“If you ever had a feeling in the pint of your stomach to do something bigger, more meaningful and all yours – you are an entrepreneur. You just have to think like one.” — TopResume (a blog)
Being an entrepreneur is having the ability to critically analyze problems, and most importantly provide monetized solutions to these problems in the most efficient way possible.
This is even harder when one is at the point of waving goodbye to the first phase of their life and stepping into the usually unprepared and nonstop dramas of the second phase (adulthood).
The good news is that it is never too late for anyone that is ready to put in the work and make sacrifices to achieve the realization of their dreams.
Entrepreneurs are not born. Anyone can be an entrepreneur, having the ethos, and can valiantly create a business or start a side hustle.
At 21, someone is making up to 7 figures from the comfort of their bed. Another is struggling to bring their first product to market (startups). There are also those starting their blog or creating a YouTube channel. The list goes on and on up to where you reach someone that still asks their mum for the money to get a pair of socks.
The point being that it doesn’t matter the category of the above you fall in, the most important questions you should be asking yourself are:
- Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
- What are you doing to achieve that?
Most imminent downfall of an entrepreneurial journey begins not with failure, nature of the economy or even “your idea”; but by your thoughts. You are what you think!
- Take full responsibility of your actions
“Everything that is in agreement with our personal desires seems true. Everything that is not puts us into rage” – Andre Maurois
Take full responsibility of your actions and learn to stop blaming others for your mistakes.
Keep only positive thoughts in your mind and be optimistic on the outcomes of scenarios.
This is especially important because the road might get grumpy, and it will. Having this mindset will not only echo positive energy from you but will also help you get better at recognizing and embracing challenges which is surely halfway to tackling them.
Remember that your actions are guided by your thoughts. Own them, but most importantly control them.
2. Discover your talent
What do you enjoy doing? What are you known for – your reputation? What do you remember always getting applauded for?
How can you transform that into something productive?
Exercise your brain. That’s your most important faculty. Thomas Edison had this quotation from Sir Joshua Reynolds nailed on the walls of his plants:
“There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labour of thinking”
Read “Steal like an artist — 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon” on this.
3. Read, read and read!
Reading is paramount in developing the mind. It gives an enormous boost both mentally and emotionally.
It also develops confidence – which is a must have personality of any leader or an entrepreneur. The more you know, the less you panic on making mistakes and the more confident you become.
“The things I want to know are in books, my best friend is the man who will get me a book I ain’t read” — Abraham Lincoln
It is only natural that one becomes better at solving problems when they, as a matter of fact, have so many alternative solutions to problems owing to years of gathering knowledge in the field.
Quit novels, fantasy books and watching Netflix every night.
Read books on entrepreneurship, startups, personal development and human management. “Zero to One - Peter Thiel”, “The Lean Startup - Eric Ries”, “Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki”, “How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie”, “Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill” “The $100 Startup - Chris Guillebeau” are some of the editor’s choice.
Feed your soul!
4. Explore the Internet
There are hundreds of thousands of amazing blogs here on the internet; Medium publications and tons of documentaries on YouTube.
Follow social media handles/profiles with impactful updates. Spend your time on the internet learning at the feet of the masters in your niche.
Cut FOMO (fear of missing out) out of your life especially on social media.
Stop getting obsessed with what a particular celebrity is up to. Put your own life and dreams first, before trends follow.
5. Act, persistently!
The phrase: “fake it till you make it” is still true and never out of style.
If you believe in something (say a business idea) and all the ways to realizing it seems feasible, then do not stop until you are there.
What do you think would have happened if Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates kept the idea of creating Facebook to themselves? Nothing!
Thomas Edison kept trying in the face of thousands of failures before becoming the greatest inventor of all time with practically no schooling, by inventing the electric bulb.
No motivational speech can change you if you are not ready to play your part.
Build and nurture a good network of people, communicate your ideas with like minds, listen attentively to the feedback and get to work!
The earlier you start, the earlier you make mistakes and learn from them – what the principle of Lean Startup called “structured learning”.
Do not worry about critics. They don’t define you and you’re not doing it for them.
Do something every single day that moves you closer to achieving your goal.
Do you want to be a writer? Start writing.
Do you want to be a copywriter? Start writing sales pages.
A professional chef? Then start cooking.
A programmer? Start coding.
You can never reach the place you dream of reaching without taking the first leap.
Think of when somewhere in the future, you’ll look back in your life and see how years of practice and persistence made you what you become. A crowned hero!
Do not be afraid to dream bigger and live better. Robert Kiyosaki in his book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” said: “It is fear that keeps people working at a job. The fear of paying their bills. The fear of being fired. The fear of not having enough money. The fear of starting over”.
Last but not the least, is prayer. Regardless of the religion you practise, praying will ease you difficulties and dilemmas both physically and most importantly mentally – having the peace of mind that a greater power is always in control.
Dr. Alexis Carrel, who devoted thirty-three years to biological research at the Rockefeller Institute, while analyzing prayer (as quoted from his Digest by Napoleon Hill) mentioned in these exact words:
“The influence of prayer on the human mind and body is as demonstrable as that of secreting glands.”
I will like to end this with something Dale Carnegie mentioned in one his books. A few words from a very wise man who to me understands how this life works:
“How strange it is our little procession of life” wrote Stephen Leacock. “The child says: ‘When I am a big boy’. But what is that? The big boy says: ‘When I get married’, but to be married, what is that after all? The thought changes to ‘When I am able to retire’. And then, when retirement comes, he looks back over the landscape transverse; a cold wind seems to sweep over it, somehow he has missed it all, and it is gone. Life, we learn too late is in the lining, in the tissue of every day and hour.”
Live in the moment!