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HurdlesWhen we start doing something new it can be very intimidating. There is risk involved in entrepreneurship as in all business ventures and it is possible to be paralysed by the fear of failure to the point that we miss valuable business opportunities. This is why it is important to get into the habit of overcoming challenges which inevitably will come.

The first hurdle

The first hurdle will be the first major challenge we encounter in either starting a business or running it. It is the first defining problem that makes us wonder whether we should proceed or count our losses and give up. It could be difficulty raising initial capital, low sales, low profitability or unexpected expenses. The first hurdle could also be non-financial such as reduction in family time, difficulty finding the right employees or competition from other businesses. Usually the way we handle this first hurdle will teach us about making tough decisions and the sacrifices that are necessary to be successful.

Overcoming the first hurdle

There is no guarantee that we will get over the first hurdle. There is also no guarantee that we will get over the first hurdle in our first try. While this may seem like a recipe for failure, it is actually an opportunity to consider the challenge facing us and the potential solutions. If profitability is the issue and trying to increase sales does not work maybe their is a problem with the entire business model. The music industry learned this lesson when it was reluctant to capitalize on the growing popularity of the internet and concentrated instead on physical record sales. Timing may also be a subtle factor which we sometimes neglect to consider. Introducing a product or service to a market that is not ready for it can lead to failure. Educating the market first and showing the need for the product or service can help us overcome the hurdle of the product/service being new.

The confidence boost

Getting over the first hurdle in business gives a boost in confidence and a taste of solving real world solutions. It may not guarantee business success but the lessons learned from this experience can be the foundation for getting over future hurdles. Many times the solution may not be obvious and out-of-the-box thinking may be necessary. We can use the experience of getting over the first hurdle to remind us that success can be achieved even when it is not immediately in sight.