“Everyone wants to be a beast until it’s time to do what beasts do.”
It all seems so perfect – doing what you want when you want, answering to no one but yourself, not having to be tied down to an office, living the luxury lifestyle, etc. etc. etc.
This is what the general perception of entrepreneurship has become. The rise of the internet brought amazing opportunities for anyone to become self employed and ultimately financially free, which translated into a wave of books, courses and self help gurus, glamourising it in their efforts to sell us their products. Books like The Four Hour Work Week (which is actually a genuinely valuable book, despite the title) and most online courses glamourise the laptop lifestyle and make the process of creating a full time income seem like a very quick process, not requiring much time or effort.
The process of becoming an entrepreneur (by that I mean actually creating a full time income for yourself) usually reveals three types of people:
- The dreamers. The people who follow online gurus, take courses, watch motivational videos, read books, make plans, look at different business models, talk to all their friends about what they are going to do. These people never execute.
- The quitters. These people have the guts to start something, but they fail when it comes to the long game. They get excited about becoming an entrepreneur, they put in a ton of effort at the start, but they give up at the first hurdle. It’s usually when they experience their first failure or don’t see results quick enough.
- The persistent. These are the people who understand what the long game is. They don’t fall for the get rich quick mentality. They believe in hard graft, and they understand that entrepreneurship isn’t glamorous.
I want you to become number three.
I wasn’t number three at the start. I was a quitter. I dipped my toes into many business models, did a bit of work and as soon as I got into the nuts and bolts of the operation, realising just how much work was ahead of me, I decided to move onto the next thing in the hope that I could succeed quicker.
BUT, my mindset changed over time. As time went past and my work ethic developed, I started to get used to the reality of entrepreneurship. Here’s what that reality entails:
- Hours upon hours at your desk doing ridiculously boring work in return for menial results (at the start, before you delegate it)
- A constant battle between doing what’s easy and what’s right
- Self doubt
- Losing friends
- Not feeling good enough
- Comparing yourself to others
- Very good days, really bad days
As soon as you become aware of what entrepreneurship actually entails, you start to embrace it and enjoy it. It’s time to take entrepreneurship off a pedestal and embrace it for what it really is.
You’ve GOT TO be in it for the long run. Rather than looking for results, let the fact that you are taking action be your source of happiness, because no matter what, that action will compound over time into visible success. Successful entrepreneurs ride it out (and enjoy the ride) because they know it is so worth it.
Look, you’re never going to get down to doing the long hours of hard work if you’re not honest with yourself about what you are getting yourself into. Developing the long term mindset is hard, especially as we live in such an instant gratification world. I like to use a specific habit on a daily basis to develop my long term mindset – I call it the pain and gain habit. Learn more in the blog post I wrote on it.