Entrepreneurship is an enticing word, that dances around many of us as we run on our daily hamster wheel, especially these days, as our stress levels seem higher than ever. The idea of owning our own business, being our own boss and creating something for ourselves, holds immense appeal. The dream that we can create a life that is built on our interests, strengths and passions is extremely alluring. And the world can certainly do with more people doing what they love to do, rather than feeling frustrated with where they find themselves.
Of course, we know that the road to entrepreneurship is never easy. It is paved with setbacks and pitfalls. In today’s post, I want to share 5 attitudes that you can adopt to help you prepare yourself for the challenges that will inevitably face you in our life as an entrepreneur.
1. Think and Act like the CEO of your own life
Long before you are a business owner, you are the owner of your life. This means that you need to decide to take responsibility and be held accountable for your life. The whole of it. As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, you will probably have very few people holding you accountable for how you spend your time. Now, the buck stops with you! Whether something is done or not is up to you.
If you want your business to succeed, you have to be willing to be responsible and accountable.
Take responsibility. This means:
- You do not blame others, the economy, the political situation, or even your financial situation for what is happening in your life.
- You find ways to improve yourself or what you offer, rather than becoming offended and bitter when things don’t go according to plan.
- You do what you have committed to doing: You stick to it; You find a way to get it done.
As an entrepreneur, every element of your business and your life is in your hands. It’s up to you to decide what you can achieve and what you want and need. If you don’t have the dedication and drive to see it through, it won’t happen. (Tony Robbins)
2. Be Single-Minded
Being an entrepreneur is not only about making money. It is the opportunity to use the skills and talents that you have to make a positive impact on the world. Being your own boss gives you the opportunity to do something that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and get going.
Its no good chasing every new idea that comes into your mind, like a dog chasing rabbits.
Take time to really think about
- Your interests, passion and skills and
- A need or opportunity that you have feel strongly about
And then do the work of defining what you hope to achieve and how you will get there:
- Create a vision board, write out a vision statement. Write and sing a visionary song. Do whatever you need to do to create a crystal-clear vision of what you want to achieve. Your vision needs to inspire and energise you. Visualise yourself succeeding in achieving your goal or dream every single day.
- Create a plan. Map out what you need to do to get to where you want to go. Write up a business plan. Set targets that will guide you towards your big goal. Be single-minded in reaching for your goals.
As the leader and CEO of your business, you have to believe in what you are doing 100%, otherwise you will lack authenticity and no-one will believe in what you are selling.
3. Be a Courageous Go-Getter
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo.
Every entrepreneur needs courage. Every business owner is faced with tough days that need you to dig deeper than you knew you could. Every business owner who has really succeeded has had to do whatever it takes to make their dream a reality. This means:
- Do not put off for tomorrow what can be done today.
- Record your activities, so that you can look back to hold yourself accountable for what you have actually
- Find ways to save money and time. Small saving made regularly add up to big cost reductions and big opportunities.
- Do not entertain the option of failure. Never give up and never give in.
- Be persistent. Don’t stop trying. “Perseverance is not a long race, its many short races one after the other” (anonymous).
- Make no excuses. As a wise person once said, “You can make money or you can make excuses, but you can’t do both”.
All your best laid plans will be in vain if you never act on them. And, procrastination has been called “the natural assassin of opportunity”.
4. Have a Positive, Can-Do Attitude
Optimism gives you eyes to see opportunity. Your attitude determines whether you will see opportunities or obstacles. An optimistic person is more likely to take on the risks, which makes them more likely to choose the adventurous road of entrepreneurship.
If you want to protect your positive attitude, surround yourself with friends who are uplifting, positive and encouraging. Avoid those who rain on your parade and point out all the “realities” that will prevent you from succeeding.
I know of 2 great ways of developing and nurturing a positive, can-do attitude:
- Give thanks every day. Be grateful for what you have.
- Write out and speak positive affirmations about yourself and your life. Allow yourself to imagine yourself as a positive, can-do go-getter who is a successful entrepreneur.
Affirmations are short, positive statements:
- They are stated in the present. So, even though you have not yet achieved what you hope to achieve, you speak as though you had.
- They are focussed on what you WANT, not what you are wanting to avoid.
- They need to be believable to you, but not so believable that you could achieve them tomorrow – you do need to stretch yourself if you want to grow.
“You can get better or you can get bitter” (Anonymous).
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but if you think it may be for you, surround yourself with others who will support your dream and avoid those who try to tell you that it cannot come to pass.
Remember, if you think you can, you will be right, at least most times. But if you think you can’t, you will also be right, almost certainly.