"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance." - Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple.
Becoming an entrepreneur may seem like a dream career choice; especially when you consider the personal freedom aspects. But unfortunately, with that dream comes a lot of sacrifices. Before deciding to become an entrepreneur, you should consider if you have what it takes in order to succeed. Sadly, only a handful of people become a successful entrepreneur.
Here are a few things you will have to give up in order for your dreams to come true:
"If you're not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business." - Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's.
Your current job may not be glamorous, but it is certainly more stable and consistent than the path you are considering. (Exception to this rule if you are working for a startup or new business). Entrepreneurship will require you to move outside of your comfort zone every day. You will need to do things that you would otherwise be able to avoid working a typical job.
In the beginning, you will have to wear multiple hats; including product development, implementation, sales, marketing, accounting, networking, recruiting, investor relations and more. This will require you to step outside your comfort zone.
Being Lazy and A 9-5 Schedule
People underestimate how much work is required to start their own business. Instead of working 40 hours a week as you would at a typical job, you may find there is never enough time to spend working on your business. Be ready to spend all of your time working or thinking about your business.
When you are worried about payroll, rent, and other expenses, sleeping won't be easy. It's important to not get burned out. Set time aside for friends and family who can support you and help you to deal with stress.
"Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will." - Zig Ziglar, author, salesman, and motivational speaker.
Becoming an entrepreneur requires a positive mental state. If you are not optimistic and have a negative mindset, then you will fail before you have even started. Starting a business is never easy and many fail before becoming profitable. You will need a lot of mental endurance to push through to success. Be realistic about goals and expectations, but never remain in an unhealthy negative mindset. A negative attitude will only make it more difficult as you will be fearful of the future. Remember: "You are your worst enemy. It is your negative thoughts that hold you back, nothing else."
Being a Follower
Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires you to be proactive and take charge. Being a follower is not an option. You are your own boss and you will need to set the direction. If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, understand that you will be faced with tough decisions. These decisions will come more frequently than you might expect.
Personally, I typically deal with a dozen or more decisions that have a significant effect on my business each week. Learn to make decisions and learn how to correct your mistakes. You will make many mistakes along the way, but in order to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to learn how to turn your failures into success. If taking charge and making tough calls is hard for you, then maybe this career path isn't for you.
Taking The Safe Route
"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." Beverly Sills, opera singer.
Being an entrepreneur will require you to take big risks and often incur losses when mistakes are made. Understand that as an entrepreneur, you will fail. You will make bad decisions — and that is okay. Failure is a part of learning.
Over the past year, I have learned more from my failures than I learned in business or entrepreneurship classes in college. What matters most is how you deal with your failures. Learn from them, don’t let them define you. Take the lessons from each mistake and use them to improve. It's important to try and avoid unnecessary mistakes but, don’t let them scare you from taking more risks or trying new things.
Entrepreneurs need to be creative and hardworking. In order to lead a team, you must first take control of yourself. Make sure you are taking care of your own personal needs and setting goals for improvement. This will help you to be in your best mindset. Coming up with new, inventive ideas, is what separates the entrepreneurs from the rest of the world.
Entrepreneurs look for problems that can be solved and otherwise unseen opportunities. Being uninspired will likely leave you with nothing. Keep your brain active and always be thinking about new ideas. Allow yourself some space in your schedule to read and go out into nature. You often find your best ideas when your brain is primed and allowed to wander.
Seeing success immediately is unlikely. Most entrepreneurs are 5-10 year overnight successes. What I mean by that is, although people often think that success was instant or unearned, they fail to see the thousands of hours of work that lead to that moment. Learn patience and keep yourself grounded. Being patient will help, especially in moments of failure that threaten to sink your business.
"Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice." - Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author.
Entrepreneurship can be a fun and rewarding path, but be prepared for hard work and many moments of failure. I used to believe that everyone should try to start their own business, but over the past few years, I have realized that entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Do you think you have what it takes to succeed?
If you have questions or want to hear more about my experience email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also Check out this podcast recording I did about Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is the Culture of America