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Adversity comes with the territory of being a business owner, especially those taking the entrepreneurial leap for the first time.

And regardless of how well you know your business or industry at large, you’re going to be hit with some unexpected challenges.

In fact, many of the biggest hurdles for entrepreneurs to overcome have less to do with business itself and more to do with time, relationships and your mindset.

But what sort of challenges are we talking about? How can you better prepare yourself for the seemingly “unknown” as a first-time business owner? We’ve outlined seven distinct roadblocks entrepreneurs face at some point in their journeys and how to avoid being phased by them.

Dealing with Criticism

Most business owners already have a thick skin, but the degree to which you have to deal with criticism from others can be downright exhausting.

From trolls and naysayers to your own coworkers, explaining yourself isn’t always easy. If you’re deeply invested in your business personally, such criticism can certainly sting.

Also keep in mind the occasional objective criticism that comes up from time to time, such as is in the form of a review or workplace audit. As noted by Reciprocity Labs, preparing for an audit means gathering documentation to ultimately justify your decisions and meet expectations. Much of business a business owner is indeed jumping through hoops at the end of the day.

Losing Your Best Client or Customer…

Messing up with a major client or losing a long-term customer is a matter of “when,” not “if.” Nobody is immune to mistakes and markets are constantly changing. Nothing stays the same in the business world forever, even those who seemed to be “sure things” for so long.

Losing clients and customers serve as a reminder as to why businesses must continuously grow and diversify. Rather than put all of your eggs in one basket, having a wide variety of income streams and opportunities available will lessen the blow when a big client drops off.

...or Coworker

On a similar note, you shouldn’t be shocked when a star coworker leaves or jumps ship for another company at some point. People have different priorities and you have to respect the wants and needs of those around you.

You don't always see the breakdown of a business relationship coming, either. By surrounding yourself with likeminded business owners and constantly networking, you always have access to new talent if the time comes where someone does leave your organization all of the sudden.

Clashing Personalities

Toxic coworkers are unavoidable, even if you’re currently operating as a small team. People will justify absolutely vicious behavior in pursuit of more recognition at work, which is a sad but true reality.

To nip these problems in the bud, you need to avoid passive-aggressive behavior among your team at all costs. From frequent meetings to encouraging frequent communication within your team, a well-connected company is less likely to develop hard feelings toward each other. If you suspect that someone is becoming volatile, address them ASAP in private.

Legislative Changes

Among the biggest challenges for business owners today is our tumultuous political climate. People at large are opinionated and divided, which likewise creates strong reactions among businesses when something new passes (or is withdrawn).

Try your best to keep politics out of the workplace and bear in mind that you have little say in such legislation beyond what happens in the voting booth. Entrepreneurs have survived and thrived various political climates for decades on end: it’s simply part of doing business.

Finding Work-Life Balance...

Definitely a major problem for young people, finding a balance between what you do in the office and your personal goals is rarely easy. In an era where we’re expected to be “on” 24/7 thanks to email and social media, it’s like we never get a break from our businesses, right?

Sometimes you need to know when to take a breather, though. If you’re feeling personality unfulfilled or feel like your personal life is taking a hit, it’s probably time to reassess your priorities accordingly.

...and Battling Burnout

Burnout in the business world is a legitimate problem that brings so many would-be success stories to a grinding halt.

Nobody wants to have to give up on their dreams or go back to working for someone else because of burnout, but it does happen. As such, don’t let your business become a burden. Acknowledge when you’re feeling uninspired and look to those around you to help take some of the work off of your shoulders.

Entrepreneurs are taught to “expect the unexpected,” so why not stay a few steps ahead of the curve? Understanding how to overcome these obstacles can set you up for fewer sticky situations in the future and keep your expectations realistic as your company continues to grow.

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