Making the leap from employee to entrepreneur is an incredible opportunity and the ride of a lifetime.

On my own entrepreneurial journey from a business startup to billion-dollar brand, I’ve learned the importance of encouragement and serving as an example for other entrepreneurs.

If you decide to make the transition, stay confident in yourself and learn from others.

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These are the seven tips that I wish I knew earlier as a budding entrepreneur and startup:

1. Know your passion

Starting a business can be tough. You may find yourself questioning your decisions, which is why identifying your true passion is important in order to ensure that you get the work done and arrange financing to make it happen.

2. Innovate

Imitation is a high form of flattery, but you can’t just copy other people when you’re building a business. Put your passion to work in creating an organization that stands out from others so that you can build your company and transform your industry.

3. Take care of your people

Look for ways to positively impact your team and align your team’s goals with company culture. If your team understands the company goal and how it will benefit their personal goals, they are more likely to work hard to push your business forward.

4. Take growth step by step

Don’t get ahead of yourself by trying to compete with the top companies in your industry right away. Remember: You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Taking it step by step allows you to grow within your means. Use your money wisely and know when to say “no”.

5. Always make sure it’s a win-win

It isn’t all about “me” — you need strategic partners to help you along the way. Your relationships are more important than any deal; maintaining the ability to do business over and over again with a strategic partner may prove vital to your success. Ensure that you and your partners enjoy win-win relationships to create greater success for everyone.

6. Never judge yourself based only on one moment

One moment doesn’t define you, your goals or your success. You and your team will make mistakes and things will happen outside of your control. Look at those moments as learning opportunities to see how you can change your strategies to reach success.

7. Reach higher

Push yourself a little further each day by making one percent adjustments. Small improvements over time can lead to big rewards. Write your goals down or place them on a dream board to remind you to reach higher day after day and year after year.

Remember to enjoy the entrepreneurial journey. There will be bumps along the way — no journey is perfect. However, it will be an adventure of a lifetime that shapes you, encourages you to follow your goals and allows you to positively impact the lives of your employees and community members. I know mine has.

By Mark Pentecost  –  Contributing Writer

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