I’m an entrepreneur, working on a start-up idea” – that is probably the most spoken sentence in Silicon Valley. Everyone seems to have ‘this project’ that they are working on. And even if they have full-time jobs, they have a business idea that they are pursuing on the side. GIVE ME A BREAK!
Seriously, I wonder how many of the self-proclaimed entrepreneurs out there rather classify as ‘wantrepreneurs’.
“In the often-accurate words of Urban Dictionary, a wantrepreneur is someone who is ‘always talking about starting a business, but never getting there’.”
And to be honest, I have seen more of them than the real entrepreneurs who actually have the grit it takes to succeed.
As a wantrepreneur you are so obsessed with finding the right idea that you end up paralyzing yourself in your search. You are in love with the fantasy of selling your company for big bucks, but not willing to make the sacrifice that comes with building a company. You sit at your desk, trying to find a solution before you even TRULY understand the problem. You want all the ups of the rollercoaster ride that is entrepreneurship, but don’t have the resilience to deal with the downs. You want it, but you don’t want it hard enough. And you probably want it for the wrong reasons.
Think of sports. For you to be a world-class athlete, you need to really get your stuff together. You need to practice and not let wounds or bruises stop you from going all in.
“You train while others still sleep and you train when others go to sleep. It consumes you, you consume it. Sweat is your fuel.”
There are the moments you love and those you hate. But you keep going until you become better; a little better today, then a little more tomorrow. You start as ‘unstoppable’ and turn it into ‘unbeatable’. The medal is yours, congratulations.
This hunger needs to be a must to be a successful entrepreneur. You need to want it really badly. You need to consume it and it needs to consume you. You need to be out there hustling while others still sleep and you need to hustle when others go to sleep. The answers are not to be found inside the building. They are outside and you need to go out there and talk to real people as opposed to sitting at your desk, trying to PowerPoint yourself to a successful idea. You can’t expect to be world-class but act half-heartedly.
“Being an entrepreneur comes with a price tag."
For example on the days you find out about a competitor or when an investor turns you down. Remember what Mike Tyson said? “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.” You have just got to own those moments, too. After all, you will get punched over and over again. But all that matters is how quickly you get back up on your feet.
Don’t fall into the wantrepreneurship trap. There are too many folks stuck in there already.
“If you decide to become an entrepreneur, know what you signed up for. Embrace all of its ups and downs. Own them. Want them. Thrive on them.”
It’s not impossible, but it’s tough. And to make it, you need to want it hard enough and want it for the right reasons. You don’t want to be driven by the idea of exit, but by the idea of impact…by actually making a difference in this world.
Does that description fit? It does? Congratulations! Go out there and proudly call yourself an entrepreneur.