As I’m sure you agree, not everyone is prepared or has the right profile to run a business. While we have no certainties about anything – because life’s a mystery – what I can tell you is that over the last years it was possible to clearly identify a whole list of attributes that people who are able to run from the same old standard life-plan end up having.
One important note: here, we’re particularly focusing on men and women that could have chosen the regular and deferred life plan of working from 9 to 5 in a corporate cubicle. Instead, they decided that it was time to pursue their own gig and to live a much richer life, when it comes to happiness and, naturally, money. Because, as you know, life’s too short to wasting 8 hours a day doing something that leaves you empty.
So, what do these guys have in common? How can they abandon a safe pay-check at the end of the month for the risk and unknown? And why would they even do that, in the first place?
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?
In this guide, I will share with you what are the traits that lead people to face the risk and overcome any barrier until they are successful. Here, you’ll learn what you need to have or develop if someday you also want to run your own hustle with all the perks it has attached.
After having the full list of attributes, I decided to aggregate them into 3 different groups.
GROUP I: The Reasons
Why would you risk the same old deferred life plan? What type of questions do these guys ask that leads them to believe there’s something much better out there waiting for them?
GROUP II: The Personal Traits
What are the singular traits and attributes that these guys have and you MUST also have to overcome any challenge in the demand for freedom and happiness?
GROUP III: The Beliefs
Finally, what are the stories they tell themselves every day? What are their deep-seated beliefs that help them building a tremendously robust mindset?
I hope at the end you are able to respond two specific questions:
- Am I ready to create my own business?
- If not, can I learn to think like these guys?
GROUP I: THE REASONS
1#: I feel empty every single day
This is how it usually starts. We wake up every day feeling miserable and we don’t even know why. Yes, it’s terrible to go to work, but because apparently, everyone in the office feels the same way, maybe that means it is just a life’s fatality.
But to some rare and extraordinary people, this fatality cannot be accepted as truth. The daily grinding doesn’t bring them any joy, and often the question in their mind is: “Is this all I get from life?”
So, these guys start reading and studying, and that’s how they usually start understanding that everything that is worthwhile in life doesn’t come easy, but there are ways to achieve happiness and fulfillment, it only takes the will to change.
2#: My monthly income is not adequate to what I worth
One very common reason is the money. Barely everyone feels their salary is way below what it should be. So, in order to make an extra buck on the side, or to completely change their lifestyle, a lot of people become determined to create their own rules.
Now, don’t take me wrong: entrepreneurship is definitely not only about making money. But we have to recognize that this is a major reason why people create businesses in the first place.
3#: I am working to fulfill other people’s dreams and not mine
This one is huge. Until quite recently, perhaps 20 years ago, people were satisfied and fulfilled by simply serving their supervisors. The idea was: I receive this letter from my colleague A, and I must pass it to the colleague B. That’s my job and my responsibility. And that’s all.
However, with the opening of communication and worldwide information, a lot of men and women have started questioning why the hell should they spend all their lives working for someone else – especially when the supervisors don’t appear to be more qualified than them. Also, with the rising of the success and money industries, the habits of the millionaires and billionaires are at our disposal, at a simple mouse click. And people start hearing things like this:
“Follow your dreams… or you’ll be spending the rest of your life working for someone who did!”
4#: I want to be autonomous and to manage my time as I please
Finally, one huge reason is also the will to manage the time freely and living autonomously, without feeling obliged to certain schedules, to the daily commuting, and running from the rat race.
Nowadays, this is the typical dream sold by the Passive Income industry. Being able to work from everywhere and making money while you sleep. In spite being possible, it is also monstrously difficult, only reachable to those who share the following traits.
Nevertheless, we cannot ignore that it is one of the main reasons for people to decide on creating a business.
GROUP II: THE PERSONAL TRAITS
Yes, there is nothing as important as having rock solid determination. It is so easy to just give up. And a lot of times, it will be very appealing and extremely hard to resist. The daily obstacles are giant mountains that, a lot of times, you have no idea how to overcome.
Besides, there are a lot of times when you simply cannot sleep at night. You’re so concerned with your business, with someone or something negatively impacting your business, with the operation, or you’re just thinking about new actions to implement, that you won’t even be able to sleep.
And, then, you feel exhausted, burned out, brought to your knees. But still, you have to find the strength to keep going. And that only comes from determination; the absolute commitment that nothing and no one will stop you from walking your journey.
