Webster’s online dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” This definition is vague. In my opinion, entrepreneurship looks different depending on who you talk too – it’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. There are common personality traits that most business owners share like self-determination and independence. To be any kind of entrepreneur, you must be willing to risk a lot with no guarantee of receiving anything in return. So how does one become a “successful” entrepreneur?
Hundreds of books have been written on the topic of how to become successful in business. However, in this blog, I want to discuss actions and beliefs that will lead you down the path of NOT becoming a successful entrepreneur. It is with humor and humility, that I share this checklist of ways to become an overworked and a genuinely unhappy business owner. Do you check any of these boxes?
✔ Prioritizing Work Over Everything ElseDo you isolate yourself behind a laptop for 10 hours straight until you can’t see straight? If you do, well then you might be an entrepreneur. Being and looking “busy” is a badge of honor in the entrepreneur space. It’s like if you are not working on your next project or networking to your niche every week, you are disrupting the entrepreneurial flow. There is something to be said for dedicating yourself fully to your business and working hard to accomplish business goals. Consider making room in your jam-packed schedule to spend time with friends and family – participating in life-affirming activities other than work. Entrepreneurs are prone to financial and personal risk. Don’t add health and happiness to the list.
✔ Fearing FailureConfession time – I have a HUGE fear of failure! The perfectionist in me, even from early childhood, never accepted losing at anything. Although I still feel that a part of me will never grow out of the fear-based mindset, listening to the stories of other entrepreneurs facing and overcoming their own fear of failure gives me hope. Get over yourself or I will send Gary V after you! You are going to fall flat on your face. You are going to struggle. To allow variables beyond your control dictate the way you do business is certainly a recipe for disaster.
✔ Never Asking for HelpAt times it can feel like you are all alone trying to make your business happen. Nobody is an island. Entrepreneurs are more alike and connected than you think. I get it. This business is your baby. You have poured countless hours and cried tears of joy and pain riding the entrepreneurship rollercoaster. It’s time to start letting go and trusting others to help you on your journey. Ask and you shall receive. If you don’t, you are on your way to burnout and an overwhelming feeling of regret. Attempting to do it all and never asking for help is one of the quickest ways to crash and burn your business.
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