Although it looks glamorous, real entrepreneurship takes hard work and frequent failure.
Fifteen years ago, people would have assumed you were crazy for expressing a desire to become an entrepreneur. But the tables have turned. Today, it has become one of the most respected and intelligent paths to take. I’d go as far as saying it’s saved our economy and continues to move our culture forward.
Dream “jobs” are disappearing fast, and creating your ideal opportunity is the new normal. But a lot of people are getting into entrepreneurship with a blurred perspective, thinking that all you need is passion and work ethic. Those people are in for a rough ride unless they understand a few powerful truths and adopt the proper perspective. You can either play it safe or become successful, but you can’t do both. Entrepreneurship can be a dream come true, but you must know these truths.
- It’s not easy but it’s worth it. If becoming an entrepreneur were easy, everybody would be doing it. It also wouldn’t be worth much. The bigger the goals, the bigger the challenges. The bigger the rewards, the tougher the journey. The moment you pursue entrepreneurship, obstacles will show up. They will test your character, faith and whether you’re really serious about becoming an entrepreneur. You must focus on the rewards on the other side of struggle. Visualize how good it’s going to feel being your own boss, controlling your schedule, inspiring others and creating financial freedom. When you strive for greatness, chaos is guaranteed to follow. It’s important you accept this instead of fighting it. You’ll never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.
- Resourcefulness is the ultimate resource. The majority of people will say they don’t have the resources. This resource belief structure keeps most people from succeeding and building the world-class businesses they are capable of. Great entrepreneurs find a way to maximize whatever resources they have. They don’t believe in limited resources and they understand the ultimate resources are the feelings and emotions that make them resourceful. Tony Robbins says it perfectly: “Resourcefulness is the ultimate resource.” What are the emotions and fuel you need to become more resourceful? If you don’t have the money but you are creative enough, can you find the money? With enough determination and commitment, can you make it work? The ultimate key is internal.
- Your circle of influence will make or break you. New entrepreneurs’ most common weakness is leaving their minds open to other people’s negative influence. It’s hard to grow, learn and become the person you need to be to reach big success without an exceptional network supporting you. Successful entrepreneurs do everything they can to surround themselves with a powerful circle of influence that can guide them, challenge them and help them think bigger. Success rises and falls based on who you associate with, so make sure you stay aware of your surroundings. You can systematize a lot of things, but time isn’t one of them. So make sure you’re spending it with the right people. Like Grant Cardone says, “More important than mentors is who you’re staying away from.”
- Habits trump inspiration. Habits will always trump inspiration. You need inspiration to create consistent action, but your habits are ultimately going to define your success or failure. It’s been said after seminars and conferences that only 5 percent of people actually use what they’ve learned. Why? Inspiration is short term and feels good in the moment, but doesn’t last past the activity producing it. I’ve realized that’s the biggest inspiration of all is seeing progress and results, which come from new habits. When you begin the formation of a new habit, stick to it to see the lasting change in your newfound life. Great entrepreneurs focus on behavior and habits more so than thought. Thinking is important, but doing is crucial.
- The only thing guaranteed is failure. How you respond to failure determines your success. Successful entrepreneurs are paid for their high tolerance of stress and pain. Successful people see failure differently than most. Staying loyal to yourself through failure is extremely important. Instead of taking failure personally, use it to sharpen your perspective and strengthen your commitment. Most new entrepreneurs beat themselves up. But if you want the competitive advantage, you must leverage failure for even greater success. Failure can add to your hunger, and real hunger comes from tough times.
Still want to be an entrepreneur? Good, I promise it’s worth it.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.