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.
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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.
Why Does Blogging Seem Hard?
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The question of blogging questions.
Why does blogging seem hard?
Blogging in and of itself is not hard. Blogging is a concept. A blog is an inanimate object. It is neutral. It is not hard, tough or easy.
Human beings label their feelings with emotions. THIS is why blogging seems hard.
Doing the neutral activity of blogging feels scary, meaning you unearth and either resist or feel fears. Feeling the fears feels highly unpleasant. Especially if said fears feel deep, strong, and terrifying, depressing or anger-inducing.
But if you resist these deep fears, and refuse to feel them, and blog mainly from a dominant vibe of fear, you fully experience the feeling of blogging being super hard. Blogging is actually neutral but you refuse to feel deep fears that blogging has unearthed. You resisting fear leads to prolonged blogging failure, aka, not seeing much money and traffic, aka, blogging being really hard.
Real World Example
A few moments ago, I scanned one of my daily blogging income streams. I made a little less than I had been making for 1 of a billion reasons. 1 such reason may have been the internet crashing here last night. We experienced a few big, powerful thunderstorms.
Anyway, I noted the dollar amount being lower and felt fear arise in my body. Rather than resist the fear, I felt the anxiety, and my mind hurriedly racing ahead to next month’s paycheck, and then, after breathing deeply for a few moments and fully embracing the fear, I released it. I did not resist it. I felt it. The fear disappeared. I then blog from an abundant, relaxed, detached, generous energy, which helps me become more and more successful.
But the old me – and most bloggers – see a lesser dollar amount for daily earnings, feel an intense fear arise, panic, bury the fear versus feeling it, and run around like mad men and mad women with that DEEP FEAR DRIVING THEM, desperate and greedy, resisting the fear, being driven by fear, and of course, they do stupid stuff with a dominant fear energy guaranteeing their blogging failure. Then, these humans who refuse to face, embrace and feel fears, proclaim blogging to be hard. This is a lie. Blogging is neutral. But you refuse to face, embrace and release your fears, so blogging *feels* hard.
Feel fears when fears arise. Cry it out. Shout it out. Feel depressed or deflated. Do not resist fear. Then, after feeling fears, you will feel good, detached, relaxed and trusting. Feeling these dominant abundant energies, you will create, connect, trust, persist and blog from a relaxed, chill energy. Blogging from this calm, trusting, generous energy makes blogging easier and easier and easier. Money flows in easy. Traffic flows in easy.
Blogging went from hard to easy because you faced fears, felt fears, and progressively blogged from an abundant, generous, calm, detached vibe.
Tip for Feeling Fear
Engage in some energy management ritual that expands your awareness. I do deep yin yoga and power walk daily. Prayer and/or meditation may help. Breathing deeply helps. Do anything that expands your awareness so you can observe and feel fear versus resisting this destructive energy.
Some humans bury fear with busy-ness and jobs they hate. Other people turn to drugs or alcohol to bury fears. All of these folks are unhappy and depressed because you cannot feel good, abundant, relaxed and successful with oodles of fear buried deep inside of you.
Be with your fears. Be gentle with yourself. The blogger who feels and releases fear soon learns blogging gets easier and easier.
Do You Need to Respond to ALL Comments?
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One mistake holds back many bloggers who fail to scale. These folks obsess over responding to every single comment, every email, every message. Why? Pride. Obsession. Attachment to people. Fear of missing out on an opportunity. Fear of missing out on friendships.
Unfortunately, if you spend 14 hours daily responding to every single social request and chat and email and blog comment and message – even if it feels fun – you lose opportunities to scale through blog posts, guest posts, podcasts and doing interviews.
Please; if responding to virtually everything feels fun, do it. But 99% of bloggers BS themselves on this because they respond to EVERYONE from an energy of fear, pain, lack, resistance, force and hustle. Bad idea guys. Force negates. But, power attracts. Meaning if you are willing to use power, and love, and fun, to inject into your work, you quickly see: the cornerstone of massive scaling and persistent growth and freeing blogging success is writing, publishing and placing blog posts and guest posts.
Today, how do I have most fun growing my business, reaching more people, helping more people, and leveraging my blogging presence? Do I achieve these feats by spending 3 hours responding individually to every retweet, Like, blog comment, and so on, and so on? Nope. I spend those 3 hours effectively and efficiently by writing and publishing 3-6 blog posts and guest posts. Blog posts and guest posts scale. Blog posts and guest posts help me reach hundreds to thousands of targeted folks through each blog post and guest post.
