What to Consider When You Want to Be an Entrepreneur
Today’s subject is something that is near and dear to my heart, and I cannot wait to share it with you. We're chatting all about kind of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. It is not step by step how to do it, but it's things that I want people to think about before becoming an entrepreneur. Maybe they've just started or they're considering it, but these are some of the things that you might not even know about.
I don't necessarily believe that you're born to be an entrepreneur, but I do believe there's a lot of personalities that do better. If you've got kind of certain traits or certain values, I think you are better to succeed. I know for me, even as a very young child, I never wanted to have a nine to five job. I just couldn't see it. I couldn't see myself doing the same thing every day. I couldn't see myself like sitting behind a desk. I couldn't see myself in that kind of life. From a young age, I guess I always knew I wanted to do something creative, something unique, something that was me doing me. Trust me, when I was a kid, I did all the things. I had lemonade stands. I had bake sales. I loved to run a good garage sale. In fact, one time when I was about nine years old, I had a carnival in my driveway. All right, so let's put this in perspective. It's Brampton, it's a single garage, single driveway home and I decided that I was going to host my own carnival for the neighborhood kids. What kind of carnival could I possibly host in Brampton with a single car home and garage? Well, let me tell you, all I kind of remember is there were a few “carnival games”. There was some game I created, probably with throwing and hitting a toy and knocking it down. I'm pretty sure I had a wagon ride where I would pull people around. The whole thing was a little ridiculous. I had one person come to the “carnival” who was not part of my family. It was this little girl who lived down the street, and I vaguely remember her bringing change. I would give her the tickets, and then she could choose if she wanted to play the “carnival” games or go in the “carnival” ride.
As I got older, what I found I did quite often is I would start working for somebody who owned a small business, and I would like the idea of their business, but I always thought in my head I could do that. I would take what they were doing and I would expand it or change it or tweak it, and I would start a business of my own. I guess I always have had that entrepreneur spirit in me. I always wanted to create and to do something. I don't think I ever even really wanted that consistency of a pay check, which is crazy. Most people want to know that you've got money at the end of the day and you're safe and you're sound. I think I always knew I could make it work some other ways, that if I was doing my business or I was creating something for me that the other pieces would all fall into place I believed at the end of the day, I could always find some way to make money and find some way to get by.
The other thing I always noticed while I was growing up and working for these people and in these businesses is that I would put my whole heart into it. I would be all the things that business would be. I'd be their communication; I'd be their brand. I would do all these different things for them. Then at the end of the day, I thought, why am I building a business up for that person when I could be building something for me that I could pass along to somebody or I could really put my whole heart into? If you work for a company that you totally love and believe in and put your whole heart into, I think that's incredible. I think that's absolutely amazing.
The first thing you need to consider if you want to be an entrepreneur is that you need to be focused and you need to know what needs to get to be done and then, of course, get it done. Whether you're starting up or you're working from home or you're working from a coffee shop or you're doing all these things. Being an entrepreneur, you have the freedom, you have the flexibility, but you also have to be the person to get those things done. I've been working from home for over twelve years. It's something that I am used to. I've done it now throughout my kids being little, my kids are now at school. But it definitely takes a certain personality and a certain person to really keep focused on what you need to get done. I think so many people learn this lesson during COVID when we were all working from home, and you realize that working from home can be incredibly distracting or overwhelming. You don't get a break, you're always in the same space. It's very easy to try and sit down and do your work, but it's hard sometimes to focus if there's all this other life happening while it happens at your home. You really need to be able to focus on what you need to get done and there's no one checking in on you. If you know you are a person that gets very easily distracted or things grab your attention, then you need to set strict boundaries and rules of how you are going to work from home, how you're going to get these things done. Create those schedules, create those systems, create those reminders to really get your work done and get focused on and what you need to get doing. There are sometimes things in my entrepreneur day that I don't love to do, but I know they need to get done and I create a time for them and I make sure they get done in a timely fashion. There are many times in my day that I might not have an exact plan, but I do know there are certain things that have to get done.
