"When students from Draper University asked Musk his advice for starting up, he quoted a friend, saying it's like: “like eating glass and staring into the abyss.” His followup advice for those seeking to follow this path? “DON'T DO IT!” " (Forbes)
The truth is that Entrepreneurship can be deeply rewarding and transform lives.
Problem is, most people look at entrepreneurship with rose glasses. They dream about the final product, the lucrative and satisfying career, but they often overlook the stress, sacrifices and endless amounts of work it takes to be successful. Most "overnight" success stories actually took years of grinding, burning the midnight oil and sacrificing the things they loved for a bigger vision. We live in the age of the "new economy" where technology has leveled the playing field and now more young people are finding success early on. Still, "three out of four venture-backed startups still fail" (Forbes).
However, if you are hardwired for entrepreneurship then there really is no other choice. So how do you keep the hustle going? What motivates entrepreneurs to sacrifice, focus and build? Fortunately, with over a decade of entrepreneurship under my belt, I can offer you a few tips to make sure your heart and spirit are in the right place. My hope is that these tips will guide you, as you build your successful start-up.
Why are you becoming an Entrepreneur?
This is a big one. Your answer can't be purely financial or self-serving.
Money of course is a great motivator and for all of us it is the end result but, that reason isn't strong enough to keep you going through the tough times. You need your "why" to resonate with you. More time with family, to be independent, to live life on your own terms, to make a difference in your local community, these are all great examples of strong "whys" that will keep you motivated, on task, and get you through till the end.
Make the most of your "Free-Time"
Instead of hitting the snooze button 5 times a day, get up, be productive and create early. You'll find that most successful entrepreneur's get up early. Rumors have it that Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45am, while Richard Branson likes to sleep in till a late 5:30 am. I myself get up at 5:30am EVERY DAY. (Even weekends). Gary Vaynerchuk is famous for his speech, "We all have the same hours in a day". What are you doing with those hours? When you get home from your job, do you get to work on your dreams? Do you lay around and rest from the long 8 hour work day and then hop on Xbox or PS4? You could use those hours building your business, learning, researching your next project. To a successful entrepreneur their business IS their FUN. It's not work. To be successful, you're going to have to make sacrifices, start with adjusting how you spend your free time.
Plan out your days
Everyone slacks from time to time and that's OK. However, get into the habit of keeping a calendar and planning out your day. I can't express this one enough. You can't sit there and "wish" you had a successful business, that's called a DREAM. You have to take MASSIVE ACTION to make it successful. I use Google Calendar to plan everything. Mark down blocks of time (Time Blocking) and get your goals, projects and events down into your calendar. Shoot this video, write this e-book, call this client, etc.
The list is endless. By getting your tasks down on paper (digital paper) your wishes now become reality and they become a task. This takes tremendous discipline and even I still have trouble blocking everything. This metric alone will keep your hustle real and provide tangible results for you and your business.
These tips are based on not only my years of experience as an entrepreneur, but these values are also held by top industry entrepreneurs. This is just a few of the common threads that they posses. Taking a look back at the list, it's not anything crazy, or some kind of super power. You have to have a deep and passionate reason to become an entrepreneur, You have to actually do the work of an entrepreneur and you have to keep on task. These tips seem extremely basic and "common sense". Yet, three out of four start-ups fail to even master these three basic concepts. Don't be the first three, be the fourth. If you're serious about creating a life that you deserve, one where you can live life on your own terms and be your own boss, then these three simple and effective tips will help you get there.
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