Entrepreneurs are making a name for themselves, and many people are looking to the “self-employed” arena as a way to set themselves apart from the corporate cog and gain financial freedom. The problem is that not everyone knows—or wants to know—truly effective ideas to becoming a successful entrepreneur. The following list provides 10 things only an entrepreneur knows.
Hacks and Shortcuts will Fail You in the End
Entrepreneurs understand the desire to strike out and follow their dreams, but they also understand that success is derived from the constant pursuit of goals and dreams, regardless of the cost. Hacks and shortcuts result in short-term, temporary gains. But, when the playing field changes, the hack or shortcut becomes obsolete which results in the need for another quick fix. This is where the stress and doubt of “going it alone” often come from. It’s not “getting in too deep”, it’s the act of setting out on a deep ocean with a rickety life vessel. Entrepreneurs understand that adding experience and staying power to their skillset will aid them in the short and long term.
Self-employment is a Step, not a Cash Cow
Serious entrepreneurs know that being self-employed is not an end-all goal. Self-employment should actually be a step to sustained growth and income. There are 4 sections in this quadrant, made famous by Robert Kiyosaki in his book “Cashflow Quadrant.” The first part is Employed, which entrepreneurs free themselves of for the second part, Self Employed. The trick is to not stay in this part, but to move on to the third and fourth parts, which are Business Owner and Investor, respectively. Remaining self-employed means that every waking hour is spent generating active income. If the market fails or when work lags, the income isn’t there. Entrepreneurial success means creating “passive” or “residual” income, which the latter two parts of the quadrant effectively allow for.
Time is No Longer an Omnipotent Commodity
Entrepreneurs know that it isn’t really possible to try and beat the clock. When employed at a 9-5 job, workers ceaselessly strive to outperform time in this way. Entrepreneurs realize that time management is possible, but beating time is impractical and, quite frankly, a waste of time. Entrepreneurs realize that controlling energy levels throughout the day is key. In this sense, energy is the most important commodity to entrepreneurs. Keeping up energy output, especially by maintaining health and fitness, is what highly successful entrepreneurs focus on to ensure sustained success.
You Can’t Crack Under Pressure
Entrepreneurs realize that stepping into the arena means dealing with the pressure that comes from the entrepreneurial environment. Even with the right skills, wonderfully effective ideas and adequate finances, entrepreneurs will face pressure. Those who can deal with it, and those who actually thrive on it, are most suited to staying the course. If pressure can be used to fuel energy instead of it crippling or draining it, the very same pressure can motivate one to succeed. Problem solving and challenges are the trademarks of successful people, and entrepreneurs understand that no venture is without pressure.
Storytelling Has a Long Reach
Marketing and effective messaging are vital components to an entrepreneur’s success. It’s the difference between someone dabbling in making their own way and those who rely on others to make it for them. Entrepreneurs tell their own stories. They share their message and brand with the public, and it needs to be an effective message. More importantly, top entrepreneurs realize that at the end of the day, sales and marketing boil down to understanding and capturing emotion. They’re reaching out to the public’s purchasing power by way of stylized emotion, and to captivate their audience and compel them to read the story, they need to be an effective storyteller.
Set Goals, and then Set Some More
The most effective entrepreneurs know that to reach their lofty goals, they need to aim far out of the park. Entrepreneurs are different from others in this sense as they know that long-term growth equates to success. Goals stacked upon goals, and goals that can be set based off of achieving smaller goals, all lead to achieving a massive amount of success. There are some entrepreneurs who even write down their set goals daily—even several times a day—as a way of reminding themselves to achieve what seems to others as something unachievable.
Knowing You Can’t Do it All
Successful entrepreneurs don’t make the mistake of taking on too much. That isn’t to say that they can’t handle a lot on their plate, it’s just that entrepreneurs are wise in understanding their limits. Furthermore, entrepreneurs know that time isn’t something that can be contained or beaten back. Knowing when to delegate or when to set goals for particular tasks it crucial to success.
Business Maps are better than Business Plans
Business plans are becoming a thing of the past. Entrepreneurs approach their businesses as a growing commodity, a mechanism that changes along with the times. In this way, a large, weighty business plan can’t effectively capture what a constantly changing landscape might offer. Business maps, however, are more streamlined, and allow entrepreneurs to create a rough idea for the short term. Business maps still include a mission statement, a budget and market research, but little more, and are excellent for reaching target audiences in a little amount of time with the most important pieces of information.
Inspiration doesn’t Equal Success
Many people want to become entrepreneurs based on a passion, which is perfectly fine. The trick to being a successful entrepreneur is to couple that passion with urgency. Spending too much time in the clouds on a “life-changing, positive idea” will result in the market passing the very same idea by. Remember that time isn’t something to be contained, it’s something to work with—with “work” being the operative word.