I never really understood what “putting myself out there” actually meant until I became an entrepreneur. I know the feeling all to well of wanting to hide behind my computer, hide behind the camera, or even hide behind my brand name.
Because of the viral nature of the internet, there are so many opportunities to look like a fool. For instance, I’ve definitely had to delete a few tweets, edit some blog posts, and bang my head against the wall for embarrassing Facebook statuses. The internet is a scary platform for wantrepreneurs who are hesitant to “put themselves out there.”
But I also know that what I am doing is special, and being a business owner isn’t for everyone. I’m not saying I’m fearless, because that’s certainly not the case. But my tipping point from being a wantrepreneur to an entrepreneur was when I realized that I could not 100% commit to a faceless business. I put myself out there.
To me, that’s the difference between a wantrepreneur and an entrepreneur. Wantrepreneurs have what it takes to run a business, but they won’t commit 100% to it. They are dreamers, not doers. But I’d bet that if a wantrepreneur channels their energy correctly, they can find their inner business-savvy rock star.
Here are my four tips for wantrepreneurs on how to become an entrepreneurs:
1. Stop Learning
Well, not completely. You should always be a sponge to knowledge and making yourself better. But there comes a point where you need to stop learning and start doing.
You do not need another freebie checklist. That webinar will not change your life. There is an endless amount of information on that Internet that is supposed to help you on your journey to success, but will just end up making your head spin. I know from personal experience that real growth happens once you get your business started, so all of that other information is actually just slowing you down.
2. Stop Waiting for the Perfect Conditions
It’s literally never a good time to run a business. There, I said it. Owning a business is hard and complicated and it may never be easy. So if you’re waiting for some perfect time where the stars align and your bank account is full and your personal life is stable and you’ve finished your education and *insert another excuse here,* it’s just not realistic.
In my opinion, the “perfect time” to start a business is when you literally cannot stop thinking about it. You know you’re ready when passion becomes obsession. It’s an internal reaction, not external.
3. Start Being a “Yes” Person
Start collaborating with people. Build some partnerships with other relevant businesses or entrepreneurs. Go to those dumb Chamber of Commerce meetings at 8:30pm on Wednesday nights. Sign up for a class on your only day off.
I consider this being a “Yes” person because these are scenarios where it’s just easier to say, “Meh, maybe next time” or “Not now.” You’re not deliberately saying “No,” but more, “I don’t want to.” Entrepreneurs are proactive and wantrepreneurs are passive, so start saying ,“Yes” to opportunities that come your way.
5. Start Talking
You want the key to being motivated? Start telling people your plan. Announce a launch date to your family. Heck, tell strangers about your new business as if it is already a big hit. Just get used to talking about it. This will build your confidence and light a serious fire underneath you. Set deadlines for yourself and vocalize them to whoever will listen. Sometimes the best motivation is to not look bad!
I think it’s easiest to be committed to something when you are able to see the situation realistically. Being committed to something means you are 100% all in. You’re 100% in even when you’re busy, even when it makes you uncomfortable, and even when you hate it. You have to be okay with hating it some days, because you probably will.
In my experience, it becomes much easier to stay committed to something when you understand that it is not always glamorous and fun. I think people get stuck in the wantrepreneur stage because it becomes too hard or too uncomfortable. But the reality is that it IS hard, and that’s just part of the process.
About the Author
Kristi Pawlowicz is an entrepreneur and owner of 522 Envy in Downtown Evanston, IL. She attended college at the University of Missouri and opened her store and online boutique in 2015.