How To Be An Entrepreneur
In the journey of an entrepreneur, the most important thing is self-belief and the ability to convert that belief into reality.
- Mukesh Ambani
It’s not always easy to understand how to be an entrepreneur.
Though some of us were budding 5 year old lemonade stand managers…
…the rest of us only find out we’re destined for entrepreneurial greatness once we’ve chalked up ten soulless years as a disillusioned employee.
And when we make that realisation, where do we go?
There’s no “Entrepreneurial University” to attend. Why?
Well, it’s partly because:
- the entrepreneur’s journey looks so different to every one of us;
- entrepreneurial trends change quicker than any university could keep up with them; and
- the powers that be don’t want the masses knowing there’s an alternative to working for the man.
We can’t have all the humans quitting their jobs and enjoying themselves now, can we? (I hope you sense my sarcasm here…this kind of freedom is exactly what I stand for!)
If you’re at the point where you’re crying out for something more, it’s time to sit up and take notice.
In this article, I’ll share how to be an entrepreneur, even when you have no clue where to start.
Making the journey from employee to entrepreneur is paved with excitement, tears, and a heavy dose of personal growth. So strap in and get your notebook ready.
1. Get real with where you’re at in your life.
When was the last time you scrutinised your life?
Got raw and real with yourself about where you’re at and how much time you have left to achieve what you’re here on Earth to do?
If it’s been a while (or never!), here’s your chance.
Click this link to complete an epic exercise (what’s learning without implementation?) that will help you audit your life. In it, I ask you to take some quiet time to sit down and BE with yourself.
It’s essential to ask yourself all the questions you’ve been too scared to ask.
(Yep – that one too…)
Now, you might say to me, “Why would I be too scared to answer my own questions, Aimee? That seems a little odd…”
And my response would be:
Because you’re afraid the answers to those questions may need you to change (gulp).
Sometimes change is insignificant. Other times, it’s earth-shattering.
Either way, it’s most uncomfortable.
Change asks us to grow and expand. It also asks us to break down who we are and perpetually reinvent ourselves.
Are we a better human than we were yesterday? No? Fark. Back to the drawing board.
When our loved ones aren’t happy as they are, and yet we’re feeling stagnant, that causes conflict. And requests that we be brave.
Sometimes the answers to life’s deeper questions aren’t what we want to hear, but they’re always revealing.
They’re the overlooked breadcrumbs that lead us to the freedom we’re destined for.
Something we weren’t taught at school—but should have been—is that we are responsible for our own happiness.
We’re NOT responsible for anyone else’s.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow when we’ve played that game for years.
When we’re responsible for another’s happiness, it’s not fair to either of us. It means we’ve built our lives on a weak foundation. And we’re taking responsibility for the joy of everyone around us at the expense of our own.
That’s no way to live.
Which is why, if the only thing you do right now is complete my “life audit”—your life will still change.
2. Draw a line in the sand and reach for something more
Once you’ve gotten clear about where your life is heading and what you’re willing and unwilling to let continue…
…it’s time draw a line in the sand and declare to yourself (no-one else) you’re worthy of more.
What does that look or feel like?
What is it that you want and how are you going to get there?
Who will you journey with?
Only you know. And it will take some digging into yourself to fully grasp the answer.
The second step in learning how to be an entrepreneur is to reach for something more.
Often we get stuck in a mirage which fools us into thinking, “I’ve made this bed, now I’ve gotta lie in it.”
Sometimes this nonsense tricks us to such an extent that we think to ourselves, “I’ll put up with this for another 10 years.”
It’s in these times that it’s vital to slap ourselves around the face and realise, we’re only here for a short time.
We have dreams, visions, aspirations, and unique gifts to offer the world. When we don’t embody them, we don’t only rob ourselves, we rob the world.
3. Believe in yourself
Self-belief is the most empowering muscle to exercise.
If we have self-belief, nothing can stop us. We’ll always figure out a way to get what we want. When we get knocked down, we’ll get back up—again and again. When we believe in ourselves, we develop grit, determination, and drive that we can’t get from anywhere or anyone else.
If we rely on someone else to believe in us, we externalise our power. We give others the opportunity to take our fuel away in the blink of an eye.
Having self belief means embodying the knowledge that the risk is worth the reward.
When learning how to be an entrepreneur, this can be one of the most challenging parts to embody.
A great question to ask ourselves when we’re in this phase is:
Is it riskier to take a chance and grow? Or is it riskier to stay where I am?
As an employee, we’re used to receiving guidance from others—our peers, our boss, our underlings. We’re externally referenced and our decisions don’t always come from our heart because they’re not allowed to.
We have much feedback to offer, yet it’s not heard.
Sometimes as an entrepreneur, we are waiting for someone to come along and tell us we did something wrong, or how to improve.
But when we’re walking the path of the entrepreneur, there’s no one coming to call us into the naughty corner and tell us off.
We’re in the driver’s seat. Which is both scary and daunting at the same time.
To be successful, the entrepreneur has to develop the capacity to lead themselves.
4. Create a game plan and commit to your path
In the exercise you’ll soon complete, I ask questions designed to give you permission to look at your life and feel with clarity where you’re at.
It can be daunting to get so real with ourselves, but after we’ve felt the freedom that offers, we feel the excitement.
What can be better than starting a journey that has no end?
When learning how to be an entrepreneur, we can’t always know what the road looks like, but we can get clear on the destination and our next steps. As long as we’re taking steps, we’re on the right track. Yes, there will be detours, which is why a rigid perspective is more hindering than helpful.
If we keep at it, our success is inevitable.
Where are you going and why, and what do you need to do to get there?
What are the things you need to do daily?
Who are your role models. Are you emulating someone or forging your own path?
