Entrepreneurship is the toughest personal development journey out there. When things go south, there's no boss or coworker to blame. And the emotional roller coaster of income volatility is no joke. When it comes to challenges in entrepreneurship, it are a few big ones that many business owners share. Here are three of my most recent big challenges of entrepreneurship and how I learned to overcome them...
In Real Life (IRL) Energy Vampires
Whenever I attend networking events, I come across at least a few energy vampires that just want to "pick your brain"...like nonstop. Then there are the salesy folks that keep on trying to sell their product or service...even though you've never expressed interest...and even after you've said "no" several times.
Set boundaries over and over and over. When it's an IRL situation, sometimes it requires a simple "no, thank you." Firm, final and friendly. Sometimes it requires repeating in different variations until the other person gets it.
Online Energy Vampires
While the IRL (in real life) energy vampires can be tricky to deal with, the online energy vampires are a different beast altogether. They may add you to their email list even though you've never asked to me on it. They may add you to their group texts.
All of it is just so spammy when a mass text goes out to people who don't know each other. Even more spammy when selling something that you've never expressed interest in buying. WTF. Needs to stop.
When it comes to electronic communication, I simply unsubscribe or asked to be removed from the group text. If the person continues to email or text me individually, I ignore or block the person after the third "no, thank you.
If you happen to see them IRL at networking events, treat it as a breakup. When ending any type of relationship, it's beneficial for both parties when the breakup talk is firm, friendly and final.
Borderline Energy Vampires
Whether it's a lead of a client, sometimes business owners are asked for free services or extra services. Or if you are a product seller, a potential client or current client may ask for freebies for their friends and family.
It's one of my biggest pet peeves. Whenever people ask for free services, I feel it's disrespectful of my time. I especially dislike when the request is disguised as a "coffee date" or "quick phone consultation."
Usually I want to say: "No, I'm not going to review your marketing plan, website or social media accounts. And while we're at it, stop asking me to teach workshops for "exposure" to your audience. Please see my rates. Thanks!"
Instead, I offer a free initial consultation and then refer them to either my membership site or service packages. The initial consultation is not to provide them with solutions but to see if they have a problem that I can help.
More importantly, I gauge if it's a good fit in terms of personalities. If they fall under the IRL or online energy vampire, I simple say I'm fully booked or the membership site is closed.
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