5 Choices I had to make to finally become an Entrepreneur
5 Choices I had to make to finally become an Entrepreneur
What makes a person finally decide to become an Entrepreneur? What choices do they make that release their power and open them up to their destiny?
Six months ago, I decided to become an Entrepreneur. Finally having the courage to declare it to myself and the world. Getting to this point was a long and emotional journey where I searched the deepest parts of myself: my talents, motivations, fears, and dreams.
Given the life I had, most wouldn’t have guessed I wanted to change course so dramatically. I had built a challenging career working for large corporations, running multi-million dollar projects. I worked hard, had a lovely home we’d renovated, and a bright future. But becoming a mother put the future of my life and my children’s in focus. I was always telling them they should have big dreams and follow them. But…I wasn’t.
In the quietest parts of myself I would often ask, “Am I living the life I was created for?”
As I reflected on the course of my life, I came to realize the dreams I once had for myself had somehow dulled over time, almost fading from memory. The joy of creating something that was from the very essence of who I was had crept out of my daily routine. I had always envisioned building something that inspired others, something I connected with so deeply it didn’t feel like work.
Without knowing it, I was walking to the precipice of choice; difficult choices every entrepreneur must make before taking the leap.
CHOOSE COMFORT, OR PURPOSE
I had invested enough in my career to be able to work pretty consistently, doing jobs, to be honest, I really disliked. But the pay was good and consistent, and my family didn’t have to think too much about paying our bills. I would tell myself whenever I became unsettled, that doing work I had absolutely no connection with was the price I had to pay for financial predictability.
I had to release myself from the laziness that sometimes comes with too much comfort, and can eat into the human spirit that desires creating, building and nurturing.
I had to discover and choose with deep conviction, to begin to live with purpose – a force that defines and drives the mission of my life.
Getting there will require you to do a great deal of inner searching, absolute truthfulness about who you are and what you need, and finally the decision to leap; completely, and with the power of your entire person.
CHOOSE RISK OF FAILURE, OR NEVER HAVING TRIED
Being an entrepreneur involves a constant sharing of your vision, inspirations, and ideas (awesome and sometimes wacky). And deep in your heart you wonder if people (some who you care about), will raise an eyebrow, or worse yet, blatantly tell you and others you’re crazy…gone off the deep end.
I had to get comfortable, not so much with failure, but the idea of rejection after putting myself out there.
The time will quickly come when you will have to make the conscientious choice to pursue that dream, in the face of possible criticisms and set-backs, weighed against the consequence of never knowing what heights you could have reached.
CHOOSE SALARY, OR SELF-GENERATED WEALTH
I needed to decide how important it was for me that the wealth I had was a result of something I had built and created, rather than a cheque I received each month for a commitment to a company. This one was tough as I have three children, a mortgage, and a lifetime of expenses to think about. But what became increasingly clear was financial commitments were going to be part of my life whether I did something I loved or not.
As an entrepreneur, the wealth I created was limited only by my own decisions, drive, and commitment.
To make the transition from a corporate job to self-employment less risky for my family, I continue to hold a corporate job until my business is earning sufficiently for it to become my full-time gig…fingers and toes crossed! I have built a plan with dates and profit targets to ensure I stay committed and on track.
You will need to decide where on the spectrum of risk you can live. Can you jump in completely (good on you!), or do you need to move into entrepreneurship one step at a time. Whatever you decide, build a plan and commit to it!
CHOOSE ROUTINE, OR SELF-DIRECTED FLUIDITY
For many, life in a job looks like this: get up, commute to work, sit in cubicle and watch clock, commute home, make dinner, watch TV, go to bed…start over…wait for weekend or vacation to enjoy life. The repetitive nature of corporate life can be comforting for some. Entrepreneurship is not for them.
But those that sit at desk jobs unhappy completing tasks they feel little connection with, need to choose an alternative that may look more like this: Monday – follow up on leads and host webinar, Tuesday – blog and make videos, Wednesday – face-to-face meetings, Thursday – attend kindergarten open house with a couple of work hours squeezed in, Friday – host a business development event followed by taking the kids to gymnastics.
If constant change, working hard with focus, wearing different hats, and flexibility are what you crave, choose a life that you design each day. And reap the resulting reward - large, small, or none.
CHOOSE MASTERY OF MEDIOCRITY, OR THE NEVER-ENDING PURSUIT OF GREATNESS
As my corporate career advanced, my thirst for learning and growing declined. I used to read voraciously. But I couldn’t remember the last book I had read given the stresses of my job and busy family life. Despite gaining very little new knowledge since university, I was considered a top performer at work, completely oblivious to the radical way the world was shifting and changing. That’s what happens when you’re heads down.
Building your own business forces you to look up and around, and recognize how critically important it is to learn all the time! You need to pivot constantly to reach your customers and stay relevant to them. You need to work it every day without rest. And only the latest knowledge and insights allows you to do this effectively.
I used to feel pretty good about myself professionally; now I’m a beginner again. Everything feels new and difficult. You’ll need to decide how willing you are to become a student again, struggling to balance on one foot all the time. But growing like you haven’t ever before.
My hope is that if you read this and relate to what I’ve expressed, you search yourself completely and make the difficult but liberating choices that will drive you to pursue your full potential, and your dreams.