From the outside, becoming an entrepreneur can seem so simple: Take a good idea, create a business around it and rake in profit. Reality isn’t as kind, however. Projects are constantly evolving, requiring regular hard work and deep thought to stay ahead, and not everything works out the way you might imagine. This means that anyone looking to become an entrepreneur needs to be well informed about what they’re getting into before jumping into an industry.
To that end, we asked 14 entrepreneurs from YEC to share the key considerations they believe people need to take into account before taking the plunge and becoming a business owner. Here’s what they said:
1. Uncertainty and Massive Risk
Most folks are aware of the risks of starting up their own business, especially with such a high percentage of businesses failing. Yet the concept of uncertainty is not discussed as often. As an entrepreneur, for the first 12 months (if you’re lucky), you may not know where or when your next paycheck is coming. It’s important to secure financial stability in some form.
2. Passion Over Currency
You’ve got to be really passionate on whatever industry or business you get into. Because if you’re not, you will end up quitting. Working to achieve certain amount of money is good and all, but your passion needs to outweigh it. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak minded. You will face adversities, struggle and failure. Now if you’re passionate and enjoy what you do, you will succeed eventually. – Fritz Colcol, ABN Circle
3. Who Are You?
An entrepreneur recently asked me, when should I take the plunge? My response: Well, who are you? Are you the boss? The leader? The don’t-take-no-for-an-answer, I’ll-do-whatever-it-takes, unequivocal dictator? If that feeling is in your blood, then go start a company now. If that idea doesn’t fire you up, you’ll always fight your play-it-safe identity. Which one resonates more with you?
4. Know What You Want
All entrepreneurs work extremely hard. My day starts at 4 a.m. because I don’t want to compromise and lose focus on my family and my health. After a full day of work, I still want to make time for the kids, read and put them to bed before getting back on emails. There are a lot of days when you question your choices so without a strong reason to do it, it is easy to give up!
– Amishi Takalkar, NAILBITER
You need to be willing to persist, even though it might take a long time before you start seeing a profit. Making a new business profitable takes time, money and lots of endurance.
6. Downside, Upside and Fixed Costs
Before taking the plunge, you will want to consider the downside of potentially not making money right away. The upside is easy to consider, as that is what’s speaking to you in the first place. You also want to weigh your fixed expenses and your obligations that will need to be met so you can calculate how much you need to generate to get by.
7. Your Parenting Skills
Becoming an entrepreneur is something like becoming a parent. When you create something that will require a lot of investment and you can’t quit on it even in bad times. If you want your business baby to grow up into a valuable, contributing member of society, then you’ll have to use all your resources to give it the best means to succeed. And of course, a good partner can make all the difference.
8. Tolerance for Failure and Change
Entrepreneurs often have to pivot or know when something isn’t working in order to make that change or give up on an idea. You need to consider if you have the ability to do that as well as handle the possibility for failure and keep going. It’s important to be resilient and not let barriers get to you. If you can learn from failure, then you have the fortitude to be an entrepreneur.
9. How Soon You Expect to Make Money
It’s important to have a clear business plan for yourself on the action steps that you need to take to start making money and grow your business. Create cash-flow projections, marketing plans and everything you would present to an investor. Many entrepreneurs think that if they don’t have investors, they don’t need a business plan. Don’t fall into this trap. You’re an investor too.
10. Setting Your Pride Aside
Don’t be swept away by the sexy titles like “Founder” or other titles that start with the letter “C.” Being an entrepreneur means being the janitor, the outside salesperson, the tax accountant, the roofer and (sometimes!) the exterminator. Your hands will get dirty and you will do unsexy work that’s far outside your comfort zone. Consider carefully if you’re up for the task.
11. How Much Time It Takes
It doesn’t matter what business you want to start, it’s going to take time. Probably a lot more time than your worst estimate. Getting clients doesn’t come easy even with a well-laid-out marketing plan (hopefully you have one). So be prepared to dig in, to follow through, to work at it hard and then even harder. Don’t get discouraged; perseverance is key!
