When I first entered the world of small business and entrepreneurship, I had no idea how many self-limiting beliefs I carried. I held no grandiose ideas of replacing an income or improving the life of my family. I simply hoped for a few extra hundred dollars each month to cover the rising cost of gas and maybe a weekend camping trip every once in a while.
In fact, the very word “entrepreneur” elicited feelings of entitlement or arrogance. I pictured some guy named Chad who was offered a free ride to business school and was granted insider information that the rest of the general public would never be privy to. In other words, I thought that launching a business was reserved to a privileged few and inaccessible to people like me.
I’m here to tell you today that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Continue reading to learn four valuable lessons I’ve learned about entrepreneurship to see if you have what it takes to jump into the world of small business.
The Truth About Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs are Problem Solvers
An entrepreneur is first and foremost a problem solver. If your excuse for not starting or scaling your business is because you “don’t know how to,” then you are by definition not an entrepreneur. If, however, you decide to take a step of faith and say something along the lines of, “Who, what, or where can I find the information I need to learn how to do XYZ,” then you, my friend, are an entrepreneur.
Today, when I think of an entrepreneur, I picture Brent – a young dad from the midwest who actively serves in his church, grew up in his family’s home repair business, and realized that many local window companies were manipulating their clients to pay more for subpar products and lousy installations. He went on to create Nex-Gen Windows & Doors – one of the most successful window replacement companies in Colorado – simply by using his existing expertise and bringing a little integrity to the home repair industry.
Then I picture Katie – the mom of four beautiful, bubbly girls who struggle with a common skin condition known as eczema. After years of submitting to the doctor’s recommendations of harsh chemical baths and steroid treatments, she decided that enough was enough and pursued natural remedies instead. Today, she is the sole distributor in the USA of Organic Apoteke, a line of skincare products which were first created to prevent skin infections in HIV patients in South Africa by activating the body’s natural healing process. Her desire to serve her daughters is now serving women across the country who want proven, natural products to heal their skin.
You don’t need a business degree and a bank account full of cash to succeed as an entrepreneur. You simply have to have eyes for a problem and the stubborn, scrappy drive to become the solution to that problem in your community, just like these clients did.
Entrepreneurs Act Before They’re Ready
The biggest difference between you and any other successful business owner is that they simply started.
Reid Hoffman coined the phrase I wish I could tattoo across your forehead right now:
Friend, if you wait to have all the answers and a carefully manicured plan before you take the leap, then you’ll be waiting forever.
If you think entrepreneurship only happens for those who have a plane already assembled before taking the leap, you’re allowing a lie to keep you from something that could radically change your life for the better.
Every entrepreneur can point back to at least one (usually multiple) point of no return where there was no safety net and no game plan. My point of no return was the day my husband handed in his resignation notice to his safe, salaried position so that we could go all in on this marketing business together.
We had no savings, no clients, and frankly no idea what we were doing. But I’m happy to say that 6 months later, we have hit our $10K per month goal for the last three months and are fully booked for the next two.
Stop comparing your situation to someone else who maybe had more resources, connections, or experience than you and decide today that this is going to happen. Then…jump!
Trust that the scrappy, resourceful, and creative individual you are today is the same scrappy, resourceful, and creative individual who will handle larger problems down the road. Stop seeing every success as a fluke and embrace the fact that you have everything you need to get started right now.
The question you need to stop asking yourself is, “Will this work?” The only question that matters is, “How can I make this work?”
Entrepreneurs Are Stubborn
Every morning, a small business owner has to wake up and answer the following question.
Do I have what it takes to make it happen again today or is it time to update my resume?
If you’ve been told countless times by your parents, friends, or spouse that you are a stubborn woman, then girl – this is your moment!
It takes grit to live an entrepreneurial lifestyle. It takes an enormous amount of stubbornness and faith to wake up to new challenges with no roadmap every morning and say, “You know what? I’m here for it.”
There are no guarantees, and that wears on you. But the stubbornness of an entrepreneur allows her to see past the current dry season to the future success she can achieve if she holds on a little longer. It requires adaptability and an enormous amount of faith in your team, yourself, and God. But with every small success comes greater stamina and faith that you just might have what it takes to pull this off.
Entrepreneurs Are Unconventional Thinkers
If your greatest pet peeve is offering a creative solution to a problem only to be met with the answer, “Well we’ve always done it this way,” then you, my friend, are a closet entrepreneur.
This was probably the most illuminating factor for me once I stepped away from positions of employment. Looking back at my previous roles as an educator, the schools I thrived in were the ones who provided the measurable goals I needed to achieve with my students and then left me to my own devices to create the most effective strategy to get them there.
The schools where I had to bend to someone else’s curriculum, leave my own unique insights at the door, and abandon critical thinking in the name of rote memorization were what eventually led to leave my teaching career.
Thinking outside the box, endless creativity, and the desire to question conventional wisdom may have made you a terrible employee in the past, but it could be what makes you an incredibly effective business leader.
Mark Driscol famously said, “ Your greatest weakness may actually be your greatest strength misdirected.” I’ve got to tell you, friend, I think the man is right!
Take the Leap. Today.
I’m not asking you to jump off a cliff today. But I am asking you to make a decision.
If you have been chewing on the possibility of stepping out on your own to pave a new life for yourself and your family through entrepreneurship, then I want you to take action today.
I want you to click the link below to schedule a free coaching session with me to discuss your thoughts on this article, what dreams you’ve been mulling over in your mind, and any questions you have about launching a new side hustle or business.
There is no hidden agenda here. Honestly, my motives may seem a little selfish.
When I launched Amanda Doherty Press back in June of 2021, it was to encourage and empower women who felt called into entrepreneurship to step into their God-given potential to achieve the lives they previously felt were inaccessible to them.
And I believe the first step to getting there is saying out loud to someone they can trust that she’s ready to try something a little radical.
I’ve had the honor of coaching several women these past six months and while these free sessions don’t pay the bills, they bring enormous satisfaction and meaning to the day my family jumped off the cliff last year. I want you to know I want the same for you.
Still not ready to chat in person? Feel free to send me a message simply introducing yourself and sharing a little about your goals for 2022. I’m ready to champion you through your inbox as well!