5 Life Lessons Learned as a Small Business Owner

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When you made the leap of faith to open your own business, you took a lot of risks and a lot of chances. You put your money, efforts, and time into building a business that, at the time, you didn’t know how successful it would become.

But now that you’ve been able to see the outcome of your hard work and dedication, you can reflect back on the time before you were a business owner. You can see all that you’ve learned; things that may have seemed futile then but encompass all you are now.

Do these five learned life lessons sound familiar?

  1. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain: Peter Baskerville, writer of the Australian national qualification for Vocational Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, wrote in a Quora post that understanding what you’ve lost is more important than trying not to fail. “The truth is that if you fail as an entrepreneur, you can just start again, but with much more smarts and a whole lot more character, experience, and ability.” The rewards of owning a business are far greater than the risk it takes to open one. With nothing to lose, you do have everything to gain.
  2. In life, it’s all about being scrappy: Or, as Baskerville puts it, “It’s [a game] about winning in spite of their lack of resources, in spite of their dismissed status and in spite of their denied privileges.” We say scrappy because that’s one of our own core values and we understand what it’s like to play the game Baskerville is referring to. Business owners know that life is about breaking the status quo and building things people can really use. The entrepreneur is always looking to beat the odds because, as he says, they know it’s all just a scrappy game anyway.
  3. Happiness is overcoming a challenge: In the beginning, stressful situations and challenges may have been your worst enemy. But now you probably thrive on it, get a high even when faced with one. Over time, you’ve learned that happiness is exactly this: “Victory found in overcoming challenges, of sometimes doing the impossible, of achieving way beyond what even they thought was possible.”
  4. Failure is a learning experience, nothing more: It’s almost a natural instinct to fear failure. No one wants to be faced with a problem they couldn’t overcome or an endeavor they couldn’t follow through on. But Baskerville says experienced entrepreneurs know what failure really is: a learning experience. They’ve been through it so they understand it, they accept it, and some, he says, even work it into their business model. And when you learn what you can do better next time, you can grow and eventually remove fear from your vocabulary.
  5. Regret is worse than failure: If the fear of failure holds you back, you will forever regret the decision you didn’t Baskerville writes, “The entrepreneur knows that regret is much more closely related to the ‘wish I had of’ rather than the ‘wish I hadn’t.’” You know now to grab your goals, hopes, and dreams by the horns and go for it. After all, if you hadn’t, would you be where you are today?

Even if you are just starting off in your career as a small business owner, understanding these lessons early on is important. Remember to always reach higher than you think you can.

For more information on Direct Capital, or to discover how we can help your small business grow, visit our website!

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