onboarding new staff, the more faith you will have in the people you have hired. This trust will make handing over responsibilities and sacrificing control much easier.