Building a business from the ground up isn't easy. In the first few months (or years) of the endeavor, the entrepreneur is likely to face some of the most challenging situations that if not managed well, could spell disaster. Much like network marketing, there is no greater opportunity for personal development than being an entrepreneur. You'll be stretched and pulled in new directions mentally and emotionally that you never imaged possible, doubt and fear becoming constant companions.
If you're a budding entrepreneur, the following 5 tips will keep you focused on the horizon when seas get rough. If you've ever asked, "Am I really cut out for this?" consider the ideas below. If you're in the midde of a unusally challenging time, reconnecting with your original excitement, the impulse that started you on this journey in the first place, is the prescribed elixir.
Here are 5 things every entrepreneur needs to know to ease the fear of the unknown and stay focused on why you started this journey in the first place.
1) Understand the true definition of the word "enterpreneur".
The word enterpreneur comes from 13th century French verb entreprendre, meaning to undertake, tackle, launch, begin, approach. By the 16th century the noun entrepreneur had emerged in reference to someone who undertakes a business venture. The first academic usage of the word was from economist Richard Cantillon in 1730. For Castillon, a distinguishing feature of an entrepreneur was engaging in business without the assurance of profits. In the early 1800's, the ecomomist Jean Baptiste further popularized the term to refer to individuals who create value in a ecomony by moving resources out of areas of low productivity and into areas of high productivity and greater yield.
Today, Merriam-Webster defines entrepreneur as, "a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money."
In the purest form of the word, if you're undertaking, launching, beginning or tackling anything ... you're an entrepreneur. Period. A divorced parent undertaking the job of raising his son alone is an entrepreneur. A teenager tackling her new AP English class is an entrereneur. A woman beginning piano lessons at age 78 is an entrepreneur.
We tend to think of the term entrepreneur as only applicable to "one who starts a business". Thanks to Monsieur Cantillon and Monsieur Baptiste this is the most popular definition of the word, but not the original. You've likely had entrepreneurial tendencies since age 5, undertaking every possible adventure you could get your hands on beginning with mud, sand, sticks, rocks, blocks, legos, couch cushions, and every blanket in the house.
If you can build a fort, you can build a business. They both start with having an attitude of undertaking ... which really just means adventure.
Remember your early entrepreneurial adventures when you begin to doubt your worthiness, your rightful place in the world of business. You've choosen this for path reason. You've had years of experience "undertaking" already; you can (and will) overcome. You've always been, and will always be, one who understakes, begins, launches in order to discover more of yourself.
2) Find hope first, then confidence.
Hope comes before confidence. Do you have hope that your venture will succeed? Serve others? Do you believe you will encounter the right people and circumstances at the right time? If not, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your doomed. Desmond Tutu said,
"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."
You must have hope is order to take the first step. Once you taken a few more, you will grow confidence. Confidence can be learned, hopefulness is innate. You were born with it, still got it. Some choose to activate it, others do not. Being hopeful is a choice. Entrepreneurs need to make hope part of the foundation of their business plan. Hope is a vital ingredient to making a confident individual, in business and life.
3) Get started.
"Someday I'm going to ..." are the deadliest words a new entrepreneur can utter. Someday will never come. Tomorrow is an illusion and the past does not exist. If you're familiar with Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now, you understand you only have this present moment. Playing the waiting game, for a passionate entrepreneur, is like the slow plunging of a sword to the chest. The pain gets more intense the longer the process continues.
The thing about desire is that the stronger it gets the more you will feel it. When you're putting off your entrepreneurial actions year after year yet continue to dream of what could be, the emotional pain will become more intense. You'll feel the distance between where you are and where you want to be if your dream is expanding and you're not.
You must get started. It's the only true cure for what ails you.
Drop your excuses for why today is not the right time to begin and follow your passion. Carpe diem. Procrastination is not your friend.
4) Keep going.
The opposite of "to keep going" is "to not keep going". In other words, procrastination. It's the killer of so many wonderful intentions. Procrastination to an entrepreneur sounds like, "I don't have time to start a business.", "It's just a hobby.", and "I don't have the money or connections. I don't know how I will get them either."
There are numerous sound-really-good-when-we-say-them reasons why entrepreneurs suffer from procrastination. Not being able to see how something is going to happen is one of them. It's totally frightening ... and can be downright paralyzing.
Here's a secret seasoned entrepreneurs know, but sometimes forget to tell the newbies.
You don't have to know how it's all going to happen. It's not your "real" job. Your job is to follow through on the ideas and insights that come, take inspired action as often as you can and allow the rest to be a surprise.
Even the organized entrepreneurs who have all their ducks in a row—a business plan, a mentor, financing—will soon discover things don't always happen exactly as planned. There are always unforeseen situations popping up. We tend to label them "challenges" or "miracles" depending on our perspective at the time. Either way, keep going. You have something amazing of share and the world deserves to know about it.
How do you think society and technology have advanced this far? Entrepreneurs who, scared out of their minds, moved forward despite the odds and the fear. Thank God, for their courage.
5) You've got to do it by yourself but you can't do it alone. In other words, find a mentor—NOW.
I know you've got an awesome idea. I also know you think you can do it all by yourself. I'm here to tell you—you can't. Go ahead and try to go it alone; I know you're going to anyway. But you're also going to suffer more than necessary.
The dis-ease most new entrepreneurs contract is called ithinkicandoitallbymyselfitis. I don't usually beg but ... please open your ears and eyes and allow in this idea to sink in: No one who succeeds does it alone. Can you imagine Oprah or Tony Robbins accepting an award for the most innovative entrepreneur of 2015 saying, "I want to thank me and me alone. I did it all by myself."
Seek out the best mentor for you that you can find. Call them or send them an email and see how you might be able to work with them. If you have to join their mentorship program, do it. You have to spend money to make money and one of the best business investments is a mentor. I spent $11,000 on mine to get started. Read their blog, join their email list, watch what they do. Get over the idea that you can do this all by yourself. And while you're at it, hire an acocuntable and a virtual assitant. Focus on the aspects of your business you're good at and stop struggling with the stuff you're not.
In addition to your mentor, honor your time by hanging out with people who have the results you want. Rumor has it we're the sum total of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Who are you hanging around? Do they have the results you want? If not, seek out the people who do. You'd be surprised at how many others who have already "made it" are willing to help the ones who want need a leg up.
Post Script: I know you've heard tips #3 and #4 before. Over the years, you've heard them from teachers, parents, friends and read them in magazines. So why in the world would you change something now, if your habit has been to put things off and not do them out of fear?? The definition of habit is doing something over and over you don't know you're doing. Once you know you're doing it, it's called a choice. You have the choice to create a life and a business you love or you have the choice not to. But hear this clearly. As God is my witness, if you have the desire to build a business sharing your gifts and talents with the world, the pain from putting it off never ... goes ... away. You're stuck with unrequited passion until your last breath. Is that really how you want to live? Give yourself the gift of going for it. Either way, you no longer can use the excuse of "it's just my habit to procrastinate." Now that you're fully aware of what you're doing, it's a choice.
P.P.S If you have any questions about this blog material or you just want to continue a conversation, please join me on my Facebook page for this blog at Facebook: Live. Love. Matter. Also, if you catch any grammatical or spelling errors and want to report them, you can do so on the blog FB page, too! I'll make the corrections asap.