Make no mistake, being an entrepreneur is a struggle. You are the one to create the schedule for the week, and you are the one to watch over its execution.
You will sleep less.
You will work more.
Your relationships could suffer.
Who am I kidding, you could even lose your mental health.
But, let’s be honest. If what you are about to create, fulfills your deeper, perhaps spiritual, needs, it is worth it. You will acquire a sense of purpose. You’ll be happier, because of the fact, you are following your dreams.
Even so, do you have what it takes… to be an entrepreneur?
There are countless courses, books, seminars on how to become an entrepreneur. I got to agree, a lot of them give an irreplaceable set of knowledge. Still, a lot of the people that have written such books, and developed the courses are rich, because they sold their books on how to get rich. They never had a business, never risked anything, the only investment was the time to write the book.
And that’s it.
But those actions, although lead to wealth acquisition, are not entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs are the people that created a small bakery on the corner next to their house.
Entrepreneurs are the bloggers that are offering valuable content to their audience.
Entrepreneurs are the people, who became Hosting Resellers and didn’t leave it there. Those, who found their first customer. Then the second, and the third.
But the million-dollar question is the same as it always has been.
Why are some business better than others? What is the difference between those who survived and those who didn’t?
It is easy to get confused, looking at those who survived and to find common features.
Survivorship bias is a common logical error. In essence, this mistake is the tendency to focus on people, brands, business, animals, traits that made it. And to believe that just because they made it, they were better, faster, smarter than their competitors that didn’t make it.
As it turns out, that is not always the case. Not always those who are better are the ones that survive.
It is my personal belief that everything depends on the director. Without a great leader, no great company would’ve existed.
Without the vision of the great leaders, nothing meaningful wouldn’t exist.
We, people, are naturally attracted to the leaders. We have a natural tendency to follow. This is why leaders are important.
But what are the traits that a leader must possess or obtain, in order to become a successful entrepreneur?
Let’s find out!
Say, you are in a bar, resting after a long workday. You are enjoying your whiskey and overhear a conversation from the table next to you. It’s a conversation between co-workers. One of them complains to the other about how robots are taking more and more human job places. He sounds really concerned about his position, making predictions that he’ll have no place to work in less than five years.
What you hear gets your attention and you start to listen to the conversation more carefully, forgetting about your problems. While listening, you are coming to the conclusion that unemployment and underemployment are going to be a really serious problem in the following years.
You know that every successful business relieves a pain or solves a problem that people have. Whether they are consciously aware of it or not.
The question is, does the overhead conversation inspires you to look for the businesses of the future or makes you scared of it?
I believe that one of the key factors of entrepreneurial success is being able to grasp ideas from everything that surrounds you.
You are now inspired, you have the idea, you have the goal. But inspiration goes only this far. You will be excited for a while, maybe you’ll even take the first few steps, and then what?
Without the knowledge of who you are and what motivates you, the chances are, you won’t continue moving towards the goal when the magic of inspiration loses its power.
Being an entrepreneur, as you know, means that there is no one that you answer before. Which, of course, is often (but not always) the main goal.
Having no one to answer before is a two-bladed sword. You may become lazy, which leads us to the next point.
In ‘Introduction to Psychoanalysis’ Sigmund Freud says that if the knife is not sharp, it will be safe, but won’t be able to cut. This is, of course, a metaphor which means that everything has a good and a bad side. Thus, if you obtain the targeted freedom, you’ll have to be cautious of your own actions.
Speaking of internet entrepreneurship, especially when you are on your own, having discipline can and often is the main difference between success and failure.
If you are able to make yourself work, and not to get distracted by social media newsfeeds and other unnecessary activities, how much you know will become irrelevant. You will learn through experience if you need, and you’ll get even more of it.
Discipline yourself and finish what you started.
The ability to focus is, although different, strongly connected to the discipline. The focus is extremely important because even if you have the discipline the lack of focus could become ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.
It may seem insignificant. If you are disciplined enough, you can defocus and refocus all day. Thus, the tasks will be completed at the end. And that is a reasonable argument, I admit.
On the other hand, if you are able to focus, you’ll have the opportunity to complete the daily tasks early and to get to the forthcoming ones. You can even let yourself to take a break. And that, believe me, is important.
The ability to focus on a given task until the end of it is crucial, no matter what you do.
In 1896 in his first paper, “Cours d’économie politique” an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto came up with the principle which is famous as the 80/20 rule. Since then, it was widely used in thousands of marketing, business, business management entrepreneurship, time management, project management and even self-help books. Today, we are all familiar with the 80/20 principle, or the law of the vital few.
In essence, the core of the principle is in the fact that in many spheres of life, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Thus, 20% of the tasks you are devoting your time to, are about to return 80% of the result that you’ll get – money, clients, or something else.
Now, you can probably see how important it is to be able to prioritize and prioritize wisely. To be able to find exactly which are that 20 % of what you do, that will give you around 80% of your results.
Entrepreneurs are walking a lonely road. Most people around you will tell you to go on the same old well-trodden path. Go to school, educate yourself in the college or university, find a job, build a career.
And while there is nothing wrong in this, you are reading this article for a reason. You feel that this is not the path for you. You want more from life. And you are trying to figure out if it is for you.
The people that are most close to you, will probably be most aggressive in their attempts to reason you out of your ambitions to become an entrepreneur. And if they are trying to deter you from taking action, believe me when I say it, they are doing it because they think this is for your best.
They believe that ventures are dangerous, that you could fail, you could lose money, if you are too obsessed with the idea, you can lose everything. And the people that value you the most, will try to save you from this.
Of course, there will be people that are not so close to you – colleagues, fellow students, neighbors that will openly laugh at your ambitions. Don’t get discouraged by that. It is normal for people that never considered that they could live a different life to make fun of those, who are so much different from their way of thinking.
In a psychological sense, they are trying to put you in the norm, especially when we are talking about fellow workers. And the norm, for people that are on a 9 to 5 cycle is to stay there. This is a secure place.
On the other hand, people will try to straightforward discourage you, because they feel that if you make it, they won’t be able to preserve the self-image they have for themselves. Most of us want to feel like we are superior to others, even if all the indicators are pointing the other way.
You need to be independent because if you let others discourage you, no matter their reasoning and reasons, you won’t reach your goals.
Be polite, but always stay independent.
This one is self-explanatory. Entrepreneurship is the essence of risk-taking in 21 century.
Of course, becoming an entrepreneur is not the only risk you can take in our era. Still, if you are living a normal, peaceful and quiet life, becoming an entrepreneur will bring a lot of stress, risk and overall it may become the biggest risk, you ever took.
And yes, I believe it‘s worth it.
I don’t claim to know all the answers. I don’t claim that if you possess all these qualities, you’ll definitely become a successful entrepreneur. What I am saying is if you are a disciplined, focused and independent risk-taker, who is able to prioritize his task, you definitely have higher chances to prevail in the business world.
If, of course, you are interested in entrepreneurship.
Oh, come on, if you were not interested, I was going to lose you with the title.
Now go, conquer the world!