Blog posts and guest posts never seem to be written by people who complain about having no time to blog post, and, guest post. Meanwhile, a hefty chunk of these humans spend 1, 2 or 3 hours responding to every Like on Facebook, from a strained, forced energy, fearing they miss out on traffic and bonds, not having fun doing it. But the wise move would be spending 10 minutes responding to comments on Facebook and maybe a few Likes, then, devoting 2-3 hours to writing and publishing blog posts and guest posts.
Think Scale Not Small Time
WAY too many bloggers play small, giving most of their attention and energy to building 1 to 1 bonds. Making friends is important but meeting new friends is even more important.
One lesson I learned from millionaire bloggers: scaling through blog posts and guest posts is the quickest way to reach more people, make more money and increase your blog traffic. Building 1 to 1 bonds by engaging commentors plays a role in succeeding online, but the top bloggers on earth are not running around, spending endless hours responding to Likes on Facebook.
Titans also build one to one bonds through engagement, but if you are not getting 1000 page views a day, something is wrong in the scaling department. Namely, you are playing it small, not thinking about scaling. Scale. Guest post. Post to your blog. Make this the focus of your day. Then, feel free to engage folks 1 to 1 in a limited time frame.
You need to let go responding to every single person all day long to genuinely scale, to reach an increasing number of folks and to do what matters most to your business.
People will buy your stuff without you engaging them. Guaranteed. Folks will find your blog, love your content and buy your course or eBooks. This is a simple, organic process that you muck up every time you believe you need to respond to and engage every single person who reaches out via all online channels.
Should You Aim for Blog Post Quality or Quantity?
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The human mind is silly. It thinks one or the other. It thinks you cannot have it all. You can have blog post quality and quantity but you need to make a clear decision on what you define to be a quality blog post.
Quality posts do not mean 2000 to 4000 word, pillar style masterpieces. A quality blog post answers the question you asked via title or delivers on the promise you made on the title.
I do understand how Google ranks 2000 word or longer, SEO-optimized posts requiring hours of work for even skilled bloggers to write, package and publish. But Google also ranks 600 words posts. 600 word posts are quality posts. Guess what? For the 30,000 bloggers out there asking the title question, I just wrote a quality blog post because they get a clear, concise, dead on answer.
Avoid Scarcity Thinking
Any time you FEAR posts are not quality because word length is 600 words, you think scarcity, or, not enough, or, not quality. But fear is not true. Fear is illusion. I can write 10, 600 word, quality posts today to make a massive impact and to help people IF I think abundance. But if I only believe I write quality, helpful posts in the 2000 word range, I stopped thinking abundance and began thinking scarcity. I chose fear over love and abundance. Naturally, all bloggers who think scarcity either struggle, fail and quit or work like beasts just to make end’s meet. Not good.
Go for quantity and quality. Some posts may span 800 or 1000 words but you can answer most questions and solve most problems in 600 words if you have immense clarity. Seth Godin answers most questions in 100 to 300 words. You have so much more to work with. So…work with it!
Think abundance. Blog abundance.
I have referenced Gary Vee many times recently and his 2000 video interviews on YouTube. Before he landed world famous speaking gig he had a pure abundance mindset, doing videos left and right, offering quality insights on a high quantity of channels. Blogging fools would try desperately to land an interview on a TV show, pitching, fearing, worrying, striving, and wasting months of time, thinking scarcity. Gary thought abundance, seized every opportunity through interview requests from some entrepreneurs who registered zero views per video, gained massive exposure organically, and, the dude became famous through his abundance mindset.
He thought quality and quantity. He did not hold back.
I am beginning to gain massive exposure through the 5-10 guest posts and blog posts published under my name daily. I do not turn down a microphone. I also know the easiest way to become well known is to focus heavily on quantity and quality, to share the wealth.
Many bloggers would obsess over a quality post being 2000 words, SEO-optimized and all that jazz, spending 4 hours to write said post on blogging tips. Meanwhile, I just wrote and published 8 quality, 600 word posts during those hours. I am being seen helping people in 8 spots. While you are on the sidelines. Even if that SEO’ed out, 2000 word post gains massive traffic over the long term, via Google, I am gaining even more massive traffic, being in 8-10 places daily via my posts and guest posts.
Think exponential increase. Imagine my 10 guest posts building up over 365 days. That is 3,650 guest posts, 3,650 spots where I am spotted online. That is a lotta spots!
See why it pays to think quality and quantity?
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