From Dreamer to Doer: What Entrepreneurship Takes
P.T Barnum said: “Fortune (…) never helps a man who does not help himself”. True in the 19th century and true in the 21st as well. And what might have started with a few man trying to stand on their own two feet has served as the foundation for entrepreneurship. The gig economy has brought about not just increasing numbers of freelancers and independent work. It has also opened larger doors to entrepreneurs.
Small business owners achieve or are in the course of achieving their dreams. Everyone dreams, but not everyone does. A lot of people wish they’d have their own business or make it on their own, but they’re still stuck in their 9 to 5 jobs. So what does it take to make it in today’s entrepreneur’s world? How do you move from dreamer to doer?
Many people would argue that the difference lies in the action. Dreamers don’t take any action to turn their dreams into reality, whereas doers craft a path. But blind action will not take you anywhere either. What you need first and foremost is a vision. And you need to let your vision drive you through the effort, the obstacles that oftentimes seem insurmountable, and the journey overall. On the path to entrepreneurship, many things you thought were constants will become variables. Status quo will change, situations will change and your course might have to change as well. And that’s ok, but never lose sight of your ultimate vision.
A great vision serves not only as your driver, but it’s also inspiring for others. Articulate it well and you’ll be able to drive others towards it, get the funding you need, find the partners who’ll help your vision shape up and even grow. Being an inspiration to others is an important part in today’s pioneerdom.
Nothing less than relentless
Always keeping your vision front and center is a great motivator. But achieving your vision has more to do with hard work and sweat than with philosophy. If you set out to run your own business and achieve your dreams, you can’t be under the delusion that it’ll be easy. You may have great ups and little downs, you may experience huge wins, but with every stage you have to go on. It is a path of continuous action.
Determination makes the difference
In order to be relentless, to never stop, to never give up, you need determination. Determination makes the difference between the impossible and the possible, as Tommy Lasorda once said. Entrepreneurship will change your life, and changing one’s life is difficult. There’s disappointment to be felt, failure to be experienced and even helplessness. And it is your determination that will help overcome them all.
Discipline and time put you on top
As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” This is a hard lesson for entrepreneurs, as most of the time you need to accept that your ultimate vision comes with compromises along the way. You look around and you see overnight successes. But what you can’t see is that, behind what looks like overnight to you, success actually took a very long time. Give yourself that time. Don’t stop, keep running, but know that it’s ok for this to be a long run and not a short sprint.
The things you don’t know
Entrepreneurship is about taking a bet, and a bold one that is. A bet is an experiment and you can’t know ahead of time if it will work or not. In fact, there’s a lot of things you can’t know and a lot that you don’t. But you learn. Continuous learning is what turns dreamers into doers. And while you learn, you also grow. You wear a million hats, you change and you stretch until you’re so far out of your comfort zone, you can’t even tell what that was.
Investing in your business is a great start, but what will take you over the top is investing in yourself, in your mind. You need to focus on bettering yourself everyday, even if it’s small improvements. Along the way, it is these small improvements that add up to a big change for the better. Having a dream is the first step towards making it on your own. But taking action, persevering in that action and growing as a person are the steps you can’t do without.