The second thing you need to think about before becoming an entrepreneur is be ready to wear lots of hats and learn the skills on how to do them. When you're first starting out, you are going to be all the roles in that business. You are going to be the creator, the sales manager, the website designer, the social media marketer, the communications expert, the HR Department. You have to be ready to take on all those different roles. You have to also be ready to learn some of the skills for those new roles. Maybe you aren't great at accounting, but you need to be able to learn what you need to do to keep it organized. When you do pass it on to the accountant, it's ready for them. It's ready to go. The other thing you want to do is when you are ready to take on all these new roles and skills, you have to take the time to learn how to do it and to constantly be able to keep learning. There are so many things that are changing all the time, especially when we're talking like websites or social media.
To me, wearing the many different hats is my favorite part of being an entrepreneur. I know that my day is not going to look the same and I love that. That's the part that really lights me up. Of course, there are some of those jobs that I do not love and they are not what I'm really great at. But when I first got started, those are the things that you kind of have to do. Then you hit a point when you can start looking at those lists of things or those different hats that you're wearing and what ones can you pass along to somebody else? There's probably an expert that can do it much better in much less time. It's going to cost you a little bit of money, but you need to find out what are some of those roles. What are some of those things that you can take off your plate and then pass it up to someone else? Sourcing out that's a whole other conversation for a whole other day.
The third thing when you want to become an entrepreneur is you want to be clearwhy you are doing what you're doing and where you want it to go. There are going to be highs and lows in your business. You need to know why you're doing it. You need to know when things get a little rocky and you don't know if you're going to make the money for the end of the month why you started this business in the first place. Is it for yourself to create that time freedom, that financial freedom? Are you building something you eventually want to pass along to your children? Know that if you have that strong why of why you're doing it and if you are doing it to stand up for something you really believe in, then that is going to help you. When things get a little bit rough, you also want to be very clear of where you want this business to go. When I was just out of high school, I was performing and doing kids birthday parties, and I absolutely loved it. I dressed up as a princess. I would sing, I would dance, I would play. It was amazing. And like I said, I always worked for these people, and I thought I could do that. So, I started this business for birthday party entertainment, and it started growing, and I didn't have a vision in my head of what I wanted that next thing to be. All of a sudden, I had people asking me for different kinds of parties, different kinds of performers, different characters. I started offering more. Well, then I had to start hiring people, and that brought on a whole new bunch of skills and issues. Then all of a sudden, I realized I was doing all of the organizing and hardly any of the performing and no longer really what I wanted to do. Not only that, I had to deal with performers not showing up and all these things happening that I finally said, STOP! This is not the vision I actually thought it was going to be, and I had to take a step back and really look at it again. Be very clear. Do you want this business to be a small business? Do you want it to be a medium sized business? Do you envision this business growing huge and hiring tons of people and being this great, amazing thing? Awesome. Go ahead, build those things. Create them. Make the vision and be ready that the vision could change, too. That's all right. Our seasons in life change sometimes, and sometimes what we thought we originally wanted looks a little bit different. Maybe it's adapted. Maybe it's changed. Maybe your goals have changed, and that's fine, too. it's always important to have a clear vision of where you want that business to be and how you want to create it and grow it.
The third thing to think about if you want to be an entrepreneur is you have to be ready to set boundaries when you start a new business. It is so easy for that new business to take over everything you're doing in your life, and it's your 24/7. That's all you talk about. That's all you think about. That's all you can do. You are so worried about this new thing, and it's so precious, and you're trying to help it grow and you're trying to develop it that this business takes over any life you wanted to have. To be an entrepreneur, you need to be ready to set those boundaries.There's going to be times when you are going to be busier. You are going to have to put in the time and the effort and the late nights and the early mornings. You might be thinking about this business all the time, but there's also times where you need to say, hey, wait a minute. I got into this business for time freedom, and now I'm working even more than I was before. That is when you need to ask where are the boundaries? Maybe you do not check out your phone after a certain time at night. I know a lot of business owners that no longer have phones in bedrooms, computers in bedrooms. They also have set routines that is the end of their business day. Now it can be family time, right? Really setting those boundaries, especially when you're working from home, is very key to have a very successful entrepreneurial life.
