It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since we started on this crazy adventure! From the early days of envisioning where things could go and what this business could one day become to actually obtaining clients, growing our offerings, and becoming true entrepreneurs, the road has been full of twists and turns!

Many people see the benefits of starting your own business: you set your own hours, you’re your own boss, and you get to do something you love every single day. But that isn’t the complete story. Not every day is a picnic and not every hour is fun, but through it all, we own everything that we have, and that really can’t be beat.

We have learned so much since we started this journey, but now it’s time to highlight five things we’ve learned as entrepreneurs

1. Be Passionate

Passion is so important to owning and operating your own business. When work turns into 12-15 hour days and you have to miss out on events with family and friends, you realize that it isn’t easy to be an entrepreneur. If you lack the deep-seated passion of the work you’re doing, then those long days are going to feel unbearable and you won’t be able to put the energy and effort into the work that you need to do. Whether your business is in your ideal industry or field or if it’s just working on a task that you love (with multiple fields and industries), be sure that you’ll want to do it day in and day out for years to come!

2. Grow Your Knowledge Base

When we began Core, we had a strong knowledge base of the work that would need to be done for our clients, but we need to add to that base every single day. From gaining clients that are outside of our field of expertise to needing to expand our offerings to meet our growing client base’s needs, we have needed to adapt, grow, and learn. We have taken additional courses, read countless articles, and explored new options to ensuring that our clients are always satisfied with the work we’re doing. If you aren’t interested in growing or willing to constantly learn, being an entrepreneur won’t be an easy task and simply may not be for you. For all of the entrepreneurs out there, don’t get overconfident, you will need to learn new things in order to be successful – know that before you begin and you’re starting on the right foot!

3. Get to Know the People You’re Working With

Your clients, customers, sponsors, and partners are all essential to your business; in reality, your business probably doesn’t exist without them. As you get to know these key stakeholders and organizations, you’ll learn how they work, how your businesses fit together, and can anticipate their needs, all of which allow you to better match your missions. We know that building the relationships with our current clients have not only allowed us to ensure we’re consistently meeting their needs, it’s also helped by having our current clients refer us to potential and other future clients. Take the time to get to know the people around you and that will only positively impact you down the line.

4. Trust Your Instincts

Is it the right time to purchase that new piece of equipment? Is that new business the kind that you want to partner with? Always trust your instincts. Sure you can discuss it with your friends and family, but only you will know the right answers. As an entrepreneur, you are acutely aware of the right decisions for your business, even if you have a tendency to question those decisions. You are completely connected to your business and thus always know deep down what you should do, so don’t question that!

5. Pick the Right Partner

This one doesn’t always come into play for entrepreneurs, but for us it’s been a big one. Finding someone that you can work with simply can’t be overstated. No, you won’t get along every day. No, you won’t agree on everything. But, you need to ensure there is mutual trust and respect (both personally and professionally). You own your own business, that means you don’t want to feel like you have to answer to anyone, so make sure that your partnership remains a partnership, even if that may not be easy. Also, you need to be sure that you can find someone that will work as hard as you do every day – you know the business needs 100% of your energy and effort, you need someone else who feels the exact same!

We have learned a lot more than just these five things this last year, which has been filled with more firsts, wins, and disagreements than we ever could have imagined when we began! But, at the end of the day, there is nothing we would rather be doing and if you’re an entrepreneur, we think you probably feel the exact same!

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