Who will support you?
When committing to your own path, you’ll need to commit also to yourself.
You don’t have a boss, you are your boss.
You don’t have a schedule, you make the schedule.
You don’t have to follow the rules, you make the rules.
This kind of freedom is dangerous. It will make or break you.
Commitment and will are the drivers of success. Dedicating non-negotiable time to your new path is essential. If you have people around you that you haven’t set clear boundaries with, now is your time to do that.
If you need help from your family to achieve your goals, now’s your time to ask for that. No one gets to their goal without help from anyone.
Having candid conversations about where you’re heading and what support you require is a must. Make it clear in those conversations you’re learning how to be an entrepreneur and you’re committed to this path. Ask for support, and if that’s not forthcoming, ask for them to get out of your way.
Get real with whether you’re committed to this path no matter what. Are you going to let someone decide how you live your life and grow your business?
If so, you’re not fully committed to achieving what you want.
If you are willing to fulfil your dreams no matter what, you’re also empowered. If something’s your fault, you can change it. If you outsource self-belief or control, it would make sense to focus on that part of your life before beginning your entrepreneur’s journey. If you choose not to do this, this issue will crop up again and again until you listen.
You must find hours in your day to commit to your new path. I call them “foundation hours”. This time will solidify your business and give you the strength you need to succeed. But only if you dedicate yourself to these hours no matter what.
Tally up the priorities you need to complete each day, and commit as much time as you can to them (without burning yourself out). Do the things that need to be done but you really don’t want to do first. (Yep, those ones!!!) Get them out of the way so you don’t procrastinate. Soon, you can outsource those things to someone who does want to do them (but not without learning how important they are first).
5. Stay in your own lane
Comparison is not only the thief of joy, but also success.
There is no one in this world that has what you have to offer. Your unique perspective, skills, and approach to life is something the world needs.
If you mould yourself to be:
- What you think you should be
- What is popular
- What is trendy
You will fail.
People don’t want to learn from or work with fake, inauthentic, or incongruent people. Being “youer than you” gives other people permission to do the same.
Show up and say YES to the uncomfortable (growth, expansion, triggers).
Say NO to distractions (like other people, opportunities, and offerings).
Own the path you’ve chosen and consistently remind yourself you’re building YOUR castle.
Are you building a modest stone cottage with a herb garden?
Whilst your neighbour has a moat, 12 turrets, and a dragon under the bridge!
The size and shape of your castle doesn’t matter. What’s important is your irrepressible commitment to building it despite the storms life throws at you.
6. Seek mentorship from people who have what you want
Have you ever asked for feedback from someone, only to disregard it? Or, worse still, listened to said feedback and it was the worst decision of your life?
Different people serve different purposes in our life.
Just like we wouldn’t ask a plumber to install our electrical wiring, we shouldn’t ask people for their opinion if they have no idea about how to be an entrepreneur.
The ONLY people we should be asking for feedback are people who have what we want.
Want a six pack? Ask a personal trainer with a six pack how they did it.
Want to develop self-awareness? Ask someone with a keen sense of self how you can learn.
Want a 7 figure business? Ask someone with a multi 7 figure business how they did it.
Sounds obvious, right?
But you’d be shocked how many millennials sit their parents down for a serious talk about how the internet will make them a multimillionaire—and are surprised by the raucous laughter that ensues.
Hint: asking someone who can’t fathom what an internet browser even is, isn’t the ideal human to share your wildest entrepreneurial dreams with. (At least not if you’re expecting useful feedback).
7. Get acquainted with your strengths and weak spots
When learning how to be an entrepreneur, you’ll discover how much work goes into building a business. And how rewarding that can be.
Life is balanced; so you’ll also learn how to complete menial tasks that make you want to stick your hand in the fire for some relief. Yes, you’ll wish you didn’t have to do them all—one day, you won’t. But in the meantime, you’ll have to suck it up, princess.
- developing systems
- building funnels
- managing finances
- creating content
- editing videos
- managing a team
- dealing with conflict
It’s all part of earning your stripes.
Eventually, you can outsource all the niggly tasks to someone that wants to do them. In the meantime, you’ll learn how the pieces of a business work together, what your strengths are, and what you’re terrible at.
If you consistently work to get better at the things you’re not good at, it’ll pay off in the long run.
As tempting as it is to immediately outsource all the uncomfortable tasks to a competent human who wouldn’t rather hack their eyes out…
…if you don’t develop a grounded sense of how all the parts of your business work, you’ll short change yourself.
Outsourcing too early without developing systems will hurt your business.
If you bring in a Facebook Ads Manager to run your accounts without first understanding what effective campaigns look like, you’ll run the risk of placing your trust (and hard-earned money) in an incompetent human and going backwards. When you realise it’s not working and re-hire, you’ll repeat the same mistakes unless you learn what benchmarks to hold your Manager accountable to.
8. Get an education in digital marketing
As someone who thrives off teaching herself new skills, I know how tempting it is to think it’s better to do it ourselves. When learning how to be an entrepreneur, it’s important to understand that learning from the experts is a shortcut you’ll DEFINITELY want to take.
Figure out one skill that you MUST become competent in, and do everything to master it.
Connect to the knowledge that learning this skill will bring your entrepreneurial dreams to life.
We don’t wake up a great speaker. We (usually!) start out awful and learn the skill over time.
We don’t wake up knowing how Facebook ads work. We master the skill by learning from people who’ve come before us.
Skills are learned. So is confidence.
For every second that you dedicate to learning how to be an entrepreneur, you’ll develop a skillset that will reward you for life.
The lunch breaks you forfeited, the flak you copped from people with a smaller vision, and the sleep you left behind will all be worth it.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to always remember:
Progress is more important than perfection.