On my blog, we talk a lot about finding business ideas, building businesses, and scaling to massive numbers like 7, 8, and 9 figures.
We talk all about how becoming an entrepreneur feels, the things to expect, and how to deal with those.
Even recently, I've started to shift further into the mindset part of entrepreneurship when I realised that business isn't any more than a mental game.
However, there is quite a lot more to business and entrepreneurship than what meets the eye - it's not all about building a massively successful business, then calling yourself a millionaire.
Before you're able to walk that path, there's a list of things you should learn or at least be prepared for.
Things that not a lot of people talk about until after you've become an entrepreneur.
I would have preferred to learn all these things before becoming an entrepreneur to make my life a whole lot easier.
In this article, we're discussing the 11 things you must do before becoming an entrepreneur.
Find a job
Before I officially called myself an entrepreneur, I had two full-time jobs.
You might be wondering, 'why get a job when I want to be an entrepreneur?'
The reason is that you want to understand what's at stake if you don't succeed as an entrepreneur.
See, a lot of people come into entrepreneurship with flawed ideas and beliefs about what it might be like.
They think it's a simple walk in the park, an easy way to get from where they are to where they want to be.
As soon as sh** hits the fan, they're nowhere to be found.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to work two jobs and discovered what's truly on the line if I don't succeed.
Every time I fail in business, I remember what I don't want to go back to, and it pushes me to get up and try again.
For me, I fear failure because it means going into a life I don't want to live.
For others, it might be something slightly different.
Figure out your WHY
The most important thing an entrepreneur can hold onto is a powerful WHY.
You can think of your WHY as a guiding light, a firefly in the deep, dark woods, guiding you in the right direction.
Entrepreneurship is a scary, long maze of confusion, fears, and a mashup of different emotions.
While things can go perfectly one day, the next day you might feel like giving up, as everything comes crashing down at once.
Making a lot of money, not working ever again; these are not powerful WHYs by any means.
A powerful WHY is something that gives you goosebumps when you think about it.
It's a reason so powerful that you feel the responsibility of making it happen.
This can be retiring your parents so they can finally buy the house they've wanted in the country they've wanted.
It's helping build homes and schools in 3rd world countries because it's something you're close relative wanted to do but couldn't afford to bring to life.
Emotions are the most powerful motivators and so your WHY should touch you on an emotional level.
Read my article on getting crystal clear on your WHY, for some more help.
Figure out what you like to do
I'm not the biggest fan of 'following your passion,' however, it's clearly worked out for a lot of people.
I personally don't think I have a passion that I can monetize.
I like to game, but it's not a passion.
I like to play basketball, but it's not a passion, just a hobby.
Not everyone has a passion like Mozart did with music, or MJ did for basketball.
However, the moment I decided that passions really do pay bills is when Mike Winklemann, the NFT artist known as Beeple, made a whopping $70 million from one of his digital paintings.
We're seeing a massive shift in the digital world with NFTs where digital creators of all sorts are able to monetize and build an income stream through the things they love doing.
- Selling art,
- Creating music,
- Creating videos,
- Taking photos.
All of these things can be sold as an NFT and the creators can receive royalties on all their future sales.
That's why it's important to figure out what you like to do before you go into business and entrepreneurship.
If you can't think of anything, like a lot of people, you should start to think about what you're interested in or curious about.
I built an entire SaaS business with no passion or experience, no coding knowledge, only an interest to learn.
Network with like-minded people
Building business relationships, and finding people who are aiming for a similar goal to you, should be a priority for you.
See, entrepreneurship and business, in general, are built on relationships.
There's a lot of talk about competition, and frankly, it's a difficult concept to grasp.
However, relationships are where the real gold lies.
Imagine you're one of the people in the Harvard dorm rooms when Mark Zuckerberg walked in to propose the idea of 'Facebook.'
Today, you could be sitting around a campfire telling people how, if it wasn't for that one day, that one contact, then your life would be completely different.
There are a ton of opportunities that arise from knowing people.
The amazing thing about networking is you don't know who you'll be introduced to.
When I was working on Condensr, I was able to interview an investor in the USA, an amazing guy, however, he told me that his son was the marketing director of TikTok.
That means his son is the person in charge of TikTok's marketing.
My article on networking with high net-worth individuals will talk in more detail about how you should go about networking.
Learn how to learn
I know a lot of people who want to become entrepreneurs but they don't know the first thing about sitting down and doing some learning.
They have an ego too big to sit down and pick up on a new fact, or a new skill that will pay them dividends for the rest of their lives.
Learning is an entrepreneur's best friend.
Chances are that the first time you become an entrepreneur, there's going to be a plethora of things you don't know about.
You won't know what makes a good business idea.
You won't know what profit and loss really mean and how important they are.
You won't know how to market a business.
You won't understand a lot of things necessary for building a business, and the only way to understand is to learn and take action.
There are people on either end of the spectrum - either don't know how to learn or learn way too much at once.
It's not about either side, it's also about putting it into action.
When you learn too much, you're essentially overfeeding your mind with knowledge and information, and so it's going to be hard to remember and even take action on those things.
You should aim to learn one to three things per day and put them into action immediately.
Get sales experience
No matter what it is you're doing, you're going to be selling to someone, somewhere.
