The Top 5 Things I've Learned in 5 Years of Entrepreneurship

October 17, 2019

I became an entrepreneur later in life, after two decades of working in corporate strategy, human resources and organizational development.


I fondly refer to this time in my professional life as my “encore career”.


It has proven to be an exciting journey full of learning and new discoveries.


Our company, EI Advantage offers professional emotional intelligence assessment, training and coaching. As of 2020, my business partner, Hayley Hesseln and I will celebrate our 5th year of business.


Based on my experience, here are 5 tips to guide your entrepreneurial journey:


1. Stay open.


Be open to new ideas, collaboration, and listen to the market. You will be passionate about what you are bringing to the market and you might believe you have it “right.” However, sometimes a small shift in your offerings can make the difference between securing that large project or letting it slip away.


2. Focus on relationships.


Many new entrepreneurs might feel uncomfortable about the “sales” part of the job but it’s about building new relationships. You know how to do this. Ask your potential clients – how can we help you? If you were looking back on this day six months from now, what would be different?


3. Stay optimistic.


Redefine what success means to you as you go along your journey. Break your definition of success into small parts. Celebrate those small wins to leverage your confidence and increase your comfort with risk. Small wins will lead to big wins.


4. Be grateful.


Remember to recognize those who have supported you along the way. Your friends, family, that first client, the fellow entrepreneurs who shared their knowledge so willingly, those trusted advisors and associates who believed you could do it, maybe even before you yourself believed it was possible. Gratitude is a bridge to abundance.


5. Be resilient.


Re-invest in your company when the time is right. Reflect when you should pass off some of your tasks. Take time to reflect if you are leveraging your time appropriately. Re-invest in yourself looking after both your mental and physical health. Make both you and your company resilient – that’s the only winning combination.


While in the age of digital media and social virality, the idea of being an “overnight sensation” might be possible, but it’s rare. Most often it’s a combination of an undying passion to “do it” and hard work to make it a reality. To my fellow small business owners – congratulations on stepping out and being courageous, committed, and exhibiting unwavering perseverance.


Our work has really taken us into the depth of understanding emotional intelligence. Looking at the list above I realize they are all qualities of emotional intelligence.


We encourage you to enhance your emotional intelligence every day – be intentional, just like you are when building your business. It’s all within reach.


Janice Gair, PCC, CPHR, SHRM-SCP is co-founder and president, EI ADVANTAGE. We work with individuals to help them enhance their leadership presence and organizations delivering large scale projects on leadership development and succession planning.


EI ADVANTAGE is proudly formally certified as a Women Owned Business.


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