Candidly, I’ve never been a confident guy. And that’s why it is so hard for me to realize that I’m adding great value to people, or to ask someone to pay for my time. Personal experience apart, it is crucial that you realize how important it is to be confident about your whole value.
As any of the four traits, it can be worked out. I’ve been working out my self-confidence since 2014 because it is mandatory if you want to lead people and face all the entrepreneurial obstacles.
Can you imagine how it is to have a supplier screaming over the phone because you’re negotiating prices? And imagine having him cursing you; completely throwing you to the garbage. Can you handle that time of pressure?
Sometimes it really feels like a jungle in the businesses world, and IMHO you absolutely need to develop unshakable self-confidence to stand still when someone’s trying to bring you down – because it will eventually happen.
Another trait had to be humility.
Having the capability to embrace any challenge and learn with it. Being a forever student of life, businesses, and people.
If an entrepreneur lacks humility – as so many of us usually lack – he’ll be obtuse and skewed toward his own reality and solution.
While some people say that typically entrepreneurs are those really stubborn guys, my humble opinion is that entrepreneurs are those who have the capability to LISTEN, to OBSERVE, and to LEARN.
And it requires humility. It requires having the capability to understand that we know absolutely nothing and that we must surround ourselves with people who can easily help and complement us.
Definitely one of the most important traits ever for anyone, but especially important for entrepreneurs. The day-to-day running a startup is all about adjusting, adapting, fixing, solving critical problems.
You cannot imagine the quantity of issues that appear every single day. Each issue is like “oh damn, if we don’t fix this, we won’t be able to make money, and we cannot pay salaries this month!”
You’re constantly dancing with your heart in your hands. And flexibility is absolutely crucial because the “by the book” procedures do NOT apply always to the entrepreneurial reality, I’m afraid. So, you must be constantly looking for new ways to get things done.
GROUP III: THE BELIEFS
These beliefs were originally published on “The Stories Entrepreneurs Tell Themselves Every Day“.
BELIEF #1: The Rule of 5 by John C. Maxwell
One of the best pieces of advice came from John Maxwell. And I’m sure this is unjust to hundreds or even thousands of great advice this man has to offer you. But if there’s one I will always keep close to me, it is the power of Momentum – The Rule of 5.
Mr. John Maxwell starts by asking you the following questions – slightly adapted version from what I recall.
“If you have an ax and your goal is to cut a tree, can you be sure that by the end of the day, that tree will fall?”
Nope. Especially if it is a big tree, it might take years to cut. You cannot do it in one day.
“What if every single day you pick up your ax and you hit five times the tree? What do you think will eventually happen?”
The tree will fall.
The difference between the forever-wannabes (or as Brian Tracy says “The Someday Island”) and those who actually achieve things is created through consistency and momentum, and does not rely on ephemeral impetus.
BELIEF #2: Locus of Control
There are two types of people: those who have internal locus of control and those who have external locus of control.
By itself, the locus of control means the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control. The big chunk of society will always find an excuse for anything that happens with them. If they aren’t promoted, it is certainly because of the supervisor’s shortsightedness. If their son has a terrible attitude at school, undoubtedly it is because of the teachers’ poor education standards. If they don’t feel as accomplished as they should be, it is because of external forces that limit their time and choices.
You can easily identify this tendency in a normal chat with someone, by paying close attention to the way they speak. Even if they aren’t excusing themselves, you will see that people with external locus of control tend to externalize the responsibility, even in what concerns to other people.
If you’re speaking about someone who is really “successful” – whatever that means – the person with lack of internal control can easily find a reason to the other’s success: it can be richness, abnormal lifestyle conditions, or luck, but the reason is always related to something that this person cannot have. Because if he had the same conditions, obviously, he would do exactly the same or even better.
The entrepreneurs see the world differently.
They pull toward themselves the responsibility for everything that happens in their life. From the good to the bad stuff, everything is on us. Even if ultimately there’s an outcome that doesn’t have a direct correlation to this kind of person, an individual with internal locus of control will quickly think on what he could have done better.
You see, the biggest story that any entrepreneur will ever tell to himself is that he can achieve anything, but it will mostly depend on his own capability to make things happen, and not on external and unpredictable events.
BELIEF #3: Reap What You Sow
This is an old one.
