Entrepreneurship is an impressive word, a word filled with optimism and the prospect of joy and riches. Millennials and veteran careerists view the world of entrepreneurship with strong enthusiasm, hope and energy. It’s their path to freedom and success.
You know how it works. Just dream up an idea, package your product, sell it to your target customers and then wait beside the ATM for the torrent of cash to land in your corporate account.
Entrepreneurship is a worthy career but it’s a tough career. The successful entrepreneurs you meet are smart, hard-working folks. They toiled to get where they are today. It’s not that getting started is all that hard. In today’s Internet-empowered world, it’s easier to launch a startup than to do a five-minute workout. I mean, with few clicks from your bed, you can start your online business. You can run it on the go, with your Smartphone. Launching a business is not the problem. Building it into a successful empire is.
Your idea could be a mere hallucination.
Just because you dreamed of building that billion-dollar company doesn’t mean that, when you turn your ideas into products and inject some money into marketing them, you’ll become the next success story in your niche. The world of entrepreneurship is filled with uncertainties.
There’s no guarantee that your target market will patronize your products. There’s no guarantee that you’ll make a profit in your first year (or the second, or ever). There’s no guarantee that you’ll become the next success story in your industry.
The sooner you accept this fact, the sooner you’ll develop the resilient habits of successful entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs know that mistakes are inevitable and failure is always possible. That powers their passion to keep building and refining their ideas until they succeed.
So execute your dreams and ideas, because, as author and thought leader Robin Sharma puts it, “Ideation without execution is a delusion.” Your ideas might not sell. You just have to take the risk. So build, launch and work tirelessly to succeed at your new time-consuming career.
Entrepreneurship is a 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. job.
What will happen if you think that entrepreneurship is an easy career?
You know, just work at your leisure tinkering around with your passion. You’re wrong if you think that entrepreneurship works like that. The painful truth is, building your business is more complex, tedious and time consuming than your normal day job.
Successful entrepreneurs, knowing that they are their own bosses, wake up early every morning and show up every day for long hours to think, create and invent for their customers.
It’s not easy. They have to grind, compete in the marketplace and get their products in front of their prospects. They have to snatch some of their competitors’ customers and they have to promote their brand to the world. They struggle to find even more hours to achieve these goals — or fail woefully in the business arena.
That’s what you have to do to survive as an entrepreneur.
Procrastination is your biggest enemy.
Every business builder has numerous enemies: competitors, insufficient funds, inadequate willpower, but the biggest enemy of them all is procrastination.
You may have a great idea. You may be the most brilliant founder in your industry. You may have a couple of angel investors willing to invest in your startup.
All of these are important when you are building a successful venture, but you must have the discipline to execute. If you don’t, believe me, none of these will matter because the secret to building your company lies in your productivity.
Sometimes, when you’re down and feeling withdrawn, you will choose to play Grand Theft Auto rather than work on your startup. The truth is, everyone faces the wrath of procrastination at some point. But successful entrepreneurs deal with it decisively.
They routienly itemize their tasks for the day. They show up every day to work on those tasks. They remain focused, working on their tasks one at a time, finishing one before moving on to another.
And they are consistent. Every day, every week, every month, they show up to do quality work that will move them closer to achieving their goals, mission and vision. Hence, they dominate their market.
Are you willing to sacrifice your life?
Running a business is more than just working for a few hours on weekends, making a few bucks and cozying on the sofa with your loved ones for the rest of the week. To build a business you need to be willing to sacrifice a lot, sometimes to the detriment of your life, for your customers.
Steve Jobs’ was a man full of passion, love and admiration for a product he named after his favorite fruit — Apple. He loved his product like a mother loves her child. He made many sacrifices for it because he realized that was the only way he could “put a dent in the universe.”
Jobs devoted his entire life to building Apple. He would leave his family in the wee hours of the morning to show up before anyone else at Apple headquarters in California. He would stay after working hours to brainstorm, refine and reinforce his many ideas about the company, barely getting home to eat dinner with his wife.
In short, he sacrificed his life for it. But his legacy remains to this day. Whether you’re building another iPhone or just starting up as a freelancer, get ready to pour your sweat and blood and life to appease your market. You may not realize it is necessary, but it is.
As a digital marketer and blogger, I realize that to be an expert, I need to write every day. So I sacrifice my social life almost entirely. I shut myself in my room (my wife hates that) and do nothing but write so I can please what Stephen King called “the boys in the basement.”
That’s the only way to master the craft, to survive, or to last long as an entrepreneur. That’s what you must do if you’re serious about becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Sacrifice. If you’re not willing to sacrifice for your customers, delete the word “success” from your vocabulary.