The Harsh Realities of Entrepreneurism

The life of an Entrepreneur is a journey. It is one of growth, choice and what is often overlooked by many who view the pseudo-celebrity business bloggers and so-called experts touting a new system that blueprints the way – harsh realities.

There are some misconceptions and like anything out there, there will always be a million opinions. Many of them valid, some of them misguided.

”You just have to believe”. No. Wanting it is NOT enough

How many times have we heard that old cliche. ‘You just have to want it’ or ‘You just have to believe’. Now, new-age nuances aside I do actually think  that belief is essential. If you’re going to be the sort of self-starter that many dream of being, you certainly must believe.

To believe is to lead your own mindset. You have to get in the head space of truly believing that you will make it. You have to become fanatical about your success being an eventuality, not a game of chance. You have to apply a level of conviction to every aspect of your routine and undertakings that people start to question if you’ve joined a cult.

But contrary to what many NLP trainers and wantrepreneurs may recite, to simply want it more than anything you’ve ever wanted before – just doesn’t cut it. Of course you need to want it. Your want becomes your passion. Your passion becomes your belief. Your belief is what your subconscious will constantly try to validate. But a mistake all too regularly repeated is one where people constantly work on their mindset, their belief systems that they overlook the even more critical building block :

Just F***ing Do Something. Don’t they say actions speak louder than words? Well they’re right. And the two are symbiotic. They must exist in balance. Harmony. Action without belief leads to half-efforts. A mindset destined to accept failure as an inevitability. Clouded judgements. Belief without action results in you being determined, ambitions, dedicated.. And no further along than you were yesterday.

My personal opinion is one of three days. If an idea sparks you, let it incubate for no longer than 72 hours. I’m not saying that if you think of a new app that will revolutionise the world, it needs to be in the app store three days later. I’m saying that in three days you should have identified what is required, planned a list of requirements and made at least some action to either making this idea a reality, or towards validating whether its viability. Even if it’s a phonecall or two. Think about it. How many times have you needed to go somewhere, and the hardest part was taking that initial step? Rip the plaster off and take some *well informed* forward steps instead of laying in bed wondering what if.

Get Rich Quick. Bulls**t?

“My guide tells you how to cut out all of the thousands that you’d have to spend learning yourself, meaning you can start earning today”.

How many times have you read that. It seems that you can’t open Facebook without being assulted by one of these so-called gurus. I’m not in the business of assaulting other’s businesses, but there is a critical awareness that needs to be highlighted here. They Are Businesses. Think about it. If a so-called guru was making millions like they’re teaching you how to – why would they not be focusing on doing this? The tough answer is that they have realised that  teaching others how to do it, is either more profitable, or substantially less time consuming. They often speak little of the bad times during the course of their success story.

We did a little digging.

A so called guru who ”discovered consulting” is selling courses on Facebook, supposedly at a fire sale price of $2,000 reduced from $10,000, because people were finding the cost too high and he’s a good guy. He talks about how he discovered consulting and now makes multi millions. He never states what he consults in or what he is qualified to consult in. He states that his business comes from Facebook and simply switching on his Facebook ads generates an on-demand income.  He states that he worked out of his parent’s garage and consulted to become successful, no show of the hard times or process, just instant success.

We contacted a magazine that he featured in, and it turns out that he actually made his initial riches through creating and selling an app. There is no mention of this in his rags to riches story told during the ”webinar” which is made out to be live. It was all from his business model that he is trying to sell (Note: Almost ALL of these supposed live webinars are replays. The fact that these gurus can’t be bothered to a) Tell you this or b) actually show up should tell you in itself that you are sitting in on an autopilot business lead, NOT a once in a lifetime offer.) In fact the only evidence we get of any true consulting is through the ‘consulting’ that he is trying to sell you. And this seems to be RIFE at the moment.

So why is this all relevant? We’re not hating and we certainly aren’t saying that these gurus don’t make some valid points. We’re not even saying that they are all fraudulent and haven’t walked the line that they speak of. We are saying that it is critical to approach with a level of skepticism and reality. You are engaging in someone else’s business model. Be wary.