Many times related to “God’s Justice”, the reap what you sow principle illustrates an astonishing truth about how why “what goes around comes around” exist. Some say “You can’t litter negativity everywhere and then wonder why you’ve got a trashy life”. Others say “Life is an ECHO. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you will reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others exist in you.”
Now, even though I’m aware this principle can easily sound cliché, the fact is that it has really changed my perspective toward life, as I think it can also change yours. It is a principle that not only provides the basis for delaying gratification and developing long-term perspective, but it also relates to the Law of Attraction – what you see is what you get.
If I may tell you my personal experience, prior to 2014 I used to be quite negative and critical. I used to think that I could spend all my day expressing my criticism for everything around me, from people’s behaviors, to the politics corruption, to the type of conversations we have, etc., etc.
However, what I didn’t know is that as long as I had that angle, that was what I was planting. So, “life” – if there’s such thing – was only bringing me more of the things I was constantly looking for: more things to criticize, dumber behaviors around me to comment, more corruption news to piss me off, and so on.
So, from the moment I started studying these concepts, namely the reap what you sow principle, everything changed in my life. I am suddenly capable of achieving my goals – and I started failing a lot more often too.
I’m a much more confident and positive person, which naturally reflects on the way other people treat and offer to help me. Obviously, this is a mere consequence of my initial predisposition to create a better world and to solve some of the problems people have.
I’ve changed my perspective from a “smart yet salty guy” to a wannabe leader who does not embrace and resign with the current status quo, and who wants to inspire people and drive change in the world.
If you are turned toward failures, concerns, and excuses, it is only natural that you won’t see the opportunities passing by on your back.
But if you turn around and become receptive to those opportunities, then, my friend, great things will happen to you.
BELIEF #4: Theory of Chaos
Finally, I’d like to share with you the true meaning of the Chaos Theory.
Some call it the “Butterfly effect” because it is based on this idea that a single flap of butterfly wings would be enough to raise a storm at the other side of the globe.
So, let’s understand what is the Theory of Chaos, how can you easily find it in your day-to-day, and what does it mean when we put your entire life in perspective.
This theory was first studied in the field of weather. Now, I won’t pretend to be a theoretical expert, so please pardon my lack of scientific knowledge. For our purpose, the important is that you understand that a minimal, tiny and minuscule difference in the calculation of weather was leading to two radically opposite scenarios: a beautiful sunny day or a terrible storm.
And why does this happen? Well, because the tiniest of the events causes a chain of reactions in hundreds, thousands, and millions of other events that eventually lead to something huge.
You see, in life, we are all connected, even if you don’t think so. Everything you do in life, and everyone with whom you interact play a role in a big plan for your life. Every single event is connected. It is because of an advice your parents gave you when you couldn’t even understand it, that you later in life develop the right mindset to achieve what others can’t. And this might happen 20, 30, 40 years later.
This is the reason why some of the best and the worst things on earth happen. Everything and everyone has a starting point. And all we make from the starting point leads us to where we are today.
Now, think about your life. I know it is not an easy task, but can you think back on when you were a child and see how the decisions that you made, the advice that you received, and the mistakes that you did have all led you to where you are today?
Can you now understand how this phenomenon will also impact your future?
Some day later, when you are 80, 90 years old – I don’t know, it is even possible that you live to 120 nowadays – you will look back at your life path. You will be able to connect all the dots.
And the question is: will you have achieved what you originally desired? Do the dots connect to something you truly believe was your life purpose?
If you made it until here, congratulations, I’m really happy for you! You’re showing commitment to your goal, and as you’ve seen, that’s one of the most important traits to becoming a successful business owner.
So, here are the two questions I said you’d need to ask yourself at the end of this guide.
- Am I ready to create my own business?
- If not, can I learn to think like these guys?
What is it going to be?
Will you be able to develop the necessary traits and the core beliefs to getting in action and start changing your life path? Or, perhaps, you already have those traits but you’re feeling stuck?
I want you to know that my purpose with this guide is not to discourage the guys who don’t yet have these traits. Not at all. My goal is to underline what it takes to successfully launch and run a business, so you can resonate with these stories or you can learn with them.
I’d like to wrap up with this quote from Mario Andretti. It always makes me remember that it all comes down to getting in action, executing well and persevere.
Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
Thank you for investing in yourself.
Feel free to email me to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any question or want to discuss any specific topic, I’m more than happy to help you. I can’t promise a swift response, but I’ll always get back to you.