Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Read this guest post and see if you have the mentality required to become a successful entrepreneur. – Elena Verlee
Some people say entrepreneurs are born with a “gene” to make them fit for running a business. I wholeheartedly disagree. Frankly, it feels a little narcissistic to believe that I’m able to run my business because I’m special or I was born into it. Come on, I’m not that self-absorbed. Just as a person can pick up new hobbies and interests throughout their lifetime, of course a person can grow into becoming an entrepreneur.
But there’s something internal that causes people to freeze in their tracks – it’s not genetics, it’s mindset. To me, that’s the big difference between a Wantrepreneur and an Entrepreneur. Wantrepreneurs have what it takes to run a business, but don’t have the correct mentality to make the jump. They’re dreamers, not doers. The real turning point from a wantrepreneur into an entrepreneur is about channeling the dream into a product.
So you think you want to be an entrepreneur? Here are 6 reasons you’re still a Wantrepreneur (for now!!):
You’re Making Excuses
Generally speaking, life is complicated. There, I said it. There are so many external circumstances that can block you from your goals, making it feel impossible to ever start a business! But unfortunately, if you’re waiting for a time when your personal life is stable and your bank account is full and your house looks immaculate and you have excess time off and *insert another excuse here,* it’s just not realistic. Life isn’t perfect and therefore there may never be a “perfect time” to start a business. Wantrepreneurs let external circumstances consume them, but entrepreneurs take responsibility and prioritize their goals.
My Insider Tip: Don’t let your excuses hold you back. If you really want to get the ball rolling, you need to do one thing every single day for your business, no matter how small the task. This is for a few reasons. 1) You will obviously be making progress on tackling the large project of getting a business started. 2) Working on your business will become a habit, proving to yourself that you are committed and you do have the time. 3) The daily routine will keep your passion alive and strong, which is so crucial for a new business owner.
You’re Overindulging in Freebies
One of the biggest time wasters of the entire Internet is getting sucked into yet another sales funnel that will “save your business.” There is so much valuable information online, and much of it is free. However, there is also a point where you need to stop learning and start progressing. You do not need to download another checklist or listen to another podcast. What you do need is to take action and start getting things done. From my personal experience, real business growth happens after you already get started. So forget the idea that you need to know everything now “so you’ll be ready.” Just get your business started ASAP and you will be amazed at how much your time spent “learning” actually just slowed you down.
My Insider Tip: Instead of signing up for every freebie on the Internet, focus on the online coaches and business strategists that seem to help you over and over again. Choose two to three that really seem to be in line with your business goals and mindset. Indulge in their content, and be stingy with whomever else you decide to give your email to.
You’re Choosing Easy over Hard
I’m not the first one to say, “There’s an easy way to do things and then there’s a right way to do things.” When you start to write your to-do list and get that anxious and overwhelmed feeling, it’s easy to try to take short cuts just to cross things off the list. I know this feeling firsthand and have often fallen into that trap. Some days I feel like my brain is mush after trying to write blog posts, edit hundreds of photos, update my website, send client emails, update social media, and also try to squeeze in a shower. Since I’m the boss, I can easily just say, “forget it” and take that blog post off the list. That’s easy. Sure, I’ve done it. But, I don’t anymore, because “easy” is bad for my business.
My Insider Tip: Get your planner out and jump at least 2 months ahead! Even if I am just able to write chicken scratch nonsense at this point, I still try to brainstorm marketing and business ideas at least 2 months ahead of time. If I need to collaborate with people, this is usually a good timeframe to reach out. Or, if I need to crank out 5000 words in the form of blog posts on top of my other daily responsibilities, at least I have some notice. This really has been a lifesaver for my creativity, because when I’m in a creative rut, I don’t have to throw in the towel anymore. So, I still choose easy, but I now do it 2 months early!
You Can’t Commit
I never really understood what “putting myself out there” meant until I opened my business. It means not hiding behind my ideas, my computer, or my brand name. If I wanted my business to succeed, I needed to 100% commit to it and put myself out there. Instead of hiding behind my computer, I became my brand image and changed the way people looked at my business. Sure, now my neck is on the line and I have more of an “all eyes on me” life. But I can’t quit or slip up because now I’ve publicly committed myself to this business.
My Insider Tip: Start talking to people about your goals. Make verbal commitments about your progress or plans. The outcome of talking about your business ideas, even to non-potential clients, is to build your confidence and get you comfortable with your “elevator pitch” when it really matters. All the plans jammed into your head will start to feel real once you verbally acknowledge them!
You’re Not Being Realistic
Owning your own business has so many perks. It’s your life, your schedule, and your rules. It’s probably the most liberating and empowering thing I’ve ever done, and it’s obvious why people flock to the idea of being their own boss.
However, the adrenaline rush of owning a business does fade, and sometimes the reality check can be harsh. While being the boss has mega perks, the lifestyle of a new business owner is rarely fun. Realistically, most new business owners have an uphill battle that requires all their free time, including nights and weekend. Forget the term “vacation” even exists, because it may be a stretch to find time to get away.
Success definitely doesn’t come overnight, but it may not even come in the next month or even a year. Entrepreneurs have the tendency to be fast-paced and optimistic people. However, a business takes patience and nurturing. If you’re not realistic with yourself about what you can accomplish in a given timeframe, you will probably be less likely to succeed at making the jump to entrepreneurship.
My Insider Tip: The challenge for an entrepreneur is to balance positivity with realism. I think it’s easiest to be committed to something for the long haul when you can see the situation realistically. Will you be committed when you’re sick, when you’re overworked, and even when you hate it? Owning a business isn’t all glamour and fun, and it’s okay to hate it sometimes. It’s important to know as a first-time entrepreneur that being sick, tired, and frustrated is just part of the process.
You’re Doing it Alone
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be you against the world. Absolutely it can be lonely, and the isolated feeling of doing it all alone is usually a dominant factor in why people give up. I know from experience that without anyone else to hold me accountable, projects can slip off my radar, and I can miss out on huge opportunities. It’s not easy and frankly not all that much fun to run a business all by yourself. But being a solo entrepreneur without a budget for employees doesn’t mean you have to be in this alone.
My Insider Tip: While friends and family may be your rock and support system in life, sometimes they aren’t the best in relating to your entrepreneurial mentality. If you feel like you’re alone, join a Facebook community today. I literally didn’t know where I was before Facebook groups and where I would be without them.
There are tons of niche communities catered specifically to your business, your strengths and your weaknesses –it’s like virtual networking. You won’t find customers, but you definitely will find friends and even mentors immediately. I am constantly flooded by support and guidance through the likeminded business owners I meet on Facebook. Whether I have a question or I’m just out of creative juices, I head to my little corner of the Internet to be inspired and find “my people.”
Deciding to be an entrepreneur does not make me special. Having that can’t-eat-can’t-sleep obsession for something is not rare. Yet, finding a new passion and turning it into a dazzling business are not parallels. After all, ideas are not businesses. While many Wantrepreneurs have the skills and passion to become first-time business owners, what they really need is a proper mindset.
Kristi Pawlowicz is the owner of 522envy.com, an online fashion boutique located in Chicago, IL. She opened her boutique with a retail location in Evanston, IL at the age of 24. You can follow her journey as a young entrepreneur here: facebook.com/522envy
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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