Jan 25th, 2016
LIFE AS AN ENTREPRENEUR
When you read the title to this call it probably conjured up an image of a life of freedom, fun and travel. And although that is absolutely
a real possibility for you and your family, there is another side to it. Did you ever see the photo of the iceberg protruding out of the water
where below the water line is a a giant mass of ice and that part above the water is about 1/10th the size? Well this is as it is as an entrepreneur. There is an enormous amount of work, creativity, resourcefulness, ingenuity, relationship building and networking required BEFORE the financial rewards and freedom come. You will do a ton of work up front for little to no pay to get paid handsomely for years doing little to no work (although you will probably choose to continue working because it is so rewarding). As you look back you’ll realize you would do it all over again because its worth it, but as you are going through it, you may question your own judgement. And your family and friends will probably question your sanity. They may even mock you. And you must believe so strongly in your heart that you are doing the right thing for you and your family that the comments of others don’t matter all that much. You must know to your core that you are doing something that is good in the world for you to throw in the towel over the opinions of others.
As an entrepreneur, you will experience a roller coaster of emotion. Get ready for the highest highs and the lowest lows. As an entrepreneur, you will have to make some of the toughest decisions of your life. And you’ll have some of the most rewarding times of your life as well. You may go from depressed to ecstatic in the same day. You may be encouraged and discouraged in the same hour. You might be surprised by a break through and let down by a setback in the same week. It’s just as it goes in the life of an entrepreneur!
As we enter into this conversation, I want to read a couple of pages from a book I’m reading now. It’s called “Clay, Water, Brick” and it’s written by Jessica Jackley. Jessica has one of the most inspiring TED talks ever done. (https://www.ted.com/talks/jessica_jackley_poverty_money_and_love?language=en)
As you listen to this, I want you to ask yourself what excuses you may have been making about why you are not successful and what are the reasons you are being held back or not rising to your full potential. Is it because of time or money? Is it because you don’t possess the financial resources or the environment you grew up in? What is holding you back from achieving your dreams? Are you too old or too young? Is it the people you know or don’t know that are keeping you from moving forward? Your past? Or your current circumstances? What are the obstacles in your way?
(Read two pages from Jessica’s Book)
Being an entrepreneur means taking what you have . . . (or don’t have!) and working with it. As soon as you label yourself as an entrepreneur, you have identified yourself as a resourceful person. That means you figure it out! You find the necessary resources, support, people and money to get the job done. You learn to believe in yourself and take calculated chances. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, but for those people that refuse to give up on their dreams, it’s the best and only option. For those people not willing to settle, being an entrepreneur offers hope.
Again, I must emphasize that CHALLENGE comes with the territory. Challenge exposes the problems and issues that need to be solved. Entrepreneurs are not quitters. They take each new challenge as an opportunity to grow. Here’s one for you . . . the more successful you are as an entrepreneur, the more challenges will emerge on your journey. In other words, if you are not experiencing challenges, you are not growing . . . YOU are not growing and neither is your business. A lack of challenges means a lack of growth. Challenges are your benchmarks. If you have chosen to become an entrepreneur to get rid of your challenges, you have chosen the wrong profession! Your greatest vulnerabilities, character flaws and weaknesses will be revealed. And when they are, you’ll be called to figure out how to handle them. It may mean personally transforming yourself or finding someone else that can do what you need to get done better than you. As an entrepreneur, you only lose if you stop because each setback is a chance to learn and to grow. Quitting is not in the vocabulary of the true entrepreneur. And you willingly go through all of this because you know that you are doing something worthwhile that can make the world a better place.
Sometimes you see it before most of the others in your life. And when those closest to you reject your ideas, that can hurt. But it doesn’t dissuade you because you are committed to your cause and to see the job through.
Being an entrepreneur means taking 100% responsibility. That means not blaming anyone else for your shortcomings or problems. “If it is to be, it’s up to me!”
Remember Michael Jackson’s song, “Man in the Mirror”? As an entrepreneur, no longer can you blame it on your company, your comp plan, your upline or downline . . . you’ll need to transform it, go through it, go over it or go around it. OR accept it. And then come up with a solution that makes the situation better.
You’ll never hear a true entrepreneur blame other people for their lack of success. So the comment, “I don’t have an upline!” doesn’t work any more. YOU be the upline! Or if you are distraught because there are no meetings in your area, YOU start the meetings. OR if no one on you team or in your business is doing anything, you find out how to find the right people, infuse inspiration into your group and create growth! Taking 100% responsibility means if something is not working, you find the resources to make it work OR you accept it and come up with another solution.
Now this call was titled, “LIFE AS AN ENTREPRENEUR”. You probably expected me to talk about flying around the world on private jets and renting expensive yachts for parties on the bay. Well, that can be part of your journey if you choose as you create your future. Really the life of an entrepreneur is about you designing your life the way you want it to be and then having the freedom to create it through the development of your business. You don’t have to answer to anyone because YOU call the shots! You live where you want to live. You work as little or as much as you want to wherever you want to. You pick who you choose to work with and what you’ll be doing with them. YOU get to DESIGN YOUR personal and professional life! The life of an entrepreneur entails being bold enough to dream bigger and having the courage to step into those dreams.
There is not a successful entrepreneur on the planet that hasn’t experienced the ups and downs on his/her journey. We all have dreams but most give up on them fairly early and many don’t have the fortitude to continue on despite setbacks and obstacles. This is why only a few get to experience the rewards of the big money and free time. When I reflect back on my early 30’s, I remember how distraught I used to feel every 2 weeks when I would get my paycheck after 15 years of work and a college degree. It was a pit in my stomach. I had anxiety every time I went to work. I hated Sunday’s, Monday’s and Thursdays (Friday were okay because tomorrow was Saturday!). But then I never had enough money to do the things I wanted to do. I wanted to experience the world and much of my working life was gone just scrapping by. I was inspired by many entrepreneurs and I wanted to live like them. I wanted to make a difference and serve people on a larger scale. The job plan just wasn’t cutting it for me. I felt like I was burning daylight. I had to get better as an entrepreneur and take responsibility as a producer and not just a consumer.
So life as an entrepreneur means being in charge of your destiny. . . designing your own life. . . . . declaring your future. . . . being responsible for your results and the results of your business. You work when you want to. You choose your own team and play as big as you choose to play. You accept your wins AND your losses. You know that your losses represent your opportunity to learn. You take responsibility and step into your future even though sometimes you’re afraid and don’t know what lies ahead. You seek adventure and uncertainty. You choose to live life on your terms without the boundaries imposed by others.
Here are some I AM statements that can support you as an entrepreneur:
1. I am an entrepreneur
2. I design my own life
3. I create my future
4. I am a creator of value
5. I take responsibility for my future
6. If there is something I don’t like that is in the way of my growth, I eliminate it, go around
it or transform it.
7. I am resourceful
8. I am a problem solver
9. I accept challenges as a way to learn and grow
10. I expect to win
11. I attract great people into my business
12. I am a producer
13. I am living my highest purpose
14. I am making a difference in the world
15. I am living my dreams today
16. I am getting better every day
17. I own this
18. I am a dream broker
19. I am courageous and bold
20. I am an entrepreneur