Thought of the day for all of my fellow entrepreneurs out there…
I’ve met with a TON of aspiring & existing entrepreneurs and others seeking financial freedom. People are always excited at the prospect of becoming their own boss, living a life they love, and “never working another day.”
This all sounds great (& is true), but I’ve got a newsflash for you:
ALL successful people have 3 things in common: Motivation, ability and opportunity. So, to succeed, we need hard work, talent & good luck.
Here’s the point of my post: A lot of you are willing to work hard and a lot of you are very bright … but many of you aren’t willing to take new opportunities.
A lot of you aren’t willing to take calculated risks.
A lot of you aren’t willing to put your money where your mouth is to take your business and life to the next level.
A lot of you aren’t willing to take a step into darkness simply because you’re uncomfortable with it …
To that I say, fine. Stay the same. Earn the same check. Live the same life. Stay where you are.
Good luck with that.
But for those of us who have taken the risks (some good, some bad) and seen the life-changing results … can I just say that, MAN, IT FEELS GREAT TO BE ON THE OTHER SIDE!
Trust me, not everything will go your way and not every strategy will result in millions of dollars … but when opportunity knocks at your door, are you going to peek through the window, turn off the lights and stay quiet until it goes away … or are you going to take a deep breath, open the door and say, “I’m ready.”?
Take that next step.
When I wrote “Yes! Energy: The Equation to Do Less, Make More” many people saw it as a departure from what I had been coaching. “Wait, aren’t you The Millionaire Maker?” “Do you still talk about wealth and finance?” Yes and yes! Reaching millionaire status, building wealth, and understanding finance has EVERYTHING to do with saying Yes! If you don’t say Yes!, you close the doors to opportunities before they are presented to you. Today is the final day of Alumni 15, Live Out Loud’s conference of the year where everyone who has been to Loral’s Big Table gathers to learn, mastermind, and say YES! to opportunity. More deals are made at Alumni each year than at any other single event in our community. LBT Alumni know the power of YES! In fact, that’s where the idea for “Yes! Energy” came from, the community.
See, Finding Your Yes! has a strong tie in with your ability to create cash. Every business owner has run into times where they are presented with challenges and opportunities. To REALLY be successful, you have to take action. No one got rich by just sitting on their butt. There was work behind it, and more than a few Yes! answers to get that cash machine pumping out cash.
The biggest risk in life you can take is to take NO risks at all. I felt Yes! Energy was necessary because there were too many people who were starting to develop a negative mindset, a wait and see attitude that was literally KILLING their businesses. I couldn’t stand by and let it happen. I won’t let you NO yourself into closing the doors of your business.
So do yourself a favor. Say yes to something big. Say yes to a new partnership, a client, an educational opportunity. Give yourself the freedom to move forward. Really, it just takes one word. All you have to do is open your mouth and say it.
I hear it all the time. “But Loral, I’m not ready. I’m waiting for the perfect time, place, situation… ” Fill in desired perfect thing here. The problem with perfect is it doesn’t exist! Pursuing perfect is a really good way to miss out on some great opportunities, mess with your head and generally put your life and business on hold. Really, I can hear the hold music now. Wouldn’t you rather be making something happen instead of waiting for perfection?
By pursuing perfect, we deny ourselves and the world of our gifts. We do this because:
We don’t want to be wrong.
If you are going to do great things in life, you WILL be wrong sometimes. It happens. Don’t fear it. Embrace it, learn from it and move on. Real dialogue gets going when you don’t CARE if you are wrong. Source your confidence and certainty and, if you do received criticism or are found to be wrong, accept it. It’s going to happen. Not a matter of if… it’s when. So striving for being perfectly right all the time is the perfectly wrong thing to do.
We are afraid to look stupid.
There are times when you will look stupid. Spend any amount of time with a child and you will discover how quickly that kid will call you out about something. Kids’ honesty is refreshing, but it can also be eye-opening. When you do look stupid, just shake it off. Use your sense of humor and make a joke or laugh it off.
We can’t stand the thought of falling.
When you can’t stand the thought of falling, of failing and hurting yourself a little, you fail in the biggest way possible. You fail to take risks. Not taking a risk is the biggest risk of all. By not chancing anything because you are afraid of falling, you are killing your chance of experiencing anything new. Never limit yourself and you will be amazed by what you can do!
Entrepreneurship is an attitude more than a skill or a profession.
The term “entrepreneur” is thrown around a lot so let’s start by defining it so we’re on the same page. The American Heritage Dictionary defines an entrepreneur to be “a person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for business ventures.” In other words, it’s the process of creating or seizing an opportunity, and pursuing it even though there is a risk.
The goals of entrepreneurs may vary but two of the most common are 1. The desire to build or create something out of nothing, and 2. Financial freedom.
Entrepreneurs have a different perspective on things. They want to create something. They seek out opportunities. They watch for “change” or how to improve something. And most importantly, they want to finally be in control of their futures.
To be successful, an entrepreneur understands that they need to be logical and not fall in love with an idea but pursue it only if it’s deemed viable and marketable with a good chance of success. After all, ideas are just that — ideas — until you decide to take action on them.
Here are some common questions I get about what makes an entrepreneur:
Is everyone who runs a business an entrepreneur?
Many may not consider the newspaper carrier, shoeshine person, or grass cutter, entrepreneurs, though these are often early pursuits of those with an entrepreneurial bent.
Does it matter whether the business is part-time?
Some part-time activities are basically hobbies, or undertaken to supplement income and that’s fine. However, planning for growth is what makes an entrepreneur different.
Your path might begin by earning a salary in the business you want to enter, while learning more about it. This time can be used to develop a support network, professional and personal, and generating ideas to “bounce off” people you respect.
At what point does self-employment become a venture?
The primary objective of many self-employed people is merely to employ themselves (and others if necessary) at a moderate to good salary; some are even willing to eke out a living to do what they enjoy. This approach is often referred to as a “lifestyle” business, and is generally accompanied by little, if any, plan for growth.
Would you consider a person who inherits a business an entrepreneur?
From the point of inheritance on, it is their own money and financial security at risk. They could possibly sell the business, invest the proceeds in blue-chip stocks, and live off dividends. Some might consider managing a personal stock portfolio for a living as an entrepreneurial venture.
Would a person who inherited a small or marginal business, then took it to new dimensions be considered an entrepreneur? The inheritor could have tried merely to keep it going, or even to pace the business’ decline to just carry them to retirement. In a family-held business, long-term success is often a central goal.
Are franchise owners entrepreneurs?
Franchises are generally sure things. For many, operating a franchise is an entrepreneurial effort that comes with built in support. That support can make the difference, for many entrepreneurs, in their chances for long term success, eliminating quite a few of the obstacles and hurdles faced by those that decide to “go it alone.”
These questions are intended, not to develop a precise definition of entrepreneurship, but to help us understand our attitude toward its many forms of expression. You may answer them differently. It all depends on what your entrepreneurial attitude is.
Okay, your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these questions (and my answers) below in the comments.