Stop Dawdling and Get Real About Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
If you've ever been to a developing country, the very first thing that you notice is entrepreneurship. It starts at the airport and can be seen throughout the country. Jobs in these countries aren't abundant and the ones that are available to the average working person don't pay well. To survive, people in these countries become entrepreneurs. It can be selling food they made, jewelry they designed, games, candy, toys, performing and much more. They figure out how they can make a couple of dollars every day they operate their businesses. There's a lot to be learned from their example.
I'm writing this article from Medellin, Colombia. This is the twentieth country I've traveled to this year for my lifestyle business. Driving around this amazing city, I see entrepreneurship all around. When stopped at a street light, I'll see street performers, people selling things, and people offering tours. I can't tell you how much these mini-businesses and entrepreneurs make, I can only tell you that they are focused and consistent. They have to be to survive. If one business doesn't work, they figure out what other business they can start and they do it.
Being an entrepreneur is hard work. There are more times than not when you feel like giving up. There are times when you feel like all the stars have to be aligned for you to start or grow your business. At some point, you need to stop what you're doing and become an entrepreneur, much like the entrepreneurs in poorer countries who have no other option. You have to stop listening to your doubt, fear and the negative voices of others. Build your business despite how you feel. There are four things that you should stop doing if you want to be successful in entrepreneurship.
1. Stop all the learning.
The internet and social media have created incredible ways for us to consume the information we need to grow our business. It has also created an easy path to information overload that can keep you stuck. The reality is that you probably have more knowledge than you realize about your business and the industry that it's in.
Set aside specific days and times dedicated to learning new information that will help you grow your business. Don't let the latest and greatest Facebook Live, Webinar or three-video series suck you into what feels like compelling information but is not what you need right now. Don't let good copy distract you from taking action. You could end up learning that what worked for someone else but doesn't work for you.
2. Stop all the talking.
You've met that entrepreneur who is always talking about all the interesting things they are working on and will finish some day. You see them months later and nothing has changed. Don't be that entrepreneur. Let your actions speak for themselves. Let the things that you do show what you're about. Stop talking about what you want or will do, and just do it. Better to risk failing by taking action than resting behind the comfort of your words.
3. Stopping making excuses.
You might have a hard past. Things might be happening to you right now that make you feel like giving up. You might be afraid. Whatever is happening or has happened, you have a decision to make. You decide if you'll let your circumstances dictate your life and future. You have to open your eyes and realize when you have been making excuses and you have to stop. Excuses won't build your business and will keep you complacent instead of hungry. Don't let excuses have any part in your business.
4. Stopping worrying about what other people think.
It's natural to worry about what other people think but worrying about others won't get you towards your goals. This is your life. This is your business. Other people's opinions won't put dollars into your pocket. They won't be there during the good times and the bad. You have to get over what other people think and be willing to take the hard road that sometimes leads to failure. That road is usually where breakthroughs happen. Breakthroughs and milestones don't happen in other people's minds.
There's a lot to be learned from entrepreneurship in places where that is the main way to survive and make an income. In those circumstances, the business is driven by action versus all of the other self-limiting beliefs that can derail a business. You don't have to be in a third-world country to be a successful entrepreneur. But, you do have to stop talking and do even more. Let your actions show how serious you are.