For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of Instant Gratification, perhaps the simplest example can be see with Social Media; think Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and the like. But there’s a reason why it is often difficult to balance the vibe that you get from Social Media and managing your mindset when living life as an entrepreneur.
As a society, we’ve become very used to the notion that we can put something out in the world, and instantly get acceptance or a response from peers and strangers alike.
That little gadget in your pocket is ground zero.
Think about it. Dating? Instantly put a photo out there and know if you’re hot or not. Fancy dinner? Post it on Facebook and people tell you they’re jealous. Loose 2lbs? Post your struggle to Instagram for a pat on the back. Gig style websites give you instant access to money and praise for doing a task well regardless of how difficult and expensive it was or wasn’t. Hungry? Burgers to your door.
So it’s not a wonder that with the MONUMENTAL amount of potential at our disposal as modern day entrepreneurs, that many fall into the bracket of “Wantreprenuers”, making a strong start and then trailing off. The very device that acts as a conduit to instant reward and recognition, is a gateway to simply unparalleled access to opportunity – and that combination instills a habit which makes the reality of the life of an entrepreneur that much harder to stick out.
You see, as an entrepreneur, the journey is about the process rather than just about the snapshots. Journey > Snapshot > Reflection. When we see posts, we see what people want to share, rather than the journey behind them and instantly everyone reacts with it. We see a snapshot into their life. In fact I genuinely see people disappointed if they don’t get a certain amount of likes and so on.
But we don’t know how long that journey was. We don’t even know whether the snapshot really is what the person posting it is making out that it is. Like a literal snapshot, it could be shown through a filter which shows a selective part of the bigger picture.
Keep your mindset focused.
But it’s so damned easy to hit like and give that instant gratification.
On Social Media, it is very simple to shower appreciation on a post and when that post has no real-world impact, that level of engagement is enough to give us the buzz we expect.
When you’re relying on your venture to work however, the same level of appreciation won’t suffice if you’re not getting the sales to match.
And therein lies the problem.
The superficial appreciation you get in the form of “Likes”, won’t hold the same weight. Instead, real Gratification, Success, comes from the sales that you generate.
Now Let’s double back to “harsh realities of Entrepreneurism” . Nobody Cares. That is, nobody cares if your company is opened for business. Nobody cares if you’re excited to be selling fidgets for xyz. If you’re lucky, they will flick you a like or a share and that will be that. Most sure as hell won’t put their hand in their pocket because you share a link to your website. And 80% of what goes in to your journey, doesn’t produce a real snapshot that’s worthy of real appreciation.
And that’s not just with social media to blame; smart phones are RIFE with it.
Things don’t happen instantly in the real world. You can’t always boot up an app to give you what you need within the next half hour.
Campaigns need constant monitoring.
Negotiations may take weeks.
Sales may take months to start trickling in.
Your Mindset is under a constant siege.
More-so, it’s important to remember to ask at the core of it – what is an Entrepreneur in the first place? The wide definition is commonly that an Entrepreneur is a person that takes on the process of creating a business – bearing the risks (particularly financially) associated with doing so in hope of a profit. Now, many would be quick to change their linked-in job role to ‘entrepreneur’ after they start a drop shipping website, but in the absence of financial commitment in the for of stock or advertising investment as a basic example; are you? Or are you simply falling into the instant gratification trap.
It’s all a staying game and your cheat code is in your mindset.
Social Media is your friend AND foe as an entrepreneur
You should expect some hardship, some slow wins, some quieter patches – especially when we set out. You’ll see hundreds of gurus pushing quick fix, insider secrets to turn you into an amazon/real estate/adwords millionaire in no time. Hit like, input address and someone does the hard work, giving you the answers. I’m not saying that there isn’t often some gold content out there, but expect some hard yards.
So to summarise, if you don’t shake the reliance on instant gratification, the Entrepreneurial journey becomes a spiral into desperation and depression. It’s often a lonely game where you’re forever exercising patience and it’s crucial to tweak your mindset for longevity.
Instead, you have to forge a resilience that teaches you that it’s OK to have to really, REALLY work to get real-world gratification and that it’s necessary to master patience if you don’t want to be one of the many that wants to succeed but quits before it’s time.
And when you do get your first bite, you will realise that it’s much, much sweeter. You might not be convinced to tone down the Facebook usage and afterall – it’s a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal – Just don’t let your subconscious mind be conditioned to carry over the online behavior to your real world endeavors.