Are you wondering if you’re an entrepreneur? What a great question, let’s explore what that means..
I’ve heard many people say that you’re born an entrepreneur.. I tend to disagree. See the definition of an entrepreneur differs vastly depending on who you ask. Ask Google and it will tell you that an entrepreneur is:
“A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so.”
Technically I get that definition.. I understand it and it makes sense from a logical stand point.. but with my very own entrepreneurial heart and soul I believe there is far more to the entrepreneur than the likes of the definition above.
I’ve been on the entrepreneurial circuit and involved in more startups, and pieced together more business concepts both on and offline than I have actual years experience as a businessman. I’ve personally invested tens of thousands of dollars of my own money- both savings and raisings, to build brands, grow businesses, put together companies (including a not for profit), and the most important of all- I’ve used that money to invest in my own learning and entrepreneurial education. And in doing all of that I’ve been both successful and unsuccessful in many different ways.
But you know what; I wasn’t one of those kids who worked out how to sell his lunch to his schoolmates with a profitable margin on top.. nor did I hussle as a boy, building paper routes with friends and taking a cut from each delivery kid in return for working my routes.. However at one stage I did work on a plan to get rich off of Pokemon cards when I was 11 but that’s about it. And no it didn’t work.
In my opinion.. through my own experience, I’ve found that entrepreneurs are crafted rather than born. For me I was drawn into this world because I was compelled to do something great with my life. I never really applied myself academically (according to my school’s definition), and I’ve since discovered that the pattern of school-o-phobia rings true for some of the greatest entrepreneurs in history- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, and the list goes on and on. Some of the world’s biggest and greatest brands have been built on the back of those who never saw eye to eye with the education system.
Entrepreneurs are an interesting breed of people because we seem to turn off or at least distort a certain filter in our brain that tells us to keep it small, and play it safe. The entrepreneur understands risk, but views the potential for success as far greater and disregards fear, even when he or she is consumed by it deep down.
So how do you know if you’re an entrepreneur? What are the symptoms..? Are there signs..? Should you be worried if you’re showing signs of entrepreneurialism?
Well firstly, how do you know if you’re an entrepreneur at heart before you even go after your first ever real entrepreneurial adventure- one that involves time, money, metaphorical blood, sweat, and tears? Are you showing symptoms but lacking a definitive diagnosis? A common trait amongst newbie entrepreneurs is that they all become drawn to the possibilities that live within the phrase “What if?” After all it was the “What if?” in the back of my mind that drove me to invest my life’s savings- going broke more than once in the process (not bankrupt), work harder than I ever have before in my entire life (for little to no money at times), and learn at a blistering rate that I’d never experienced before.
The “What if?” begins by penetrating the majority of your daily thought patterns. It creeps into your creative faculties and encourages you to start looking at the world a little different. Where you once saw everyday monotony and uniformity, you start visualising possibility and innovation. Your daily habits become peppered with an imagination as if on five cans of RedBull and an attitude of total “Dutch Courage”.. usually without the bit that makes that courage “Dutch.”
For the honeymoon period of your intro into entrepreneurialism you feel unbreakable, bulletproof and ten feet tall. You start finding it hard to relate to normal people with their negativity, and inability to match your levels of drive and gusto 24 hours of the day.. and sadly the way you view your friends and family even begins to change at some point as they find it hard to relate to someone as motivated and brave as you any longer.. It is sad, it hurts, it’s kind of inevitable but that’s the life of an entrepreneur. Sound familiar?
As you progress further down the rabbit hole into life as an entrepreneur you get metaphorically punched in the face more times than a professional fighter but as you become more and more serious about becoming that success you’ve dreamt about, you relish the scars and broken metaphorical teeth. The once honeymooning entrepreneur who would backflip out of bed in the morning, driven by the thoughts of Lamborghinis and mansions becomes consumed not be materialism but by the empowering sentiment of leaving behind a legacy- by building something that matters.
See the mirage of the fast cars, nice boats, and big houses are almost essential and in most cases infesting the mind of a newbie entrepreneur whether they’ll admit it or not.. But its OK! In fact I encourage it- it’s those things that get you past what’s arguably the hardest hill to climb when you’re starting out.. and that’s the hill you face at the very beginning, when you constantly flirt with the border of uber motivated and super overwhelm.
But there does come a point where you mature into a new version of entrepreneur, and that’s the 2.0 version where you’re truly ready to stop at nothing to make your life the way you picture it everytime you close your eyes. You’re reason for ‘making it’ becomes about the vision you now hold of enhancing lives and adding value by creating brands that make a difference, and building businesses that cultivate opportunity on more levels than one.
The path of the entrepreneur truly is the road less travelled. It’s rough, it’s tough, but the journey is one that makes incredible human beings. I believe that entrepreneurialism is a choice, not a birthright or an inheritance- it’s a code that you live by..
If entrepreneurs have one thing above all, it’s heart. You earn heart by braving the road you’ve chosen to travel, and how you respond to the challenges of life that attempt to shake you on that road along the way.
Being an entrepreneur comes down to faith and hard work. If you’ve read this and feel like it’s you who wrote these words then I salute you. Go hard, stay strong and in the words of an entrepreneurial master: “Never Give Up.” – Donald Trump