When I was growing up in the eighties and early nineties, everybody wanted to be like Mike, including myself of course. Today, everybody wants to be an entrepreneur. What has changed in such a short time, I often wonder.
Well, couple of things come to mind. Fall of the Iron Curtain in November of 1989 which signaled the end of the old era and the beginning of the new world. Birth of the Internet coupled with advancements in transportation, technology and communication have led to creation and proliferation of globalization which has since levelled the global playing fields and interconnected otherwise, segregated world. As a result, our lives light up as we moved onto the main grid which we can no longer live without. Suddenly, everything and everybody was within the arms reach, figuratively or should I say virtually.
Without going into pros and cons of this major transformation, I’ll focus only on the entrepreneurial fever which seems to be spreading across the globe like wildfire, without the end in sight. Everybody wants to start a business and that’s awesome but is that really possible? Well, that’s debatable and despite being a strong proponent of entrepreneurship, freelancing and self-development, my short answer to that question would be absolutely not and here’s why.
Entrepreneurship is the way of life, it’s the mind-set above all and not some fad or a cool trend that mainstream media wants us to believe and buy into. It’s the way you think, eat, sleep, breath, walk, talk and everything in between. You can’t just wake up one day and turn the switch on entrepreneurship, it doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to go back in time to your childhood, family, society you grew up in and friends you hang out with to understand why you either have the entrepreneurial DNA in you or not. Unfortunately, most people simply don’t have it them for the reasons I elaborated in my other post.
So take a step back, think long and hard. Ask yourself the question why is it that I want to do this, why do I want to start a business? Is it because I want to be a famous and powerful billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk or because I want to put a dent in the universe and in the process change and improve people’s lives? Be honest with yourself for the answer to this question is of utmost importance and insincerity will come back to haunt you. This should be your starting point.
Why you do what you do has got to be truly meaningful and close to your heart. The desire for money, fame, glory or power is not real or strong enough hence, it simply won’t do it. When the going gets tough – question of when no if – the only ally you’ll have that will help you whether the storm and overcome obstacles is your BIG and meaningful why, so be sure to have it!
Next, ‘know thyself’ – these words of wisdom stand true today more than ever before. If you are to succeed as an entrepreneur you’ve got to know your strengths as you can never excel with your weaknesses. Knowing your innate talents and abilities is of utmost importance as it will help you decide what to focus on. In addition, you’ve got to develop a client centric and market driven mind-set which will help you understand client’s needs, wants, pains and desires.
Remember, your business success is directly related to your ability to detect and fulfil otherwise unmet needs, wants and desires of your target audience. But who is your target audience? Well that too is something you’ve got to ponder about and be crystal clear about before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey, which I can assure you is truly magnificent, if you have the stomach for it, that is.
Wrapping it all up!
While I may dream of a world where each individual is a corporation of one rendering services of choice, such world is still only a dream of mine which may never come to pass because not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship or self-employment. Knowing yourself above all and your life’s mission will help you choose the right path and lead a happy and meaningful life, be it as an entrepreneur or not. Either way whatever you do, don’t follow the followers or try to keep up with the Joneses, for that will most certainly ruin you and rob you off all your innate talents, abilities and life’s purpose. Instead take a bigger view of yourself and pursue your passion with all your might, whatever it may be.
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