By Patricia Coyle

“If you think you are going through hell, keep going.” ~Winston Churchill

Perseverance is one of the most important skills a budding entrepreneur can have in their toolkit. It can also be one of the most elusive!

Too often the initial exuberance at the thought of ‘being your own boss’ and being able to do something for which you have unmitigated passion, blinds one to the realities.  When reality bites, we lose the faith.

The ability to get back on that ‘horse’ is what separates those who ‘do’ from those who ‘didn’t’.

Success, so they say, is not so much achieving your goals, but rather having the stamina and perseverance to pick yourself up each time you fall by the wayside.   That doesn’t mean you have to beat yourself up every time you mess up. Indeed, we learn by our mistakes and there is no better teacher than natural consequence!

You may be plagued with self-doubt. Maybe you’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur.

Messing up now and then isn’t such a bad thing.  Business success is no different to personal success, it is not so much a victory or achievement, but rather a perpetual state of mind.

Sometimes our biggest hurdle is the voice within. Ignoring the inner critic, the insecurity which might stem from previous “unsuccess” isn’t easy. You have been an excellent student of ‘experience’.

So, it is time to develop some strategies to keep you going. Didn’t you just take the quantum leap making the decision to set up a business? That in itself is no mean feat!

Never lose sight of your goal and remember that sometimes the longer it takes to become successful, the more successful you will become.

So, what do you do when the going gets tough?

You will have developed a Business Plan, your ‘roadmap’ to success and if you have done due diligence and taken the time to set down your objectives, your Plan will prove its worth to you during the bad times as well as the good. Use it wisely and update it regularly – it is a living breathing resource!

Find a good mentor – one with whom you develop a rapport. Spend time with your mentor during the startup phase, of course, but as your business takes off talk to your mentor regularly, especially when you meet what seem like insurmountable obstacles.

When it comes to sharing information with others about your business, your progress, your dreams, choose wisely. A well-meaning friend or relative may inadvertently deter you.

Small steps will get you where you want to go. Focus on your end goal. Remind yourself often about your initial motivation.

Make sure your family understands what you are doing and that you have prepared them for the vagaries of your journey.

Remind yourself every day of why you made the choice to set up your own business. Give yourself ample credit for each successful step, no matter how small.

Here is a little gem of advice from Ron Burton, serial entrepreneur and consumer advocate:

‘If you promise yourself to do at least one thing every day to further your plans, at the end of the year you will have made almost 400 positive steps to achieving your goals.’

It won’t happen overnight – but it will happen.

Good luck.  You know you can do it!

‘It always seems impossible until it is done”   Nelson Mandela

Particia CoylePatricia Coyle is a former SCORE Certified Business Mentor