You know how they say that being an entrepreneur “aint for everybody” ? Well, it’s not. Most people are too scared to even think about stepping out on their own. It’s a scary thing to even dream of leaving the “security” of a 9-5 and taking your life, and finances, into your own hands.
While most people never dream of it, others do, get a taste and realize it wasn’t what they expected. They go running back to the work world with their tails between their legs. It’s an embarrassing pace to be in and one you can avoid by looking at entrepreneurship with an honest eye.
When I first started out as an entrepreneur, I was clueless. I had the mistaken belief, like most people do, that being an entrepreneur meant I could do what I wanted when I wanted, how I wanted. Suddenly, I didn’t have a boss to answer to and all my time was mine. I could go where I wanted, stay out late, sleep in. Or so I thought. One month of overdue bills fixed that mindset quick!
What entrepreneurship is really about…
Focus on the options
When I first took a step out on my own, I thought that being a business owner I learned that entrepreneurship is really about having options. Being a successful entrepreneur means leveraging those gifts, skills and connections to create more options for yourself.
Sometimes creating those options means being more creative in the beginning. Starting a business is an investment. You may not always have the funds available to splurge on experiences just yet. Don’t focus on the lack of money. Keep your mind on the freedom of choice you’re forging. Use your resources. Think outside the box to craft a life full of rich and abundant options.
You manage time effectively
Having all of your time to yourself is great but effective time management is another benchmark of doing this entrepreneur thing right. I picked up quick that when my choices are staying up late to finish a proposal or staying out late with my boys, only one of those things is going to make me money and get me closer to my goals.
You hold yourself accountable
It’s cool to not have a boss but that doesn’t mean there’s no one to answer to. Accountability is ever present no matter what you decide to do in life. There are always clients. Always customers, publishers, and deadlines. Being the man (or woman) in charge means that you have to look yourself in the mirror and answer to you everyday.
You Practice patience
Success is a game of patience. Whoever can fail the most times without quitting, wins. It’s easy to quit or give up when your score card is taking more Ls than Ws. Keeping your head up is tough. But just remember that the race is not given to the strong OR the swift, but to him that endures until the end.
I remember being in the middle of building my business while I was going through a divorce. It was a blow and things just seemed to keep piling up. I wanted to quit and go back to my normal life. But normal rarely makes an impact; and for my sons sakes, I knew I had to be great. My patience won.
You have to believe in your vision to the point of looking crazy to others. Most of all, you have to be okay with looking crazy to others. It’s not anyone else’s responsibility to “get” you. You gotta get yourself. You have to believe so strongly in what you came to bring to the world that your fire ignites other people. But in the beginning, you’ll probably be the only flame.
You Take care of yourself
Burn out is one of the quickest ways to fail as an entrpreneur. Successful people, just starting or seasoned veterans, understand the importance of stepping back and taking time to take care of themselves.
Your business can’t run if you dont.
You have everything you need to be great.
Notice I didn’t mention raising capital or finding the perfect mentor. I’ve read a lot of books that harp on selling yourself or crafting the perfect product. Others that speak about marketing yourself with exquisite finesse to the ‘ideal’ audience. All of those things are important, but none are as important as developing yourself and elevating your personal discipline as a business owner.
A strong need for options, paired with efficient time management, accountability will take you far. All those things are within you. If they’re not, you still have to work on the inside to become better at them. Have patience with yourself and the process. Believe without a single doubt that you’ll have what you’re working for. The road to your success will become clearer as it unfolds.