I recently came across an article listing the toughest jobs in America, and it wasn’t surprising that professions such as fireman and deep-sea fisherman topped the list. But after finishing the article, I realized that one profession was completely omitted from the list: entrepreneurship!
While being an entrepreneur is not as physically dangerous as a being a deep-sea fisherman, I would say I have had several bouts of heart palpitations since I started my entrepreneurship journey.
So Why Isn’t Entrepreneurship For Everyone
Years back, I stopped encouraging people into entrepreneurship. These conversations usually started with the person complaining about how much they hated their job and that they wished they could just (insert perfect life here).
My usual response was, “Then do it, and how can I help you in the process?” After finding out the steps required, the frustrated person would usually begin to backtrack, using phrases like “Be realistic”, and “I am not like you.”
Or even better, you get past the first excited conversation and then they slowly whither away back into their job, of which they hate, only knowing they are dying a slow, painful, and awake death.
“Entrepreneurship is not about money or business, it’s a mindset.”
Why Everyone Should Be An Entrepreneur
Both the best and the worst aspect about entrepreneurship is that there isn’t an endpoint. There is always something you can do to grow yourself individually or as an organization. You can always research and implement new sales and marketing strategies to reach your target audience, become a better communicator, or oddly enough, try to find the personal balance to take 15 minutes for yourself to remove the inner-chatter that may be holding you back to even greater success.
This can be a good thing or a bad thing. As an entrepreneur, you are charting your own destiny and reaching the final “x” has different paths. Sometimes the path is covered with miles of trees and debris and you are hacksawing your way through the forest blindly, cutting down the trees one by one, hoping that the next one you cut down will be the buried treasure. But you can’t quit because you never know if the next tree could be the one. You have already put in so much work that there is no turning back.
To some, this may feel like a giant leap and they are leaving all sense of predictability and security at the door. Questions may cloud your mind such as, “What if I fail?”, “What if no one likes my idea?” “What if it’s too hard?”
Yes, yes, and yes! All of these questions and concerns will be brought up time and time again. The beauty of all of this is that you will have to answer these questions in order to grow as an individual and an organization. You will have to determine your value, as well as how to communicate it and to take aggressive action in order to make it into a reality.
This doesn’t happen just once, but over and over again… sometimes daily!
So why put yourself through so much? Well, it’s all in how you think about it. I believe entrepreneurship is job security, obviously not running it, but the vast amount of skills you will gain firsthand in the process.
Let’s think again about the tree example. People neglect to see that every tree they knock down in their forest of a journey is slowly building little muscles oneby-one. When you started the journey at the beginning of the forest, it took you several swings to knock down a measly branch, let alone an entire tree.
In the business world this could be like asking questions such as “How do I get an EIN?” or “What is a domain?” At the time, the answers to these questions felt like a redwood tree and caused you great frustration, but you gained little muscles in the process without knowing it.
What used to take several hacks, now takes a single swipe even though the trees are becoming more frequent and larger. “How do I reach my target audience with limited financial resources? Got it! Social Media and Affiliate Marketing!”
“How do I expand my operations in a different country? Develop strategic partnerships!
Bigger trees and bigger swipes, all with the same effort it took when you started your trek way back when. Only you didn’t realize you have gained 30 pounds of muscle in the process.
Knocking the initial tree down at this point, looking back, seems almost comical.
“Get those puny weights out of here!”
You Need To Take Action
A tree has never been knocked down by just thinking about it. I am not telling you to swing blindly, but after a point, trying to think about the perfect swipe without actually taking a swing is useless. The best way to determine if your swipe is going to land on the right spot or even how much force is needed is by winding up and taking a swing.
I have heard countless business ideas and read several business plans. In all honesty, what you imagine in your mind and what you scribe on paper may not pan out as you hoped when put into physical action. The real world has a personality, competition, and most of all a lot of noise. Trying to break through is not easy, but the reward is great!
You will learn much more about yourself and your entrepreneurial endeavor, by actually doing it. Making the calls, selling your idea, and experiencing rejection. Each action slowly building those tiny little muscles! Yes, you will be sore and it is hard, but greatness has never been created through taking the easy way out.
“I never knew it took years to become an overnight success” -Coach AK
So is Entrepreneurship for Everyone? No
But should everyone try it? Yes.
But will you do it? Probably not!
But if you do it, will it be worth it? YES!!!
So we go back to the title of the article and consider whether Entrepreneurship is for Everyone. Truthfully, it may not be for you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try picking up the ax and taking a few swings along the way. You may get a few splinters or miss your target a few times, but I assure you that you will gain some significant muscle in the process.
In my next article I will be talking about finding your “Why” and how that will help you push through the crowded forest. Stay tuned…
Disclaimer: Now this isn’t a knock against the 9-to-5ers, the stay-at-homers, the underrepresented, the MLMs or the list goes on. This is an article for anyone who wants to take action, but their inner-voice disguised as fear, worry, and inadequacy take over. This is for entrepreneurs as well, who may have just been hit with a rejection, and are thick in the forest of entrepreneurship and are deciding whether to drop the axe or continue to swing on. I encourage you to keep swinging, you may have to re-grip or change your angle, but continue because you never know when the next tree you hit will be the buried treasure. Enjoy the journey!
Let’s Be Great!
PS- I would love to hear individual’s entrepreneurship journey. What helped you get through the forest when all seemed lost? Is it worth it? Share and comment below.