12. Support Levels
Those entrepreneurs I know as well as myself all have asked ourselves if everyone close to us is supportive and on-board. You need to have them there to help and support you or it won’t work. They don’t have to work in the business per se, but they must be willing to ride out the ups and downs and take on extra to make it happen.
13. What You Are Willing to Risk
If you aren’t willing to make major sacrifices — including financial security, seeing friends, free nights and weekends, low stress — then being an entrepreneur is not for you. However, one can’t fully understand the extent of these sacrifices until they start and experience the first signs of suffering, but you’ll quickly understand, and then the question becomes: “How badly do you want this?”
14. Product and Market Fit
Before making any investment of your resources into a product or service, you have to objectively ask yourself: “Does this product or service solve a genuine problem for an existing segment of a reachable marketplace?” With a sober weighing of the product and market fit question, you’re more likely to select the more fruitful diving spots in the entrepreneurial pool.
4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes
See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?
I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.
Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.
Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?
Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.
Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.
1: Help More Ask Less
If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.
Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.
Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.
2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts
I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.
3: Manage Your Energy
Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:
- face fear
- feel fear
- release fear
- dissolve attachments
I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.
Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.
4: BE with Your Fear
I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:
- list subscribers
I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.
Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:
- will miss out on clients
- are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet
reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.
Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.
I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.
Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.
Quick Tips to Easily Find People and Other Bloggers Online
Unlike Las Vegas — where ‘what happens there, stays there’ — once something is on the internet, it’s pretty much there forever. This is something bloggers, content creators and businesses know all too well. Whether it’s a WordPress article, social media updates, of photos making their way into the Google index, it’s likely going to be online forever.
It’s not just about posting and uploading content on the internet that you need to worry. It’s also all of the massive and easily accessible information that can be found online as well. With more data leaks taking place than ever before, and pretty much having privacy being a thing in the past, it’s easy to find information on anything and anyone with just a few clicks of a button.
For example, have you ever met someone at a blogging conference or event, but forgot to grab their business card? A lot of times we want to meet such people again but have no clue how to find them or their contact details. Through social media and using online tools like a people search, finding exactly what you need is now easier than ever before. Thankfully, we have this amazing platform called the internet – where we are able to find people around us ourselves.
There are plenty of other ways to find information or direct contacts for people online. In addition to using a People Search, social media is also a great method for finding whatever you are looking for. This is especially true if you can find someone on LinkedIn.
To start off, simply grab a notepad and write down the name of the person you want to search. Once you do that, branch out names of people you think are associated to them or at least the name of the person who introduced them to you if you were meeting them for the first time. Next, try and connect businesses, offices, college, university or any piece of information you think is or can be relevant to them. By now, you must have a web looking piece of information already giving you a clue.
How Do People Search Engines Work?
Making the best use of the amazing platform that we discussed – the internet, we need to find online people search engines which will process all the information we know and share possible match results for people we are looking for. To help you understand what a people search engine is and how do people search engines work, just imagine a library or a music record store. People search engines have a huge pool of database with information that is allowed to be displayed publicly. Such information contains phone numbers, education, employment history and sometimes criminal history as well. However, the information uploaded with any people search engine must be approved or must be in accordance with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Once you have the maximum information with you uploaded in a people search engine, it will run a match and show most relevant list of result for people associated with that information. You may further screen the results by looking at each option individually to figure if that’s the same person you are searching for.
Meanwhile, there are other sources to track someone apart from people search engines. Finding people through social media platforms has also been observed to take a troll. Many youngsters put up millions of searches every day through social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. to find people they just met or to know more about them.
In all, finding someone in today’s world is no longer a rocket science. With multiple online people search engines and various social media platforms, tracking someone down has become as easy as finding a book in a library or a record in a music store.
How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media
Alonzo Pichardo says it best.
“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”
He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:
I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:
- had no blog to speak of
- linked to YouTube
- linked to Facebook
For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.
Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.
Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:
- can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
- WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
- forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand
Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.
Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.
Use social media for a little bit daily to:
- tag bloggers you mention on your blog
- help bloggers in groups related to your niche
- share your blog posts
- share other blogger’s blog posts
You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.
Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.
Pay Up to Play Up
I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.
I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.
But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.
I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!
Pay up to play up.
Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.
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