Entrepreneurship as a vague philosophical concept is really trendy right now. You’re going to see a lot of posts on social media talking about how it’s the only thing to truly set you free.
That if you can’t do it, you’re not hustling. How working for yourself is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Blah blah blah… freedom, passion, money.
You need to realize a few things: Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. And that’s ok. Just like any other job in the world, it may not be a good fit for you. That doesn’t make you dumb. That doesn’t mean you won’t be successful in whatever other endeavor you choose. In fact, the majority of my historical mentors weren’t entrepreneurs. Einstein. MLK. Yo-Yo Ma. Superman. All employees.
It’s not your fault if the entrepreneur bug hasn’t bitten you. That’s the wrong sort of language anyway. That’s just you. Go do something that you really like, whether or not you have a boss and crush it! Sometimes I really envy the simple pleasure of just going to work and clocking in, doing a predefined task and leaving later that day without having to think about “the numbers” etc. Must be nice!
Here’s a reality check
You want to be your own boss? That’s cool. How about the 24/7 struggle of making sure you’re always growing and constantly trying to keep the metaphorical house from burning down…knowing that one wrong move could kill you in the beginning? Feel like doing that?
How about hiring people and having their livelihoods depend on the decisions you make every day? How about hiring friends, but then having to fire them because they aren’t a good fit? No one talks about that stuff on Instagram. It’s all mimosas and high fives! But that’s not reality, my friends.
SURPRISE: Entrepreneurship can be really annoying at times! I’m only doing this because there is literally nothing else that will make me happy. If there was something else, I would pick that! Seems much easier.
Case in point: In my early twenties I tried to become a professional actor. Within a year I knew it wasn’t for me. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but there were other actors who wanted it WAY more than I did. I knew I didn’t have the mindset to make it through the hard times because I just didn’t love acting enough. I wouldn’t do all that it would take.
Entrepreneurship isn’t better than having a regular job. It’s just different. Maybe you want something different. In that case, it could be a great fit. But different isn’t specific enough.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great” – Mark Twain
Entrepreneurship may not be for you
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t make you morally or intellectually superior to people who have regular 9-5 jobs. It may actually make you dumber, to be honest. This lifestyle doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. If deep down you don’t have to own a business, no matter what it takes, then don’t bother. To be successful, you’re going to have to be obsessed. At least in the beginning. You have to put your entire soul into this. But that’s good news.
The reality is, successful entrepreneurs aren’t gifted or lucky. They’re just obsessed with a single goal. Reaching that goal feels inevitable, not surprising. There’s no alternative. No plan B.
There’s nothing special going on here that you don’t understand. There’s no magical skill needed that you can acquire. Reading helps but that’s not saying much: of course you’ll have to educate yourself along the way.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
The secret power is a single-minded sense of purpose. A need to create, to produce a solution to whatever problem your business is trying to solve. The approach is narrow. You must say no to a lot of other interesting opportunities. That’s what’s needed to build your opportunity.