Many people decide to become entrepreneurs for the freedom it would give them: the freedom to "work their own hours," "focus on what they really love," "make more money than they would in the rat race," or "have more time for family."
Unfortunately, many of these same entrepreneurs also end up working more hours than they ever imagined. Of course, this can be expected in the start-up phase. But without a clear-cut plan to work on their business, and not in it, these entrepreneurs never seem able to achieve the freedom that they wanted in the first place.
If you don\\\'t want to get trapped in this cycle forever, you need to learn to leverage the four valuable resources that every entrepreneur has at each stage of business growth:
1. Leverage your passion to define the big picture
At the very beginning of your entrepreneurial journey --when you\\\'re still running low on time and money -- your main resources are your passion and energy. Using these resources, define a clear-cut (yet flexible) timeline for:
- The growth that you want to happen in your business.
- The impact you want to make on your target market at each stage of your growth.
- Your plan for decreasing the amount of hands-on micromanagement you need to do as you develop other people to take over these tasks for you.
As with all things in life, having a plan is always the first step towards making sure it becomes a reality.
2. Leverage your energy to get continuous cash flow
During your start-up phase, it is natural to wear many hats and invest a lot of your own personal time and energy into your business. Your best strategy for this phase is to focus your time and energy on tasks and projects that:
- Bring in initial cash flow, and
- Bring in continuous cash flow.
Once you get started on bringing in a continuous stream of money, it will become a habit and resource that will support and create even more growth.