How to Become an Entrepreneur: 4 Vital Tips for Success
I keep hearing people say things like “I hate my job,” or “I don’t make enough money,” or “My stupid boss said [this]or [that].” Many ask me questions about how to become an entrepreneur. And then a week, a month, a year, a lifetime later… they are still at that job.
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They have dreams of spending more time with family, traveling the world, working on their own thing… but it never happens.
Sure, maybe they jump over to another job, but let’s be honest. The same jerk co-workers, boss, time clock, and TPS reports are there, too. So, how does someone quit their job—for good?
If you want to know how to become an entrepreneur and start living life on your own terms, you are going to have to grow up and understand four simple truths.
How to Become an Entrepreneur in 4 Not-So-Easy Steps
1. You’ve Got to Take It—No One Is Going to Give It to You
Look, if you really want to learn how to become an entrepreneur, you need to stop living reactively. This means stop living life like you are a pinball, getting hit back and forth by everyone and everything else.
What do you want with your life? Really. What do you want?
Who do you want to be? What do you want to spend your days doing? What makes you happy and fulfilled? How do you want to look? Where do you want to live?
Figure out who you want to be, and then stop living reactively and spend the rest of your life going after what you want with everything you have.
2. To Learn How to Become an Entrepreneur, Use Your Collateral
If you are looking to quit your job, it’s likely you have a few ideas on how you want to do it. Maybe you are going to flip houses. Maybe you are going to open up a gas station. Maybe you are going to sell products on Amazon.
But it’s going to fail if you don’t have collateral.
What’s collateral? It’s a term used in Cal Newport’s incredible book So Good They Can’t Ignore You that comprises the knowledge, experience, and skills you’ve acquired in a given industry, over time. Too many people try to start businesses without collateral and wind up broke—or worse.
Let me give you an example. I’ve been investing in real estate for a decade. I know how to find, analyze, and finance deals. I know how to flip houses. I know how to manage tenants.
But if I decided to open up a burger joint because it sounds fun, my lack of collateral is going to kill me. I don’t know anything about burgers. But could I open up a roofing company? There’s a much better chance at that.
So maybe you want to open up a Crossfit gym or a plumbing company or a music studio or whatever. Before you do, ask yourself, do you have the necessary collateral?
The fastest way to quit your job is to use the collateral you’ve built up at your job and start getting paid for it. Maybe that means freelancing or jumping into a related field. But it doesn’t mean jumping ship and starting something new just because you are bored. Play to your strengths and use the collateral you have.
3. Good at Your Business = Good at Entrepreneurship
There is a big difference between being able to make a latte and owning a coffee shop. Yet time after time, individuals who happen to be good at a certain skill try to open a business in that field and find nothing but failure.
“But Brandon,” you say, “Didn’t you just tell us to use the collateral we have to open a business?”
Yes, and a coffee shop is a pretty great business for a barista to open—IF that barista is willing to learn an entirely new set of skills called “business management.”
Yes, management is a skill, which means it can be learned. So the plumber who wants to open a plumbing company should spend more time learning how to run a business than fix a leak. A fitness coach intent on going out on their own should spend more time learning how to market themselves and organize their paperwork than the latest training technique. A barista should spend more time learning how to grow a coffee shop and less time learning how to make a perfect latte.
For more on this concept, read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. It’ll change your life.
OK, onto number four.
4. Embrace the Day to Day Grind of the Entrepreneur
The problem with most people learning how to become an entrepreneur is not that they lack a plan—it’s that they lack the day-to-day willingness to struggle that’s needed to achieve their goals.
They switch back and forth between ideas every week, unsure of what “the right choice” is. They spend time working on “fun” projects—like designing business cards or attending conferences—rather than spending the 12 hours a day typing code, making sales calls, crawling under houses, whatever. They get bored after a few weeks and stop hustling.
Key Takeaways on Becoming an Entrepreneur
Learning how to become an entrepreneur is not easy, but it’s also not impossible. It will work if you work for it. But we’re not cooking a casserole here—it’s not “set it and forget it!”
Entrepreneurship is day after day, week after week, late nights, early mornings, tough times, slow stumbles, busy weekends, delayed vacations, constantly improving, never-give-up kind of work.
And anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you a dream. And I’m not about that. You don’t need a dream. You need to get off your butt and put in some good old fashioned work.
And even then, your business idea might fail. Because not every business idea is a guaranteed success—but YOU will succeed eventually if you are persistent enough to show up every day and work for it.
Any questions about how to become an entrepreneur?
Let me know with a comment!