Business and entrepreneurship, commerce in general, is all about sales.
Even influencers are selling something - if it's not products or services, it's themselves to their audiences.
They need to sell the fact that they're worth following.
The first time I ever started a business, I was selling back stretchers online through my eCommerce dropshipping store.
The next *real* business I started was the marketing agency - this was where I finally realised the importance of sales.
See, my partner and I started the agency with the hopes of getting clients quickly and scaling rapidly.
However, our dreams quickly came crashing back down on us when we realised that it's not going to be so easy.
Sales calls, cold calls, outreach - we were terrible at doing all of these because our personalities simply didn't match that of a salesperson.
I had initially thought that, given my first salesperson job, I would be pretty comfortable with selling online.
I was dead wrong.
Sales is difficult to learn, it's difficult to master.
Learn it before becoming an entrepreneur.
Learn to fail and bounce back
One of the only things that's inevitable in business is failure.
No matter who you are, no matter what you're doing, you're going to fail at one point or another.
Multiple times, too.
Failure happens to the best of us and it's in our hands to figure out how to bounce back from that failure.
See, a lot of people are so scared of failure, they spend their entire lives walking on eggshells in order to avoid it.
Even I am terrified of failing, however, I'm more scared of what would happen if I don't fail.
What does that mean?
That means that the life you want to live is on the other end of a pit full of failures.
You have to learn to swim through the pit and not turn back.
Many entrepreneurs, promising entrepreneurs, lack mental fortitude and that's the reason they don't succeed.
You have to learn to deal with failure, treat it as nothing more than a lesson to learn, and bounce back when it happens.
That's the only way you can guarantee success - when you don't give up.
Leave your comfort zone
Everything in life that is worth pursuing is uncomfortable.
Becoming an athlete is uncomfortable.
Becoming an actor is uncomfortable.
Becoming an entertainer on YouTube is uncomfortable.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you're going to be uncomfortable.
You're going to be thrown in with the sharks, and it's your job to figure out how to swim.
Every day, you're going to be doing things you don't want to do, things you've never done before.
The first time I started a business, I was spending money on things I wasn't 100% sure about.
I started talking to people I've never spoken to before - that was terrifying.
I started posting more on social media, making YouTube videos, putting myself out there.
All of these things are uncomfortable until they're not.
The life of your dreams awaits you - you just need to learn to get uncomfortable, nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Build a personal brand
If I can go back 2 years, I'd spend more time building a personal brand than a business.
A personal brand is extremely important for building businesses and becoming an entrepreneur.
The amazing thing is, anyone can build a brand because everyone has their own voice.
Everyone has their own experiences, their own viewpoints, their own stories.
Let's imagine two scenarios.
Person A and person B are both building businesses.
Person A spends three months working on the business plan, the idea, building the business, and launching it.
Person B spends three months building an audience by creating content and posting it on social media - TikTok mainly.
By the end of the 3 months, person A has a business up and running.
Person B has 10,000 people following them on social media.
They both spend the next month trying to monetize their businesses.
Person A spends a ton of time on Facebook ads, doing cold outreach, and making minimal progress with the business.
Person B, on the other hand, tells people that he's launching a business and collecting pre-orders.
At $50 per order, person B gets 100 out of 10,000 people to pre-order.
By the end of the month, person A had made $500, with high marketing costs, barely making a profit.
Person B made $5000, all from free marketing.
That's the power of a personal brand and content. It's crucial for business success today.
Have money in the bank
One big mistake I made when I started my first business is starting with almost no money in the bank.
I had money, however, I was scared I'd lose it.
This made it very difficult to make the right decisions, decisions that will drive my business forward.
Instead, I made decisions that would preserve the money I had left in the bank.
It was painful, almost impossible to scale the business - marketing the product was a nightmare, and so I had to quit.
I quit because I had no money I can afford to lose.
I treated every dollar I had as precious and worth holding onto.
Don't start a business when you don't have money.
Although there are businesses you can start for free, in most cases, you'll still need to spend money to make money.
You need to have enough money you're comfortable losing.
If you have $10,000 in the bank and you can't afford to lose it, don't start a business.
Build a pool of cash you can afford to lose, then go all out on your business knowing that you won't dig yourself a hole if you lose the money you have.
Taking risks is a pivotal part of starting a business - learn to take risks now.
BONUS: Eliminate bad habits
I wanted to add a bonus tip for you because it's equally as important as the other tips in this article.
Millionaires all have completely different habits from normal, everyday people.
These were habits they've had to build up over years and years of trial and error.
Right now, there are a ton of things you probably do that will not help you get to where you want to be in life.
Start to think about the person you need to be to reach the level of success you need to reach.
Then start working on building up the habits that that person embodies while eliminating the habits that will hold you back.
Your habits are extremely important, and so you must try your best to build habits that will benefit you, not stun you.
Some of these habits you need to eliminate are:
- Sleeping late
- Waking up late
- Wasting time on things like TV or going out
The list goes on.
Here's an article about the 6 bad habits all entrepreneurs should quit now to succeed.
Make it your goal to improve by 1% every single day - eliminating habits that may hold you back, and building those that will push you closer and closer to your goals.
Don't let your habits be the reason you don't fulfill your potential.
Those were the 11 things you must do before becoming an entrepreneur.
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