The 411 On Becoming An Entrepreneur
Lately, I've been hearing entrepreneur used regularly to refer to anyone selling anything or having the idea of sell something. First, let me tell you that simply selling something doesn't make you an entrepreneur nor does having the idea put you in the category of being an entrepreneur.
I had to learn the hard way of what it meant to be an entrepreneur in the making. Prior to 2016, I was "busy", busy spending money on products and downloads that I really didn't use to help me. I was busy spending my time trying to find the fastest way to make a dollar through my blog/online presence. I dabbled with photography, with YouTube, anything that I could find that didn't cost much to produce but allowed me to make a lot. I quickly burned myself out and ended up nowhere with nothing but a blog that didn't have my personality within it, a small (I do mean small) audience, a 30 page e-book that I quickly put together less than 3 weeks, but bigger bills from maintaining my blog. Throughout all of this, my relationship with my fiance almost ended because of how much time and money I was invested into making nothing, something. I was spending more time throwing money out with no return that it took a toll on our relationship.
I had to make changes, and make them quickly. Just a 1 1/2 months ago, I made the decision to shut down my first blog and spent 45 days regrouping and deciding on a new blog, Becoming Natasha. If blogging was going to be something that I wanted to do, I wanted to make sure that my personality and who I was, was fully in it. I even took time to decide the direction that I wanted to go and who my audience wanted to be. I also thought beyond my blog, which most new bloggers don't do. Yes, I was posting and sharing blog posts, but where did I want to take my blog? How do I want to continue using my skills? I thought this out day by day, and although I already launched, I'm still thinking this through.
This redirection gave me a lot of time to think about becoming an entrepreneur and what I wanted to make happen, but I learned 3 important things:
1. It's not an overnight success
Entrepreneurship just like anything else that I'm trying to make happen isn't an overnight success. There are days that I feel aspiring to be an entrepreneur isn't worth it because I'm not seeing the results that other people are getting. But, I realized that someone's success may be years worth of failure. The problem with entrepreneurship is that the results are not upfront, and people will assume that you have nothing going on with yourself if they don't see you physically do something, and I now understand that.
Between my 9-5 job and my relationship with my family and friends, it may appear that I'm not doing anything or much at all. But if you were to walk in my shoes you would see the hours that I dedicate each week to making my dreams come true. I don't know where I find the time, but I do. From getting home around 7/8PM and staying up late until 11, sometimes 12, I make sure that I put in the necessary hours (please don't confuse this with tiring myself out or burning out, hustling and grinding extremely HARD) to get where it is that I want to be. But as my grandmother would say, "The left hand doesn't always need to know what the right hand is doing"
2. I'm responsible for all that I do and don't do
Entrepreneurs have the ability to make their own work hours, and most can work from anywhere and still get things done. I make own schedule but I am also responsible for putting in a certain amount of hours to make thing happens for personal life and non-negotiable responsibilities. Some days I want to stay in bed all day, other days, I'm super productive. Lately, I haven't been able to hear from 6AM alarm. I've been sleeping until 7:30. Not that this time isn't early, I would rather wake up at 6AM, to have more time to get myself ready for the day and hopefully do some work for the blog before I clock into my "9-5."
3. I have to work 10X harder
As I stated earlier, the reward will not come to me because I have my own business / service, in fact, I have to make the reward happen. As an employee at a company or organization you are given a hiring packet where you sign off on your hours and job requirements. You then receive the necessary information to help you on the job, clock in/out information, etc. You spend your days getting work done that has been directed for you to do.
This is different for the aspiring entrepreneur/full-time entrepreneur. I don't have a hiring packet. I may have a media kit that lays out my pricing and offers. What is created and structured at a regular job, will have to be created by the entrepreneur. I create my tasks and requirements, the process in how things are managed, communicated, etc. I have no real structure of a corporate ladder to climb.
Do you want to become an entrepreneur, here's what you should know:
1. Know it will not solve your life problems
Just because you don't like your job or the fact that you went to school to get a degree that you no longer want to use, doesn't mean you have to be an entrepreneur. It's not here to solve your problems, in fact, entrepreneurship has its own set of issues. Some of which I explained earlier. Entrepreneurship isn't the elevator to success and a happy life, you have to create that success and make that happiness exist on your own.
2. Your input determines the output
What you put in is what you get out of it. You can want to write a book, but hardly get up early enough in the morning to write for at least 10 minutes. You can't become a mogul if you can't get up at 6AM or earlier. In order to find success you have to make it happen. It doesn't come with acknowledging that you want to become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is a discipline, which is something I'm learning each and everyday.
3. Don't do it for money, somewhat
Money comes along with being an entrepreneur, and what's good about is that you can set your pay. However, pay should not be your motive to become an entrepreneur. Yes, you have bills, need to eat, clothe yourself, etc, but pay isn't everything. Your business will not make money if the only thing you do is sell, sell, sell. Regardless of your business the only way you will make money is when someone takes the time to invest in it. How does that happen? Building trust and an authentic relationship. People know when they are being sold to and will happily keep their dollars in their pocket resulting in your business not making money. Focus on building relationships rather than building up your pockets.