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10 Unexpected Reasons Why Being An Entrepreneur Rocks

10 Unexpected Reasons Why Being An Entrepreneur Rocks

When I was growing up, all the cool kids wanted to be in a band.

I wasn’t cool, so I hung out in the library – probably trying to learn how to be cool (but that’s another story).

Today, all the cool kids want to be entrepreneurs. Kids dream of having a start up when they grow up and professionals leave established careers to have a shot at the entrepreneurial dream.

As someone who took an active role in launch of three businesses in the last seven years I can testify to the fact that – contrary to popular opinion – there’s no glory in being an entrepreneur whatsoever.

Having said that, I absolutely love being en entrepreneur because every day I experience perks which I believe a “real” 9 am to 5 pm office job simply can’t provide me with.

Let me share with you a few that matter most.

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1. Fight Club

I’m very competitive in nature. I like to compete with myself and others. Being an entrepreneur, by its nature, means being involved in a never-ending competition.

Showing up on top in Google search results, making profit and scaling a business are all signs of being able to out think, out strategize and out market other entrepreneurs.

It’s like being in a boxing ring during working hours; I’m always either ducking, blocking or striking. Every moment someone is trying to beat me, which makes the game of entrepreneurship intrinsically fulfilling and rewarding.

2. Living a Designed Life

Because rigid boundaries of a job description don’t limit me, I’m free to design my life the way I want it. I then implement business strategies which allow me to have amazing life experiences.

This year, for example, I’m travelling around the world with my wife; since January we’ve lived in the USA, Spain, Israel and are yet to trek through France, Italy and Switzerland. Both of us are working from our laptops until early afternoon and spend the rest of the day exploring new cultures.

3. Creating Replaces Dreaming

I used to be a desire-driven dreamer. “I wish I had this” was a very common thought in my mind. My life was centered around a need to flip through glossy brochures and dream of buying luxury items which would make me feel like I had finally “made it”.

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Becoming an entrepreneur taught me to create real results. I no longer find satisfaction in dreaming or pretending.

4. No Bureaucracy

One of the main reasons I disliked the having a “real job” was because I felt like a lot of my energy was wasted on dealing with unnecessary meetings, office politics and red tape.

It was frustrating to see bureaucracy killing off the best ideas. The bigger the company, the less I felt like I could contribute to it in a meaningful way.

In contrast, as an entrepreneur I can have a great idea in the morning, discuss it with the team an hour later and have it alter the direction of the business by the afternoon.

Each person in a start up has a direct, noticeable effect on business strategy and tactics.

5. Enjoying Work

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all travel and perfectly balanced lifestyle. I go through periods when I work every day for three or four weeks from 6 am until late into the night, without taking weekends off.

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To someone works in a regular job that can sound like a nightmare. However to me work is an opportunity to create and push myself beyond my limits, so long hours are not a problem.

I look forward to going to work. Some days I stop working only because I need to to taking care of the most basic needs, like sleeping and eating.

6. Traditional Problems Disappear

When I was growing up, I was taught that “problem” was synonymous with something bad. Good life, then, was one without problems.

For entrepreneurs, “problem” is a synonym for “challenge”. And challenges are the reason we get up in the morning. Solutions to challenges are then used to create value which can be leveraged in the business.

I design my life around the challenges I enjoy facing. For example, as tempting it may be own a venture capital backed company, I am not currently steering my businesses in that direction because spending my days pitching, reporting to investors and trying to getting traction in the marketplace before their money runs out is not my idea of fun.

7. Powerful Relationship With Money

When you work for a corporation, your pay check is your main reward. Its sole purpose is to be spent. The by-product of burning that cash is happiness (which is a lie that we’ve been sold).

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When you have a start up, your context around money changes. It becomes a resource you take smart risks with in order to grow your business. The by-product of this process is growth (and a deep, lasting sense of fulfillment).

8. No Negative Moods.

I can’t remember the last time I was bored. Similarly, I also can’t remember last time I had to “kill time” because “there was nothing to do”.

9. Sense Of Adventure

I have a solid business plan for the next year. But none of my business plans so far went even close to the plan.

There are literally a dozen business opportunities I can explore in the near future, a dozen ways I can steer my business to exploit them and probably a dozen new opportunities which I’m yet to see and will need to consider.

This abundance of possibilities washes away any sense of routine and replaces it with excitement about upcoming adventures.

10. Great Conversations With Positive People

Entrepreneurs don’t whine and complain. They rarely engage in hollow water-cooler gossip about colleagues and “thank God it’s Friday” rhetoric.

I like hanging out with people who take full ownership of their life and I find that most entrepreneurs I meet fit that mold (they have to, otherwise their businesses would not succeed).

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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