I have the privilege to be able to speak to a lot of people every year about business and how to start one. My favorite question is always based around the concept of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. What’s that life like? What do I need to do?
If you’re considering an “entrepreneur” lifestyle, be sure that you have a thorough and clear understanding of its true meaning before you ever dive in. Too many people graduate from business school with the wide-eyed expectation of being a billionaire entrepreneur with no idea of what it really takes, the time, effort and mindset. It can’t be that hard, right?
Most have absolutely no idea what it means.
The essentials are those things that they don’t teach you at B-School. It’s a mindset. Believe me there is a reason that nearly 90% of all startups every year are broke within two years. Here are seven foundational mindsets, of many, that I believe you must embrace to survive and thrive as an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur must:
- SACRIFICE: You’re on your own in most cases. You have no safety net. You have no sales staff. You have no marketing team. You have no income, no 401-K, no health insurance. Sometimes you won’t have a paycheck. Sometimes you’ll have to decide if you want to make payroll or pay yourself. It’s all up to you. So how bad do you want it?
- FAITH: If you don’t have an unfailing belief in yourself, then you may be very alone and you’ve lost. You must believe in yourself, even when it feels like no one else on the planet believes in you. You must believe in you and your vision. Bankers like that. Spouses like that. Investors love that. Employees model that. There is always that bell weather moment in an entrepreneur’s life where you will realize that you’ve done enough planning and research and its now time to simply take a deep breath and to step out in faith. Are you ready to do that?
- WORK ETHIC: Most successful entrepreneurs are successful entrepreneurs, because they were willing to just work hard and with extreme focus. They adopted the idea that the job isn’t done until it’s done right! If you can do it by sitting in a coffee shop and answering emails all day then that’s ok I suppose. But it’s usually not the case. Remember, the world does not owe you a thing. You are going to have to work for it.
- COMMITMENT: Whatever your endeavor, you must be committed to it and be willing to do anything to achieve your vision. Anything. And that means that you must be committed to implementing and if necessary improving the vision. You must be willing and flexible to change and then be committed to the new and improved vision. Investors, bankers, advisors, partners and employees will be watching to see how committed you are and how committed you remain when the going gets tough and that can mean the difference between a long or a short business life span.
- RISK: Being an entrepreneur is knowing and understanding that there is always a RISK. You must be mentally prepared to take on these risks and their consequences, both good and bad. So, slow down a bit, think things through. Thoroughly understand all consequences, then move forward.
- ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES and HAVE A THICK SKIN: You will get criticized. You will be laughed at. You will be back stabbed. People will lie to you and talk behind your back. And, you’ll also learn who your friends really are and aren’t. If you let these things tend to bother you, then don’t become an entrepreneur. You must persevere, always with the vision and result in mind.
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP! Whatever you do, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you must never give up. No matter what happens you must keep your dream alive. Because when you do, and when you begin to win and then perpetuate the momentum and begin to make a difference, and grow the possibilities, then there is nothing like it on earth. it’s intoxicating. It’s addictive. You go from, “I CAN DO THIS!” to “I DID IT!” Yes, you did! YOU DID IT, and you’ll want to do it again.
I guarantee it!
If you struggle with this or other business issues, this is what I do as a Master Business Coach. Call or write me at any time. I’m open for business.