Read more for 7 solid tips for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever work for myself. I remember sitting in class dreading the day I would work for someone and most likely hate my job. I dreaded it so much I stayed in school for as long as humanly possible. Then something magical happened. I realized I could start my own business. Be my own boss. Set my own hours. Now that’s a life I was excited about! Six months before I graduated my Masters I made a decision. I decided to free fall. I decided to do the unthinkable. I decided to become an entrepreneur at the age of 26. Knowing no idea what I was doing. Best decision I’ve ever made.
I’ve been blogging for three years in May. I’ve been through highs and lows. I’ve worked my butt off – but I’m exactly where I want to be. And excited about the future. Anyone considering becoming an entrepreneur – this post is for you. Want to know what it takes to become an entrepreneur? Keep reading.
Above all else, entrepreneurs need to be truly passionate about their work. It is more common than not put in overtime every. single. week. But, if you love what you’re doing, here’s the thing: it doesn’t feel like work. I love my job so much I look forward to work days. I love feeling in control. I love feeling creative. I love feeling passionate. I wouldn’t change my job for anything else in the world. Create a business you are truly passionate about and reflect your morals and values.
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It’s challenging. But here’s the thing. Entrepreneurs love a challenge. They don’t want easy. You need to accept money will be tight the first few years. You won’t be swimming in money. We live in a world obsessed with instant gratification. We want it. And we want it now. Running your own business requires sacrifice, long hours and some serious blood sweat and tears. We’re all scared. Scared it won’t work out. That we will fail. But we have to push beyond the fear – we have to be fearless.
Perhaps the most challenging part of being an entrepreneur is self-discipline. Every day you need to force yourself to put in hours. You don’t have a boss yelling down your throat. You have to be the one to set your alarm and wake up at a decent hour (let’s be honest, I still struggle with mornings!). You have to drag yourself out of your comfy bed and begin working. You have to set deadlines for yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed. You need to be disciplined.
Within the early years of being an entrepreneur you will hear “no” more often than “yes”. You will put it all out there and be denied. Again. And again. You have to understand it is nothing personal, it is all business. Two years ago, if a company didn’t think I was a good fit to work it – I would take it personally. Now I know it has nothing to do with who I am as a person, it just means a company is looking for someone older, younger, more experienced, residing in a different location etc. My mentor (and amazing cousin) Ashley Brooke had to ingrain that into my head. I’m a people pleaser. But, you cannot please everyone. You also need to stand up for yourself financially. People will try to lowball you left and right. I am still emailed daily by companies wanting me to work for free. Don’t work for free. Recognize your talent and worth.
A Little Bit of Crazy.
Let’s be honest. To be an entrepreneur you need a little bit of crazy within you. What does ‘crazy’ mean? Crazy means the drive to go against the grain. Crazy means to work hard. Crazy means to have no idea what you’re doing, but do it anyway. Crazy means to have faith in yourself, when others don’t. Crazy means to have to prove yourself over and over. But what is life without a little dash of crazy?!
Along with self-discipline, as an entrepreneur you need to practice self-love – and to know when you need to shut off. It’s so easy to become a workaholic when you’re an entrepreneur. There are times when friends or family need to tell me to put the phone down. Put the computer away. I could work all day, every day. That’s how much I love my job. But I understand it isn’t healthy. I have to plan ‘me time’. And so do you. Plan a spa day. Plan a girls trip! Take a trip to the beach! Exercise. Find a fun alternative to the gym!