Entrepreneurship: Expectations vs. Reality …
Over the past handful of years, our high-energy world is seeing a huge rise in the number of entrepreneurs and people taking charge of their own aspirations. And just as any other upward trend, there are endless presumptions and notions that get established in time as parameters of success. If you truly sit back for a moment and think about it, we’re living in the midst of a start-up renaissance which is filled brim to brim with endless opportunities for anyone and everyone who has a passion alongside a strong idea!
Entrepreneurship sure has changed a heck of a lot in the past couple decades and our access to unlimited resources is now greater than ever thanks to the advances of technology and the Internet. Our culture seems to favour startups which is amazing as it encourages young creative thinkers to follows their ideas and dreams more than ever before. I once even heard someone call it a sort of “startup renaissance”. However, there are quite a few misconceptions about this renaissance era which creates that mound of statistics for those who don’t succeed. So, today to keep entrepreneurship vs. reality in check, because as entrepreneurs we often become soft targets of these myths predicted by so-called “generalists” … I want to share some tips with you in order to help you succeed and not become a statistic!
You need more than just a good idea.
We are known as ideators and dreamers and without us, this world would spin a lot slower. And these days, originally good ideas are far and few between, but when found very valuable. Yes, you may have a phenomenal idea, but you can’t spend years in your basement lab tinkering around like a mad scientist. You would be much better off focusing on the execution of your idea. Framework, processes, automation and systems are all extremely dry and boring words – but these words are what it takes to be truly successful. You need (or need to become) an experienced leader to direct your business, a solid business plan to direct the course and flow, great timing for your release, a great marketing plan, a great team of supporters or team to support you and eyes in the back of your head to keep watch on your competitors.
Remember: if the most unique ideas were obvious to everyone, there wouldn’t be entrepreneurs. The one thing that every entrepreneurial journey has in common is that there are many, many steps on the road to success.
~ Tory Burch, CCO of Tory Burch, LLC
You will not make millions overnight.
I want to be short and to the point for a moment if you don’t mind … all those overnight success stories you read about online and misconceptions. They are not the truth. (Sorry if I just burst your bubble!) Not one single entrepreneur out there has made millions overnight. Not even Steve Jobs. This level of success is a product of hard work, early mornings, sleepless nights, heavy investments, trial and error and of course ongoing education. So, don’t be fooled!
You can’t make all the rules. But you can break some.
There is no cookie-cutter way around this one but here are no real “rules” in the land of entrepreneurship. I understand it may be more comforting to think so. Every business is different just like every one of us humans is unique. You just need to find a way that works for you and just go for it! You should also work smarter, not harder. Hire incredible individuals to handle those nasty tasks that just grind your gears. Try your best to not be afraid of failure because you will at some things. We all do. And most important of all, relentlessly wake up with a daily purpose.
Sounds too simple, right?!?! Well, that’s the point. Think of it this way … If you’re relying on someone else’s “rules” to make your business decisions for you, then you’re not really building your own business, anymore are you? You are building theirs. So, you might as well be back at your crappy 9-5. Every decision you make becomes a rule, and your specific set of rules will work for no one else but you!
Our industry does not respect tradition, it only respects innovation. ~ Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
You must not work and live within your comfort zone.
As an entrepreneur, there are no guarantees – except for the fact that sometimes you are going to be uncomfortable. When you chose this lifestyle, you chose to walk on the path of the unknown. There’s no way around it, sorry. I know it seems easier to live inside that warm, cozy and comforting box some days. It feels safe. And making yourself do things that are new or that are outside your comfort zone can be super fricken scary. It is way easier to just keep plunking along, doing what you know and improving at things you already feel familiar with. But here’s the kicker … What happens if the thing or job you’re really good at is eliminated? Or what if you find out that you need new skills in order to move forward?
This is why it’s super important (and healthy) to branch out and become talented at new and different things, even if you don’t plan to use them right at this very second. So, instead of staying all comfy cozy in your onesie inside your box, only to peak out once n’ awhile making yourself think, “that’s out of the box enough for me” … Just get rid of the box entirely!
The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, apply the 5 second rule …
This culture is not just a pajama party.
Don’t let that comment throw you off. You can totally work in your pj’s if that’s your jam however being an entrepreneur isn’t always about casual dress codes, sleeping in and lax work schedules. In the real world, we are all pounding the pavement and rarely even stopping for a glass of water or a lunch break. The rules might be different in a conventional 9-5 office position, but there’s a lot of really hard work going on in this chosen lifestyle. For most entrepreneurs TIME is a luxury that we find by chance and try to make the most of before it’s spent going back to making crucial decisions, managing a team and all those other fun activities we do to grow our businesses.
Don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. Set yourself manageable targets. ~ Jas Bagniewski, Co-founder of Eve Sleep
Growing your social presence is hard work.
This is one of the main misconceptions that tend to lead many young entrepreneurs on a path of disappointment because they think it’s all easy-peasy if they just create a business page on Facebook. However, doing such is just one of the many social steps in creating a profitable business.
You can’t be solely motivated by money.
I have personally, one too many times, seen highly successful individuals leap into the entrepreneurial world with only one goal in mind; to make a crap ton of money. However, they quickly lose heart when faced with the inevitable setbacks. The most successful entrepreneurs are not motivated by money. It’s all about the experience, the journey, the way of life, the chase, the identity, the rush, the networking … It truly is a calling and not for everyone.
“Entrepreneurship is a craft and a vocation. To succeed, you need to treat it that way. Your goal should not be to win, but to master.” ~ Mark Organ, Founder and CEO of Influitive
As you can see, entrepreneurship is no singular job or business activity. It is an ongoing passion engagement that demands your full attention, focus and dedication. A commitment to oneself to a dream, a vision and the willingness to face the challenges that come along with it all. So, if you are an entrepreneur right now in this very minute, I am sure you must have had to tackle a few things in your mind while building your starting up. Share with us: What were those expectations? Were your expectations bang on? Or, if you haven’t yet started on your entrepreneurial journey, what’s your biggest fear? How can we ban together to help you overcome it?
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