The key thing here is that again, Entrepreneurship is a journey. What we see in these presentations is not an in depth, accurate reflection of their journey. It is a selective, convenient, trimmed down recollection of the events along that journey which will best serve their purpose of selling you their product. They make getting rich quick not only a reality, but an easy one. Nothing is further from the truth. Getting rich quick is entirely possible. It’s not even that rare! But ask any Entrepreneur with a success story if it was easy and the amount of people that will say ‘yes’ will significantly depreciate. Rapidly. It is filled with ups, downs, wanting to give up, unfortunately for some, on life in general; and it is anything but an easy route. It can take quitting your job or pooling every last bit of your time and resources into a venture.

NOBODY CARES

The next two are perhaps the hardest two mindset mountains that need to be conquered by the successful Entrepreneur. We get into this lifestyle with a mix of selfish and selfless motivations. Many simply want to better mankind, help out people in a situation. Many want a life of freedom, extravagance or exploration. But one thing remains the same.

Nobody Cares.

The world doesn’t care.

The banks don’t care.

Your CUSTOMERS don’t care.

Whatever your motivations for going it alone are, or what your five-year outlook for your business is, the only person that matters to, is you. It’s a tough concept, but an essential one. To achieve success, you have to successfully shift the important party in all of this; and that is whomever you are adding value to.

For the most part that will be your customers or client. They are your stakeholders. Their success must become your own if you want to succeed. The market doesn’t care that you need to charge $50.99 a month to achieve your bottom line. They care that for that $50.99 you solve their problems. You provide VALUE to them. Only once your focus becomes on adding value to the people who effectively are the building blocks of your success, can you truly start to grow as an Entrepreneur.

It IS Your Fault

Accountability. The pillar stone of success.

The difference between eventual success and repeated failure is transitioning from a mindset of a victim; a passenger, to one of a survivor; a renegade. Part of that transitioning is embracing the improbable, accepting the impossible and being willing to identify the difference.

Success comes from a place of always critically asking what aspects of a situation you could have had control over. Because there is ALWAYS something that YOU could have done to mitigate any occurrence in at least some capacity.

The day you have decided to take real control of your life, is the day that you have also decided to take control of the aspects that happen within it. “They did that to me” is simply no longer acceptable. Granted, you do not have a crystal ball, but it is important that when the unplanned happens, you turn around and ask how you COULD have prepared for it in some way shape or form, rather than simply accepting that the world is out to get you. See life as a series of inevitabilities and choices, rather than events and assaults. When you take an element of personal responsibility in every eventuality; you begin to approach business life with a series of taking action, or not taking action. And given that action and planning (an action in its own respect) are the only pro-active tools in your armoury, it should be pretty clear which path will lead you.

There will be Cold, Dark Times. Real Cold.

There is often a stigma that comes with certain groups of people talking about ‘feelings’ or what some people refer to as ‘the black dog’. Sometimes you will need to accept help, maybe from partnerships, working relationships or interpersonal ones. A life of an Entrepreneur often is one of a lone wolf; but it’s important to know that there is no shame in seeking council. In fact, part of the process to acknowledge when you need to do so. Sometimes it can be a case of being at a party yet feeling like you’re in an empty room. Entrepreneurism can be alienating. Many won’t share your mindset. Many are comfortable working 7 hours a day for minimal pay and that’s ok. But it can mean that in those times where the odds are against you it is impossible for others to empathise. Associate and network with the ambitious. Keep your friends close, but having a network of like-minded entrepreneurs can assist in those periods where you need to bounce a few ideas off someone. Communicate openly to any close ones that are willing to listen; and be prepared to not only acknowledge criticism, but discard it.

It WILL be worth it.

Ultimately an Entreprenuer has to have a strong resolve. Perhaps the toughest reality of all is that if you persevere, take the right risks, wade out the storms, bathe in the successes and constantly take forward steps, ambitions and dreams will become realities. For some it will happen tomorrow, for others, it will happen in months, years or beyond. But that forwards momentum driven by a level head

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