Starting a new business venture can be both exciting and terrifying – even more so if you’re a first-time entrepreneur. Throughout your career, you’ll learn countless lessons that pave the way to success for yourself and for your brand, but the following are the top five you’ll learn right off the bat.

1) Your calendar is your best friend
As a business-owner you’re going to be extremely busy, and that’s a good thing! In order to keep up with your planning, meetings, deadlines, and much-needed personal time, you’re going to need to manage your day wisely. The best way to do this is by keeping a calendar and a daily to-do list, and being strict with yourself so that you don’t let any important items slide. Can’t remember which of your meetings is down the street and which is four blocks over? Good thing you keep a calendar with names, times, meeting purposes and locations! Having your day mapped out will show you how much time you have to work on each individual project on your list.

2) You’re not going to succeed overnight
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither were any of the top businesses. Even the so-called “overnight successes” we hear about were created over months or years of planning and hard work. Don’t expect to launch your website on Day 1 and make a profit by Day 2. It takes time to build a loyal client or customer base that trusts you and is willing to pay you for whatever it is you’re offering. As a new entrepreneur, you’ll probably fail a couple times before you get it right, and that’s okay too, so long as you think of those failures as lessons and improve on them for next time.

3) You need to know your competitors almost as well as you know yourself
Any time you’re approached by someone interested in learning more about your company, you have to be able to confidently tell that person what sets you apart from your competition. In order to do that, you have to do your research, knowing the ins and outs of competing brands so that you have a strong sense of where and how you outperform them. This is also a good way to stay current – keep up with what others in your industry are doing differently in order to come up with your own ways to stand out.

4) If you’re not already comfortable talking to people, you will be soon
Chances are that if you’ve taken the leap into entrepreneurship, you’re probably more of a Type A personality, but that doesn’t mean you’ve had experience speaking either publicly or in a professional setting. Type A and B personalities alike will have to step outside of their comfort zones in order to network, negotiate, and sell their ideas to the masses. If you are already comfortable talking to big players, great! Work on perfecting things like body language and eye contact, which can go a long way in a meeting.

5) You just can’t do it alone
You may be strictly business, more of a creative, or from another industry completely, but you’ll always need business partners or outsourced teams to level out your expertise and provide you with the full strategy you need to succeed. That’s one of the big things we do at TACK10 – provide business, marketing and sales strategy help to new entrepreneurs as a way of making sure their company’s goals are always met on time and in the most efficient ways possible.

Is there a specific lesson you learned as a new entrepreneur that you’d like to share? Let us know below or on social media at @TACK10Strategy.