We’re not here to tell you entrepreneurship is hard. You know that already from the effect your work has had on your social life, wallet and stress levels. Unfortunately, when it comes to problems, nobody cares because it is your job to know how to solve them. In the wise words of Aaron Patzer, ‘You don’t start a company because you want the fame or glory that comes with it. You become an entrepreneur to solve a problem.’ So what we are here to tell you is that there are 4 unique characteristics you can work on to ensure your problem solving skills are fine tuned and sought after by any company or creative: 1. Grow in confidence “There are so many people out there who will tell you that you can’t. What you’ve got to do is turn around and say ‘Watch me’ ” – Jack White Confidence affects everything you do, from the way you interact with the world to the decisions you make. It fuels your bravery to go for a goal or take a risk. When you first strike out into the world of entrepreneurship, your confidence can be the first thing that takes a hit. It’s like going back to school; you feel self-conscious, lost and uncertain. It’s crucial to remember that all entrepreneurs have felt unsure at the beginning, but we soon move on to create our own rules and direction. After all, we are the beginning and end of our decisions, which makes self doubt easy. Yet, with time, we get better at making choices; we become braver and more accountable. We develop the confidence to be different and the ability to backup the decisions we make with concrete support. 2. Stand out from the crowd “You will never influence the world by trying to be just like it.” How do you stand out from the competition? The internet is more accessible than ever before and audiences are easily swallowed by a magnificent digital noise which presents a colossal array of options through phones, tablets, watches, laptops and more. Did you know that every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are sent on Twitter alone? For people to really pay attention to your brand or business, you need to offer a solution to their challenges. To do it well, you need to stand out. To stand out, you need to offer real value. To offer real value, you need to uncover the challenges faced by your audience. If you manage to help them, then you’ll earn their full attention every time. 3. Pay attention to finances “Set 3% of your monthly income aside to test new ideas. That budget HAS to be spent on experimenting.” – RebelHack Money. The big one. The success of any business hinges on financial health. If you get the pricing wrong, invest badly or fail to make a profit, you go under. For small startups, this can have a devastating impact. So, how do you stay afloat? For experienced entrepreneurs, capital from previous or current businesses can fuel early growth and make things smoother. Plus, past experience and mature network connections can be of huge benefit. For start-ups, passion, confidence and motivation go a long way. Run through all your possible funding options, network like hell and never be afraid to ask for help and advice. Don’t undersell yourself and don’t be afraid to set the prices you need to make a profit. 4. Embrace risk and instability “Ask yourself – what would you do if you knew you could not fail?” During the creation of successful enterprises, most entrepreneurs make risk their main priority, which is a terrifying notion. It’s more than likely you will make sacrifices in the form of income or stability when venturing into entrepreneurship. As entrepreneurs, we risk everything from our careers to our personal lives and personal finances. Of course, when you take risks there is always a chance that you won’t succeed. But if you don’t take the risk in the first place, then you’ve already failed. Overall, there are no guarantees when it comes to living your entrepreneurial dreams. But once you overcome that barrier of ‘what if?’, you’re already making a commitment to your passion, which is a step in the right direction. Yes, there will be challenges, but if you’re prepared to face them in the name of problem solving, then you’re well on your way to achieving your goals.