I Cannot Be an Entrepreneur
“My position was cut on Friday. Now, I am not sure what I want to do. I feel like I could finally do my own thing, but at the same time, I am just not sure I’m cut out to be an entrepreneur.” This is a narrative I have heard over and over again in conversations with friends, peers, and clients. I always push back and ask, “Well, why not?” After so many years, I think I’ve heard every answer. Most of them are largely untrue. Allow me to just bust up some of those myths right now. Here are the most common answers myths to my question: Myth #1: “I can’t afford not to have a paycheck.” Myth Busted: If your position was just cut, you now know firsthand there is no such thing as a guaranteed paycheck… unless YOU are the one who is making the paycheck. Myth #2: “I am just not disciplined enough to be an entrepreneur.” Myth Busted: If you got up, got dressed, drank coffee, and went to work 40 hours a week for five, 10, 20 years of your life, then I think you can make commitments. Didn’t work somewhere for five or more years? Well, if you made it through 4th grade, you committed to something long-term, so I’m still not buying it. Telling yourself you’re “not disciplined enough” is your mind lying to you. Take ownership, and remind yourself you CAN be disciplined enough to accomplish your goals. Then, put accountability in place to help keep you on track while you bring them to life. Myth #3: “I have nothing to sell.” Myth Busted: Look at your resume. You had a job, didn’t you? When you interviewed, you sold that company on your value; HR decided you were a fit to help the company solve its problems. Someone paid you money to show up and do whatever you did. That means you have value to share with the world as well. You just have to identify it. Identifying your value means you are halfway there. Finding others who also see you as valuable will take you another 25% of the way there. Then all it takes is the last 25%: getting out of your own way so you can be successful.
Myth #4: “I need my side hustle to replace my current paycheck. Then I will quit my job.” Myth Busted: Remember how at the end of every Disney movie, everyone lives happily ever after? This myth is kind of like the idea of “happily ever after.” While you may have heard a success story or two from someone who managed to go “full-time” with their side hustle while still hustling full-time in their regular job, those fairytale endings are far and few between. Why? Because having two full-time jobs (your regular job and your side hustle), and taking care of your family, and fitting in your own self-care (oh yeah, remember that?) is simply too much for most of us. As a result, something gives… and that something is most often your side hustle. To try to justify your perceived failure, you blame your side hustle for not being valuable enough or not having a wide enough appeal. That leaves you with just you and your full-time job again. Now you have to take Myth #2 (discipline) and Myth #3 (belief in your value) and put them in your little entrepreneurial blender with a little kale (detox!), and whip that sh!t up into some bad@$$ company that saves the world. Even Disney got it right once — Yoda was a true entrepreneur: “Do, or do not. There is no try!”(exclamation added because I wanted to).
Did I just cuss, reference Disney, and talk about an entrepreneurial blender in a professional blog? Why yes, yes I did. You wanna know why? Because not only have I busted each of these myths here in this post, but I have also busted those myths in my own life. I have not one but FIVE companies that I run and freaking love. AND I am living the life I deserve. Is it hard work? Absolutely. Are there days that suck? Heck yes! Would I trade the freedom I have, the value I see in myself, and the way this life allows me to show up for my family so my children get to see me a TON more? Not in a million lightyears. So, next time you think, “I can’t be an entrepreneur,” think again. You may not want to be an entrepreneur, and that’s fine. But don’t tell me you can’t. You absolutely have what it takes to succeed in business — if you choose to. BONUS: My 8-year-old daughter thought you needed to have this added to your reading, so here is a message from the next generation of meliorist: Hey Starfish! I hope you keep throwing starfish just like my mom because she is a starfish thrower!!! Boom! Can’t ignore an 8-year-old, so get to it!