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.