Trying to Determine Whether the Entrepreneur Lifestyle is for You
If you know the term “entrepreneur,” you might think that it’s a pretty romantic thing to be. You’re a jet setter and a highflyer. You drink champagne toasts with high-profile guests at your Swiss chalet every night.
It’s true that some entrepreneurs might make it to that point in their lives eventually. You can achieve success’s pinnacle if you dedicate yourself tirelessly to what you want to become.
It’s not every individual who gets there, though. Many who start on the path fall short. In this article, we’ll attempt to separate fiction from fact when talking about the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
It’s Hard Work in the Beginning
The first thing to know about becoming an entrepreneur is that it never comes easy, especially in the early going. Maybe you have what you think is a great company or business idea. That’s the foundation of what you want to achieve.
You’ll need funding for it. That might involve driving from meeting to meeting, talking to investors.
It will probably exhaust you, and you need to be careful if you’re on the road for days at a time. The NHTSA states that driver fatigue causes 100,000 crashes each year, some of them deadly.
During this phase, you must be:
- Relentlessly optimistic
- Ready to pursue any avenue to get funding
Once you have the money in place to start your business venture, then you can move on to what’s next.
You Must Exhibit Creative Flexibility
You should realize that even though you have what you think is a fantastic, money-making idea, it might not work the way you wanted.
There are thousands of would-be entrepreneurs who feel like they’re going to succeed in:
- Movies and TV
- The music industry
- Various manufacturing niches
For every individual who sees their dream come to fruition, though, there are so many more who fail. Maybe their first idea didn’t work, and they didn’t have the fortitude to come up with a better one.
If you truly want to be an entrepreneur, you need to have a finger in many pies. When one idea fizzles out, have another one on the backburner. If you are not ready to roll with the punches and prove your resilience, that Swiss chalet is always going to remain a lofty but unrealized vision in your mind.
Know When the Price Is Too High
Earlier, we spoke about funding for your venture. There are all kinds of ways of securing it, like finding an angel investor, talking with venture capital firm reps, or even crowdsourcing in some cases.
Still, you need to know when the cost of securing funding is simply too high. Some investors want ownership stakes in your company or business venture. That’s probably something you shouldn’t do, except in certain very unusual circumstances.
Part of being an intrepid entrepreneur is that you want to own a company one day or multiple companies. You might want to diversify and branch out into many different areas like Puff Daddy or Jay-Z did.
However, even though you can’t get off the ground without funding, some contracts or deals that investors might present to you may be so stacked in their favor that it’s not worth it for you to pursue them. Have a lawyer look at any investment structure before you sign.
If there are prohibitive clauses, then pass on the deal. You can always find other funding opportunities if you work hard enough at it. You don’t want to sign a contract that an investor can hold over you for years.
Build on Your Success
Let’s say that you’ve succeeded with your first company, and you’re on your way toward the riches and notoriety you wanted. That’s great, but it’s not a time to rest on your laurels.
Much like investing, diversification is the real entrepreneurial secret. Think about what someone like Elon Musk has done. He started with one idea, and now he has many different revenue streams.
One way that you can accomplish this is to surround yourself with a diverse group of ambitious, talented individuals. Think about the niches you’re trying to enter, and then attempt to swoop up the brightest minds in each of them.
If you’re getting into restaurants, talk to and hire the best chefs. If you want to get into the music industry, scout the best up-and-coming talent and try to sign them.
Don’t Forget Your Roots
If you’re making leaps and bounds toward becoming the mogul you always wanted to be, there’s one more lesson you have to learn. That is to stay true to your humble beginnings.
Some entrepreneurs reach superstardom, and then they don’t talk to their family members or friends anymore. They don’t help their relatives financially, and they refuse to talk about their past.
Don’t be one of these people. If you have a good reason for cutting off contact with specific individuals from earlier in your life, then so be it, but you don’t have to become a total snob.
The best entrepreneurs are the ones who can stay grounded. They contribute to charities or start nonprofits. You can select the causes that matter most to you and support them. Those are tax-deductible donations, and they’ll help you maintain a positive image with the public as well.
The ascent to the top of the niches you want to dominate will not be an easy one. There is always stiff competition, and you should be careful who you trust.
Wherever an individual finds success, wealth, and power, there are always those who are eager to pull them back down. It’s the crabs-in-a-bucket cliché.
Still, it’s so appealing to get to that lifestyle that you might feel this is the only path for you. If so, there’s nothing wrong with embracing the capitalistic spirit.
Just remember not to discard those who helped you, and to give back however you can. You always want to extend a helping hand to those who come after you.