As someone who took the dive into entrepreneurship only 4 years ago, I still have a long road ahead of me and lots to learn. That being said, I’ve learned a lot getting to this point.
Over the past 4 years I have created online publications, media companies, T-shirt companies, e-commerce companies, apps and more. I have been featured in Forbes, INC, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Chicago Tribune and more. I have messed up more times than I can remember, have had countless embarrassing entrepreneurial moments, I have screamed, cried and celebrated. I have met amazing people, lifelong friends and gained unique, life-altering perspectives as a result. Throughout this journey I am learning that the “finish line” for an entrepreneur is always an evolving one.
As PRSUIT has grown and our message has spread, I have had many conversations with readers and followers who want to leave their 9 to 5, create something of their own, be happier and leave a lasting legacy in the world. For many, entrepreneurship is the way to accomplish this. The first thing I ask people when having these conversation is “what does being an entrepreneur mean to you?’, or more simply…
What is an entrepreneur?
The reason I always ask this question is because of the gaining popularity of the term. Mainstream media has certainly glamorized the word as well as the lifestyle commonly associated with it. Millennials love the idea of quitting their jobs to become full-time entrepreneurs and everyone has an idea for a business they’d like to start. But when it comes down to it, what is an entrepreneur? What is the difference between an entrepreneur and someone who runs a business? Simple.
An entrepreneur is someone who creates a system or a concept from nothing. A business leader or business owner just works within it.
This is an important distinction to make as the reality of being an entrepreneur is that it is very different from working within the confines of a 9 to 5 or a business that someone else created. As an entrepreneur, you are creating something from nothing. More importantly, an entrepreneur creates something from scratch that is inherently personal and purpose driven. An employee helps someone else build their dream but an entrepreneur builds their own based on what it means to them on a much deeper level.
When you build something that is so closely connected to your purpose, there’s usually not a whole lot to fall back on. It’s all or nothing. There is no job security, your comfort zone is completely obliterated and your social life kaput.
Still want to do it?
Yes, I want to become an entrepreneur!
OK, heading in the right direction.
That’s great and all, but it’s certainly easier said than done. How many times have you heard people say that they want to quit their job and become an entrepreneur? Or about all the great business ideas they have? My guess is… a lot.
Wanting to become and actually becoming an entrepreneur are two entirely different things. It boils down to one thing… action – taking the first step. It can be as simple as buying the domain for your business, or reaching out to that first potential customer. Whatever it is, DO IT. Don’t linger in wantrepreneur limbo.
Once you have committed to not remaining a wantrepreneur, strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. This is what I have learned about becoming an entrepreneur and what you can expect when making the jump yourself.
These are the 4 things you need to know when becoming an entrepreneur.
1. You’ll need to learn how to become a successful entrepreneur.
Becoming an entrepreneur and emerging as a successful one are two different things.
Anyone can decide to become an entrepreneur but few see it through to being successful in their endeavors. The reason why? The former group does not commit to the mindset necessary to see it through.
Making the jump into entrepreneurship requires a total mindset shift. You’ll need to learn how to forget your traditional 9 to 5 habits and the mindset that goes along with them. To become an entrepreneur is to throw the safety net of a 9 to 5 job out the window and to place all responsibility and accountability squarely on your own shoulders. To become a successful entrepreneur is to adopt this mindset into your life 100%.
As an entrepreneur, when business is down or when something doesn’t go right, you’ll need to accept the fact that it is likely your fault 100%. There is no blame game to be played here if you want to succeed.
More importantly, you’ll need to realize that your success is no longer contingent on any corporate politics, promotions or assumptions. If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need to realize that it will be a direct result of your drive and your actions.
My story: My entrepreneurship story thus far is one of the side hustle. As you might recall from some of my side hustle articles, I work a full-time 9 to 5 that I enjoy and am passionate about while building out my entrepreneurial pursuits. That being said, while I haven’t made the jump 100% into entrepreneurship full-time, I have learned what it takes to be successful nonetheless.
When I first started PRSUIT I was very frustrated with my lack of results. I blamed it on other people, partners and circumstances. I tried to delegate roles and responsibilities to drive results but was still disappointed. It was only after coming to terms with the realization that I alone was responsible for my own success, that things started to happen and progress the publication. You can’t delegate your own success as you might have been able to do at your day job. Get it done yourself and acknowledge your responsibility for making it happen.
2. You’ll realize that becoming an entrepreneur does not happen overnight.
Once you accept this mindset shift, realize that there will be a long road ahead of you. While you may see all the press headlines and magazine covers of people who launched an app one day and had a billion dollar valuation the next, this is hardly the norm. You will need to realize that you are seeing highlight reels – not the real behind the scenes look.
Your behind the scenes will be a grind and it will take time.
Take it from me. I have been working on PRSUIT for almost 3 years now. It is only just now starting to generate considerable revenue and accolades. That is almost 2 years of “behind the scenes” grind.
My story: I grinded on PRSUIT for years and never exceed 100,000 monthly visitors or considerable monthly revenue. This year, we are in the millions and 6 figures. It took 2 years of trial and error to get here. The behind the scenes journey to this point was anything but glamorous.
Expect your endeavor to take time and embrace the journey! Great things take time to build and you should cherish that. If you are building for longevity, build steadily over time. It’s worth it.
3. You’ll need to learn to be an entrepreneur with no money.
The outcome will not be income (right away). That is to be expected when you are building something from scratch that has longevity in mind.
Not only that, but realize that you don’t have to have a lot of money to start. Don’t be dissuaded from taking the leap into entrepreneurship because you don’t have a lot of capital to invest. You can get start with as little as $100 (or even less). It’s all about using it strategically. Don’t get discouraged by your lack of money at the beginning.
My story: I started PRSUIT when I first moved to Chicago, worked an entry-level ad agency job (which pays very little!) and was acclimating to “being an adult.” I didn’t have any money saved up or much of a salary to use towards funding my efforts. I didn’t let that stop me and I used what I had where I could to build. Yes, it took longer than someone who had a bankroll for growth, but it was worth it. It showed me the value of capital and encouraged me to focus on the ROI of any action I took.
I adopted a mindset of “do what you can with what you have where you are” to move PRSUIT in its early days. While many said they would wait until they had the capital to fund their visions, I jumped in with what I have. This allowed me to just get started.
4. You’ll become an entrepreneur when you have influence.
In my own efforts and through being fortunate to meet many talented and uber-successful entrepreneurs, I have learned the difference between a life long entrepreneur and a temporary one. Are you becoming an entrepreneur to become rich or are you becoming one to create wealth? Are you influenced solely by dollar signs or something more impactful?
The latter goal makes good entrepreneurs great and builds impact. The most successful entrepreneurs I know have created incredible wealth around their product or service, but more importantly, they have created influence around it. Their name and their company does more than just sell something… it has accrued influence online and off. To me, that is the sign of an true life-long entrepreneur.
My story: I love making money online… who doesn’t?! But, do you know what I love more? Building influence online. With PRSUIT and my other companies, I have structured our goals and products to create influence… not just make a dollar. PRSUIT is going to be a highly profitable publication 🙂 but more importantly, it is giving a voice to our generation and our authors. It provides anyone the ability to write online and be read by millions of readers. Not just that, but our content inspires through transparency. That is influence.
I didn’t always have this vision, however. It took me a while to learn that if I truly wanted to be successful as an entrepreneur, I had to build for longevity. I had to look beyond making a quick buck online. I had to build something that mattered and that created influence. When I took a step back and focused on this, that is when things really started to happen.
I’d love to hear your stories of becoming an entrepreneur. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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