One of the hippest trends among today’s youth, completely overwhelmed by the seemingly inevitable prospect of eternally joining the ranks of cubicle-based 9-to-5 job goers, is taking on the role of “entrepreneur” and starting your own business. And why not? Being an entrepreneur is the coolest thing you can do – there’s even a show for it on ABC that gets 7 million viewers an episode.
Examples of innovative entrepreneurship include creating a breathalyzer for your smartphone, starting an online business for products you create, putting two pieces of metal together and calling it a glasses holder, selling your books via digital self-publishing mechanisms, etc. If you’re not sure what makes an entrepreneur, I can tell you that being innovative, productive, independent, and having a sense of enterprise are four key traits.
Unfortunately, aspiring entrepreneurs rarely end up making a start-up kind of business and approach with their ideas. Many entrepreneurs ABSOLUTELY KNOW they have it inside of them to become a filthy rich, successful, and value-creating entrepreneur…but do they really?
The cold hard truth is that hundreds of thousands of wannabe fake entrepreneurs like you may have some of the very best ideas in the world to get your product onto the marketplace, but are not yet acting on them.
Overcome these ten reasons, and your path to serenity and happiness as an entrepreneur can, at last, come true.
10. Fear Of What Others Will Think
People are so often engaged with their clean, reputable statuses that they are often afraid to push their boundaries and limits beyond the essays they write for their liberal arts classes whose audience consists of a single professor. So many wannabe entrepreneurs aspire to pursuing cool, unconventional opportunities with their talents, but rarely ever do it.
The truth is, if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur, than some amount of people will dislike you – it’s called jealousy. It’s also good to know that whether people praise or criticize you, they are still talking about you, which can only be good for your career. Learn to “bathe” in all kinds of responses from others you get. You can not get over this fear by simply mustering up courage – you have to engage in entrepreneurial, unconventional experiences first.
9. Suffering Anxiety Over Start-Up Capital
Are you the kind of businessman (or businesswoman) who has always wanted to start an online store, a new product category, or some other kind of business, but never could quite figure out how to raise the money to do it?
Likely, you are able to find the money you need if you look hard enough. Crowdsource the money through your family, friends, and professors at college, take some money from savings, put on an event for the purpose of soliciting donations, or ask your parents for capital and promise to pay it back. Essentially, pull together all of your resources, now.
Whether it be tapping into the 401k, crowdsourcing on Kickstarter, or simply asking a loan from the bank or, better yet, a family member, there are ways for you to get the money you need.
8. Aspiring to a Goal, Not a Process
If your goal is only to get to your goal, then I have reveal a dirty truth; you are doomed to fail before you even begin. To achieve an end-result, a goal, you need a process in place. Your process could involve a mapped out schedule of your days, a workflow regimen, a structure for how you will make money in your venture, and a plan for marketing your product, among other things.
Only aspiring to a goal is remarkably at odds with your long-term career; let’s say you are a musician, and your only goal is to simply create a CD of your music as a product you sell. That is fine, but what happens as soon as you have recorded, mixed, and mastered your CD? You may have worked 100s and 100s of hours working on your masterpiece, but you may not have any clue or connections for selling it to a broader public (which unfortunately happens frequently), or any idea of what to do for your next project. Fall in love with the process of being an entrepreneur, not just with the end goal in mind of completing one stage of your larger goal.
7. Putting It Off
Don’t be one of those entrepreneurs who is always talking about what they are going to do, but then never end up doing it. Talk is cheap, yet actions speak louder than words.
No entrepreneur I have ever known is actually good, unique, or valuable until he starts taking action, whether successful or not. It is within the conviction, attitude, and, ultimately, the follow-through process of the aspiring entrepreneur that gives him or her exceptional value as a start-up type of business person.
Your next big idea could be incredible, but someone could very well start doing it tomorrow – get there before your competition takes it.
6. Not Being Good Talking About Money
Too often, young entrepreneurs are exceptionally confident about presenting their ideas to the world, but are totally horrible at talking about what it is that drives their entire business model: money. As Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary once brilliantly said, “Don’t cry about money; it never cries for you.”
Getting good at talking about money is essential to making sure your entrepreneurial career is lucrative. Being bad at talking about money doesn’t make you entrepreneurial, since an entrepreneur always provides services, whether in the form of a physical product or otherwise, that will eventually win monetary recompense.
And while we are on the topic, try not to undercharge or “cut a deal” for your services that won’t benefit you in the long run – pricing strategy is essential to making sure people know you are a highly valued entrepreneur.