The next thing you want to think about when you want to be an entrepreneur is be ready to take care of yourself and your mental health. I talked about if you didn't have those strong boundaries, that it's very easy that your business is going to take over. It can take over your life. That's all you're thinking about. Morning, night, all the time, your business, which is amazing. But you also have to put yourself in there and what helps you. Be prepared to schedule some of those times. You want to make sure that you have a plan in place to help you with your mental health, because being a business owner can be very stressful, especially when you're trying to make money, especially when you're leaping from a nine to five or a comfy set job with benefits and money and all those things. If you're getting rid of that and taking this risk and this opportunity and this incredible chance, yes, it can be insanely stressful. Then you start hiring people and you're responsible for them. Plan a way to keep your mental health in check. That is different for everybody. For me, I need to move my body. I need to run. I need to work out. That happens in my day almost every day, every day or else. I turn into a grouchy bear and it's messy. That to me, keeps me sane, keeps me focused, keeps me energized in me. That's what helps me with my mental health, but maybe there's something that helps you. Listening to music, watching some shows, talking to somebody, taking a walk, taking a break. Schedule those pieces in your day. You need it, and you deserve it.
The next thing you need to think about if you want to be an entrepreneur, the reality is being an entrepreneur can be a little bit lonely. I've never really had the nine to five. I don't even really know what an office culture is like. I've worked in restaurants; I've worked in all these kinds of random sort of jobs, but I've never really had that office culture connection. If that's something you're used to, you are going to be surprised by the world of being an entrepreneur. It can be lonely for a while. It can be just you. Even when you have ideas you want to bounce off of somebody, you need to kind of look for that network of people. Look for those people you can connect with and chat with and talk to, because very quickly you can kind of get stuck in your own brain, stuck at home by yourself. You want to make sure that you have a support system and make it easy and accessible so you won't be so lonely anymore. I recently joined this network group, and they are incredible. They are all these like-minded business people. We meet on Zoom for an hour, once every two weeks. I originally didn't know if it was going to be a group I wanted to join because I thought it was like that traditional networking group and that wasn't what I was looking for, but that's not what this group is. Know that there are different kinds of groups out there. This group, they start off every meeting with a word or video and it inspires genuine conversation. We're not even chatting business. We are chatting life and moments. But it's like because we know we all are busy entrepreneurs. Like, we only got an hour. We want to connect really quickly. That's what we do. Within two minutes, we are connecting, chatting and I walk away just so fulfilled and ready to take on my day and see what's next. It's just so inspiring. I want you to find your people, find network groups, find something that works for you. I also love creating mastermind groups with a handful of business owners and just asking how can I help you? Let's work on something together. What's something you're working on and really work it out together. Because sometimes as an entrepreneur, when it's just you, it's a little sad and it's a little lonely.
The next thing you need to think about if you want to be an entrepreneur is you need to be ready to experiment, adapt, and change. You may have a vision or goal in mind of what you think your business should be or product you should sell or a service you should provide. If the numbers don't add up and people aren't buying and people aren't interested in what you're doing, you need to be ready to switch it, to try something else, to try something new, to keep things going. Trying something new and failing is not a failure. It's part of business. You need to be ready for it, and it needs to happen. One of my favorite parts about COVID and I can't believe I'm actually saying that. But one of my favorite parts about COLVID was seeing how businesses were able to change and adapt and take on these new forms. It was so amazing to see what they came out with. I loved all the out of the box thinking.
I loved how yoga studios and workout studios, started offering everything online. My mom, who teaches yoga, actually really prefers teaching yoga online because you are reaching these people that might have felt a little bit uncomfortable going in class. They can just turn off their camera. The engagement is obviously very different, but you are offering things to people that may not have experienced it otherwise. I love how businesses created curbside pickup. Now it seems like something that was so natural, but that actually didn't happen until a few years ago. There are many ways these businesses were able to get super creative, obviously it was during a horrible time, but that was how these businesses survived Covid and they were just amazing. I love how product-based businesses were able to create like monthly memberships or things that they never thought possible with their businesses. Once you start adapting and creating and really exploring and experimenting, you never know what could work for your business. Then the last thing you really want to consider if you want to be an entrepreneur Is you want to be in it for the long haul. There is no get rich quick plan. Expect it to be long haul. Expect it to be highs and lows and good days and bad and days. There's going to be bad days, but you never want to quit on a bad day. Wait, take the time, let it digest, let yourself think it over. Go through your pros and cons, do all the things you need to do to make a decision but never, ever quit on a bad day. We need you to be an entrepreneur. We need you to be amazing.
Thank you again and join me on the www.therenaissancemama.com to get some more information and all the most exciting things that we have happening.
Check out this episode on podcast - So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur
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