Is being an entrepreneur all that it’s cracked up to be? People often approach me at the end of my speeches and say that they want to be an entrepreneur just like me. In those moments I often think, “Are you sure?”
I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur for twenty years and I like to believe that I’m pretty good at it. I’ve won some awards and have been able to reach some pretty special milestones. I’ve also learned that it doesn’t matter whether you choose to become an entrepreneur, but instead whether you choose to think like one. It’s the difference between getting acceptable results and reaching exhilarating goals.
Let’s face it, running a business is not for everyone, but thinking like a person who does is mandatory for anyone wanting to be a success. Here are five lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur:
1. Find a Mentor: Choose someone that exemplifies the kind of person you want to become. Ask them to have a one-hour phone call with you once a month. Have ten questions prepared for every phone meeting you have with your mentor. Every successful person on the planet has a coach. Will you be the exception to that rule?
2. Take Risk: Make a daring phone call once a week. Ask for something you deserve. Maybe you’ll want to consider moving to a new city or town. Talk to your financial planner about what kind of calculated risks you can handle – and then go for it!
3. Be Creative: When I wrote my first musical, I couldn’t find a theatre in Toronto that would take me on. Instead of giving up on my idea, I rented a big loft and built a theatre and invited sold out crowds to join me in my living room each week for four years. Get creative in finding solutions. There’s always a solution. Can you find it?
4. Think Big: How many stories do you have to hear of ordinary people doing extraordinary things before you start believing it? Start anywhere, because “anywhere” is still somewhere and it will lead you everywhere.
5. Avoid Excuses: For every excuse you can think of as to why you can’t do something, I can find fifty people who could have used the same excuse and didn’t. Excuses are the things people use when they are too afraid of doing something. You’re better than that.
Whether you want to run your own business, be the best parent in the world or the greatest broker in the city, applying the mindset of an entrepreneur to any component of your life puts you in control no matter who you work for.
Stuart Knight is an acclaimed author and speaker who helps teach companies how to create powerful conversations with their customers, colleagues and clients. Learn more at www.stuartknightproductions.com
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