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Business Wisdom: Do You have Sophomore Year Mentality

August 20, 2014


There’s something special about first-time experiences whether it’s opening up your first business, traveling to a new destination, buying your first house, going out on your first date, or watching your child drive off in the car for the first time. First-time occasions are the best for so many reasons but mainly because you are experiencing them without knowing their outcome.

If you remember back to your own school days, you might recall your sophomore year wasn’t nearly as exciting as your freshman one. If you are like most women entrepreneurs, your second year in business probably was harder than your first one. Enthusiasm during the first year launching a company wanes its sophomore year. I know for a fact after twenty years of speaking to hundreds of women entrepreneurs the second year is the hardest year; when you really need to put your nose to the grindstone for sales.

As my son settled into his sophomore year at Syracuse University yesterday he said to me, “I don’t think this year will be the same as last year – not nearly as fun. I have to really focus on studying, joining professional clubs and doing more work.” It sounds familiar to any business woman entering their second, fifth or tenth year in business. The glamour of being a business owner fades as revenue projections aren’t realized, customer numbers aren’t increasing, more competitors enter the market, and their perspective changes.

Nothing feels the same forever. What is new; always becomes old. So when it comes to maintaining a positive energy, a forward thinking mindset and progressive changes to our once-new-companies, we must dig deep to get back to work, bring new education, connections and light into our entrepreneurial lives to keep moving forward and accomplishing goals.

Today’s post is meant for you to ask yourself, “Have I been living in a sophomore year mentality lately?” Have you developed a lackluster approach to your business? Do you feel like running your company is more about the grindstone than the glory? If so, contemplate why you feel the way you do or why your enterprise is running the way it is. It might be a natural part of its evolution or maybe you need to revitalize yourself to move forward with more energy. Fall is the perfect time to get charged up again.

Remember we can never repeat the first time experience in anything in our lives, but we can use their memories to re-ignite and strengthen our minds and spirit and fill us with enthusiasm again.

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