The truth about entrepreneurship from a personal perspective


So the reason I'm writing this even though I see a number of blog posts and videos telling you how great it is to be an entrepreneur or a business owner and how it is virtually no risk involved is because not one person I have ever come across mentions the dark side.

All of these gurus who tell you how great it is to be a business owner or an entrepreneur are not lying, however they rarely ever tell you the full truth. This is because they have courses to sell, products to sell via affiliate marketing programmes, and of course their latest eBook giving you "the (insert number) amount of steps to (insert number)x your income" or "how to make $(any 4 or 5 figure number) per month within (insert number) days"... Sound familiar ?

If you watch YouTube like me a lot for gaining particular skills, either within the marketing niche, entrepreneur niche, or make money online niche every 3rd ad is a new "entrepreneur" with a new Ferrari that they "own" inviting you to a "free" "live webinar" that they are only keeping available for the first "(insert number) people" or "this date/time".

The truth is while I was never one of those people, I have been one of those people where I was caught in their marketing, I was younger and more naïve than I am now. Thinking I could make it work within 30 days or possibly since I have little experience maybe 60 days, I would be on track to quitting my job and working only when I need to for myself.

You see the hard truth of entrepreneurship that nobody tells you, is that there is no clean formula to make you an entrepreneur, and not one of these gurus can make you a success overnight or within the space of time that they allow. I'm not saying it's impossible to become an overnight success but it's very unlikely and near impossible if you have no experience in the first place.

Experience comes from the right decisions and the right decisions are found by making the wrong decisions, and wrong decisions can cost you (a lot) but there's only two ways from the wrong decisions.

  1. You can let it beat you down and you may never try it again you got stung pretty bad and you do not want to take the risk again in future.

  2. You can take on board what you have learnt from making the wrong decision and like a monkey you will realise not to do that exact thing again or possibly do it a different way or try it at a different time.

I'm making this from a personal perspective in which I mean where I have made wrong decisions where I cost myself a lot of money and where I've cost myself a lot of time. But in doing so I have found that there are a number of things that influence your success as an entrepreneur.

Mindset

Your mindset is quite critical to the whole success of you being a success. All of the gurus will tell you it's 90% mindset and 10% effort, whereas in contrast I believe it's more over 10% mindset and 90% effort.


The reason it is a somewhat critical aspect of the entrepreneurial DNA is because you need to be headstrong and committed to making it work and not finding an excuse to back down. Just because you have a mindset does not mean that you will be in any way inclined to enact it.


By all accounts having the mindset is important, but if you do not make any attempt in applying your mindset you will be no better off than when you started. Its the cold truth and Gurus will spend the first third of their course about mindset without giving you the resources in applying your mindset.


My tips on applying your mindset are the following:

  1. find problems to solve

  2. find out how many people experience said problems

  3. find out the cost of the problem either qualitatively or quantitatively

  4. find your gains on fixing such a problem and in doing so you have applied your mindset

Can anyone here think another way to apply an entrepreneur mindset?


Market needs and wants

A real entrepreneur would go out of their way to figure out what people need what people want, finding their pain points and assessing how much that pain is worth to them for you to solve it.


Desktop studies are one thing, or if you do not go out of your way to assess what people need or want in real life by conducting surveys or conducting interviews with experts, you should stop right here. The reason I say that is because you are not looking at the full picture of a given situation, it's like you are looking at a postcard sized area of a great piece of art, it will offer you very little value. Always look at the big picture.


This also ties into the mindset area as mentioned above on the 1-4 list.

Strategy

Strategy is looking at managing your business from a long term prospective. You need to assess by your market research conducted previously to see how long you can dominate the market, what you can do to protect your status from entrants, how best to retain your customers for further sales in the future, is the market in an upswing or a downtrend.


A strategy is a master plan on how to get to a particular goal or set of goals, be it personal, a group strategy, or a mega corporate.


A business, no matter its size, structure or skill level is impossible to manage without any kind of goal. Saying you want to make money is not a goal, but saying you want to grow your business to €100,000 net profits by year 3, second Quarter is a goal. Furthermore, the goal is not the strategy the strategy is the plan to reach the goal.


If in the above example, you want to grow you business to €100,000 net profit by year 3 second quarter, you must first look at your time. 3 and a half business years translates as roughly 915 trading days which means if you want to put away €100,000 in the bank you will need to make on average €110 net profit daily, assuming that your retail markup on a wholesalers product is 33% and the wholesalers markup from the manufacturer is also 33% you will need to sell an item that's worth at least €330 every single day for the next 3 and a half years (note that this does not include taxes overheads or other expenses) this also means you must look at your product/service and the time, at the same time.


The above is just the beginning of strategy and it goes much deeper than that, for example, conducting what-if analyses, recession-proofing your business, and maintaining market dominance are all critical factors withing strategy.


"a good strategy does not necessarily mean good company performance but without any strategy, good company performance is impossible"


if you want more on strategy this book is a must buy for a far deeper understanding

GOOD STRATEGY, BAD STRATEGY

by Richard P Rumelt


{I wish I had this book for college because it would have helped me in my final exam so much, but next semester, I will be undertaking the Strategic Thinking Module so hopefully it will be of help to me then!} you can get this strategy book for €14 with free delivery from Easons and that €14 could save you a whole ton of money when you are building a business.


This is not an affiliate link and I do not make any money from your purchase, I just thought I'd recommend it because it actually has helped me build my business strategy here.


So the answer to the big question, what is the reality of entrepreneurship from my own personal perspective?


Its hard, very hard.


And the reason it is, is because peoples expectations of its simplicity are set very low but the amount of time it takes to scales could take years to go and they are not often taught properly the 3 main points of interest I referred to which is an applied mindset and driven to solve problems, the correct method for market research techniques or not bothering to look at the full picture, and of course putting in place a strategy map to put you on track for your business goals.


Lastly, I have also come across many entrepreneurs and student entrepreneurs who fall in love with their ideas (I too am guilty of this from my past business blunders) Loving your idea does not drive sales or attract customers.


If I got paid a tenner for every "good idea" I thought I had, I'd be in the 2 comma club by the time I was 20, and I am definitely not the most creative or talented individual to have ever existed, but it also makes the proof that Ideas do not make sales occur. It always starts with an idea, but it should not end there.


Besides that according to the patents office, you cannot "own an idea" per se , however you can own a product, service, structure, or system that you have invented and developed, and even then dropping €5,000-10,000 on an idea that has been developed is worth nothing if the developed idea doesn't sell.