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Four enemies that you quickly need to turn into your best friends

When you start your own business you need to be both a visionary and a realist - a tricky combination of two traits that easily fall out with each other. Here are your enemies:

1. Your personal vanity can become an enemy if you start a business just to be able to print a business card with “CEO” written on it. But it can also be your best friend if you use the vanity to create a business that everyone will be impressed by because you have created a smart idea and clear benefits for a clear target audience.

2. Fear can be your worst enemy if it prevents you from spending money on marketing and professional equipment. Fear can, however, be your best friend if it makes you take total control of your business.

3. Your dreams can become your worst enemy if you just dream and take no action. Your dreams are also your best friends because they will give you the energy to go the extra mile to finally get the company to start living a life of its own.

4. Loneliness. If you start your business alone and if you're not used to being all alone, or you don’t really have the power to make crucial decisions by yourself, you will find it difficult. Being alone in your business can, however, be turned into a great strength. You know that your business success depends on you. You are the one that paves the way for the company, there will be no one else interfering and forcing futile compromises on your vision. You know you can turn the company in any direction you want, whenever you want. If you learn to trust your gut feelings, then loneliness becomes a strength.

How to get rid of your enemies forever:

The first key word is: Knowledge.
Whatever you can't do now, there are others who can. Get help with things you either can't or don’t want to do yourself in your business. There are lots of institutions that can help you. If you get gray hairs from dealing with accounting - outsource that job to an accounting firm. If you hate writing sales letters - get in touch with a person who can. The message is: Don't sit in a hole by yourself. Network and look for outside help when decisions are difficult for you to make yourself.

The second key is: Self-knowledge.
To succeed in your business, you must have a certain degree of self-awareness. You need to know how you operate as a person in different situations. What happens, for example, if things don't take off for a few months – will you lose your motivation? What happens when your biggest customer don't pay their bill on time – do you lose your energy? As an entrepreneur, you will end up in many difficult situations and it's important that you know that it will be tough at times. You might feel that you are tired of it all and just want to lay off when you have worked every day for four weeks to get the order done - while your family is on the beach. Can you handle it? I would suggest that you even have to like the situation and be aware that you will see the benefits as greater than the difficulties.  

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.