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4 Questions That Separate 'Want'-repreneurs From Entrepreneurs Are you asking yourself 'if' -- or 'how?'

By Brandon Turner

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Michael Jordan once said, "Some people want it to happen. Some wish it would happen. Others make it happen." Which kind are you? Do you take action to achieve your goals, or are you just waiting for what you want to materialize?

Related: 7 Ways to Re-Motivate Yourself at Work

In other words, are you an entrepreneur or a "want"-repreneur?

Perhaps that's an unfair question. After all, most of us can be a little of both at times. Some days, I'm an action-taker, and other times I realize that I'm dreaming but not taking steps to get there. So, how can you make sure you lean toward the "entrepreneur" side as often as possible? Easy -- ask yourself these four questions.

1. Are you asking 'if' -- or 'how?'

There are few things in today's world that simply cannot be accomplished. Everything else is on a sliding scale of difficulty. In other words, in today's connected world, it's rarely a question of "if" but "how."

Therefore, if you want to move from want-repreneur" to entrepreneur, you must become someone who continually asks, "How?" rather than "If." Because, asking the latter gets you nowhere: It allows your brain to simply say no." It signals your return to evenings of Netflix and popcorn.

Asking "how," in contrast, gets your creative juices flowing and allows for solutions:

  • How can this business be built?
  • How can I raise capital?
  • How can I buy that commercial building?
  • How can I write a book?

By assuming that something can be done, you're just a matter of time away from figuring out how to make it happen. For example, when I invest in real estate, I don't ask if I can afford to buy a property; I ask, "How can I afford to buy?" That question has allowed me to acquire more than 50 rental property units, and I'm just 30 years old.

So, how are you going to reach your goals?

Related: 50 Thoughts That Can Motivate You to Do Anything

2. Whom are you learning from?

Three times a week, I play racquetball at my local YMCA against my good friend Robert. Robert has played, on and off, for almost as long as I've been alive; naturally, he kicks my butt every game. So, why do I keep playing him?

Because I'm getting better. Sure, I could play someone with less skill, but I've had to ask myself: Do I want to win games, or do I want to get better? If I wanted the former, I'd play against my 4-year-old niece, Jada.

The same principle applies to entrepreneurship. While it seems silly to take advice from someone less successful, want-repreneurs do it all the time. They take money advice from broke friends and entrepreneurship advice from family members who have only ever worked a day job. Half of the advice is bad, and the other half is far too kind.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs look for those who are wildly more successful than themselves. They want their butt kicked because it means they're growing. They want to suffer because they know suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character.

3. What do you do about your many ideas?

Both entrepreneurs and want-repreneurs have a lot of ideas.

Want-repreneurs have a new idea each week and are constantly chasing the next shiny new object. Each idea seems more awesome than the previous one, and they spend a few days thinking and planning until the passion fades and they move on to the next idea.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, understand that the passion will not last, but they continue to work on just one idea for as long as possible. They know that nearly any idea will work, given enough time and focus. Rather than jumping from one idea to another, entrepreneurs follow one path until it either fails or succeeds.

They know that success is not about doing the right work, but doing work right.

4. What's on your schedule?

Here's a little riddle for you: What day is the best day to work on your business? For the want-repreneur, it's always tomorrow. Want-repreneurs have a lot of plans and ideas, but rarely take the time each day to work on the nitty-gritty in their business.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, schedule time each day to work on their most important tasks. This concept, often known as time-blocking, can completely revolutionize a business because tasks are given a place of priority among all the calls, meetings, commuting, haircuts, kids' soccer games and other daily events. Time-blocking is how entrepreneurs get things done.

Related: 5 Motivation Blocks Hurting Your Success, and How to Transform Them

Being a want-repreneur, then, is easy. All you need to do is dream. But if you want to see your actions produce fruit, you need to shoot the 'want-repreneur' in yourself and start taking action.

How about today?

Brandon Turner

Real Estate Investor and Co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast!

Brandon Turner is a real estate entrepreneur and the VP of Growth at, one of the web’s largest real estate investing communities. He is also the author of The Book on Rental Property InvestingThe Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down and several other books. Buying his first home at the age of 21, Turner quickly grew his real estate portfolio to over 40 units using a variety of creative finance methods. He and his wife Heather live in Grays Harbor, Wash. 

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