Your Path to Becoming an Entrepreneur
This is a wonderfully intriguing topic. What does it mean to be on the path to becoming an entrepreneur? An entrepreneur is someone willing to take the necessary steps to become more than they are and their chosen path is through business. Creating their own time and financial wealth. Not just being self-employed.
Self-employment is easily characterized as “owning your own job” or even more often having a “job that owns you” and usually doesn’t come with the time wealth factor attached or even in the same Universe.
This brings us to the basic requirements of entrepreneurship – first the business.
- One that does not consume the entire day and rewards the participant with a satisfactory financial return.
- That follows an easily “duplicatable” system. Anyone can do it.
- Offers a set of products that are in a growing demand (at the very least not a shrinking demand).
- That can, and often does, reward the participants with a complete return of their initial investment within the first year.
- That operates “autonomously” at times and allows the participants to enjoy their life.
The principle idea is to find an existing business model that works for a large number of successful participants. Creating your own might be ok for you if you have a track record of success in business, but first-timers in a “reinventing the wheel” scenario is not really a good idea. I am not ruling out all kinds of individual ideas and efforts, just pointing out that statistically speaking you are better to follow an established system than to “roll your own”.
Other points to consider on the path to your own destiny is to establish a budget based on a successful business and not one based on “struggling self-employment” or the ever popular “shoe string” method of budgeting. Include in your beginning budget all the tools required for your business, any necessary inventory and supplies AND include operating capital and “living capital” for a period of time until you are generating the income to cover your operations and living costs.
Do not fall into the trap of “selling yourself short” – what I mean is to take less and expect less, because … and it doesn’t matter what you want to put in that blank, it is a chasm you might never climb out of. In your service or product sales, you might be tempted to make a deal or offer a discount, all on the theory that “something is better than nothing” and you will be tragically mistaken. If your product or service is worth having, then it is worth paying for … in full … on time. Now, if you offer a “special” where your customer can purchase more or bigger than they normally might, then an “incentive to act” promptly might be an idea. This is not the same as selling cheaper just to make a sale. This is adding value to an even larger sale, where both you and your customer gain by the transaction. You make a larger sale and include an additional product. They gain by getting an additional product as part of the larger package.
Find mentors and listen to their experience. On the subject of listening to advice I suggest an attitude of “know for yourself” which is the best path. I also suggest that anyone in business operate their business from a perspective of common sense and good business practice and not from a place of ego. More errors are committed due to ego than from any other thing in history.
Become a student of personal development, if you are not already one. Most of the ultra successful people throughout history have had the daily practice of self-improvement. To include a quote from Einstein here “you cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it” is appropriate. Every hour, day, week, month will bring along a new and different challenge for us to solve.
Begin each morning with a period of visualizations, meditations or just daydreaming about what is or might be possible for you. As your life progresses you will begin to achieve some of the things you dream about and you can dream about bigger things. Set “SMART” goals for yourself (this is a goal achieving system).
Find people to associate with who make more than you and have more than you. Your income level will be the average of the 10 people you spend the most time with, so spend time with those who have and make more.
Read empowering books – live in a constant “media fast” – no tv (especially news and talk shows) – no radio talk shows – no endless tv shows.
A Media Fast.
This is a controversial idea, undoubtedly, as it will ask you to consider giving up some of the things you’re addicted to most: television, DVDs, movies, news, magazines, newspapers, and … gasp! … the Internet. Don’t tune out yet, though: this is not a permanent thing, but call it an experiment instead.
Take a minute to think about how much information you process every day. If you’re like me and a lot of other people, you get a lot of your news on the Internet, and you also read a lot of blogs. You might also read books and magazines and newspapers. You probably also watch a lot of TV, where you get entertainment and news. You might watch a lot of DVDs, and listen to the radio on the way to work. At work, you might get memos and emails and a billion other pieces of information coming at you. You might be a part of an online forum, or social site, or newsgroup, or mailing list (or several!).
It’s information overload.
Our brains are not made to process this much information. We can do it, but it gives us a lot of stress, and we cannot think about any of the information long enough for it to give us real value. We are in the middle of a vast river of information, and it just flows by us constantly.
And then there’s all the time we spend on all this media.
Take a minute to think about how much time you spend online (typically a few hours), watching TV or DVDs (typically a few more hours), and reading all the other stuff mentioned above (another hour or two). Now think about how many goals you could accomplish if you cut those activities out of your life. The time you would gain would be tremendous.
So what do you do about it? Sometimes it’s good to get drastic. Try a media fast. But is it even possible? Yes, it is. Here are some ideas:
- If you’re feeling bold, cut out everything for a week. Well, everything that isn’t completely essential — you might need things like email for work, but can you really say that reading your blogs is essential? Is TV essential? Most likely not. Cut it out and see if you can make it a week.
- Fast for a day. Can’t hack a week? Try one day. Cutting all Internet, TV, radio, and reading (other than fiction) for a day would be pretty drastic for most of us. See if you can last.
- Fast on specific media, and take turns. Instead of cutting out everything, try cutting out only TV for a week. Then try cutting out newspapers and magazines. Then … if you dare … try cutting out your blogs. Then your favorite websites (whether it’s Digg, Netscape, a forum, wherever).
- When you fast, work on specific goals. Don’t replace one media with another, or with another time-waster. Have a goal that you’d like to accomplish for that day, or week. See if you can use the time you’d normally spend on media to accomplish actions that further your goals.
- If you’re not sold, track your time. Try logging your time spent on media for one day, without actually cutting back. Add it up in a spreadsheet at the end of the day. See how many minutes you devote to each type of media. It might be an eye-opener.
- Once your fast is over, re-think your media intake. You may discover that cutting out TV, for example, wasn’t as hard as you thought, and that you were able to get a lot done. Maybe you want to stay off TV for good, or at least cut back on it drastically. Instead of launching right back into your old media habits, use your media more thoughtfully from now on. See if you can live with less, and work on your personal goals more.
Imagine the peace of mind that could come from shutting off the river of information that comes at you daily. Imagine the focus you could find without all the distractions. Imagine that your life can be changed for the better with this one little edit. It may seem difficult to quit an addition, but don’t you think it might be worth it? At least give it a try.
A final word that I offer is: certainty. Live with certainty. Be certain about who you are, what you desire in life, what you will offer and accept in your business, and how you will live your life. If you aren’t sure what certainty is, then I will offer this as an example: Each of us is completely capable of getting up in the “dark of the morning” and stumbling to the kitchen and making our morning coffee or tea without turning on the lights, either in the rooms we travel through to the kitchen or in the kitchen. This is CERTAINTY. We know our house and surroundings and if we bump into a table or chair along the way we still maintain the certainty of knowing our house.