Many people think that entrepreneurs have delusions of grandeur, but the truth is that many of us are running on fear. The fear that we may fail, the fear that we may be a success or the fear that we may find out that entrepreneurship is not for us. As I was going over the usual suspects for an article topic this morning, it dawned on me that there are specific questions that we entrepreneurs
should be asking ourselves.
What are we building?
I know that there are as many reasons for being an entrepreneur as there are industries, and that fact makes this question all the more relevant. As an entrepreneur, what are you building? What is it that drives you to wake up every morning and try it all again? If you are not doing it because you’re passionate, should you be doing it?
Can you see your success?
I know that I am treading water here and inadvertently going into some self-help speak. I accept that because there is real value in the meat of this question. Can you envision the success of your company? When you see that image, can you describe it? What does success mean to you? If you can’t visualize it, the road becomes much more than a challenge.
What’s your price?
The truth is nothing comes without a price and for an entrepreneur the price is pretty steep. Success is costly. Sometimes the payment comes in the form of broken marriages, breaks in relationships with your kids, and health problems and at the end of the day you have to know what you best and final offer is. What are you willing to pay to be successful, once you know that you know whether this dream is real or just a fantasy.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but these questions create the opportunity to have a honest conversation with yourself about how much you’re willing to sacrifice and why that sacrifice has to happen. I’m right there with you, last night I got home after everyone was sleeping and saw my kids for just 30 minutes before duty called. I’ve asked my questions of greatness, have you?
Lori G says
This is a great article. It is very scary to put yourself out there by becoming an entrepreneur. We have just released a new accounting software program call the Perfect Accounting Tool. It started conceptually in 2007 and we began the hard-core programming two years ago. We were working 7 days a week about 12 hours a day. We were driven, determined and very sure of ourselves. Then we released the program and now all those horrible doubts start to creep in. Will it be adopted? Will business owners understand our passion and not see it as a sales pitch? When you put that much of yourself into something, it’s not just software anymore. It becomes a piece of you.
I think the self-help speak is extremely necessary. It may sound corny to some people, but you are very unlikely to succeed if you can’t visualize yourself doing so. Intention is everything, whether you realize it or not.
Leona Charles says
Hi Lori! Congratulations on your release, I know that it was a long road. I love that line ‘you are very unlikely to succeed if you can’t visualize yourself doing so’. That is great. Thank you for your comment.
Lori and Leona, I am a Senior Graphic designer doing research on what types of things make a baby boomer women (ladies) make decisions on purchasing. I read this article and was moved. I had owned my own design firm for 10 years; when the market turned for the worse in 2008. Was I ever lucky… sounds odd to say… but I was. The business was great, lots of satisfied clients, great work coming out, but something was missing and it was not money. Business dried up shortly into 2008… my marriage dried up … my mother died… some morality and confidence gone with each loss… but the creative part of my self did not leave me … this part of me strove for more and I started working for free (like interning 20 years earlier). I went back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree in graphic design. I know, what a bass akward way of doing it! Interesting thing happened with all this though … I was confronted with the question of “what is art?” While searching for this question I found that this was the missing part I was looking for … you mentioned it in your post above so I thought I would share a bit… “intent” is everything. “Life is hard and it is not what you get out of it, it’s what you put in that counts”, my mom always told me that. I did not listen, it took losing her to find her meaning to that message.
I had to comment. Thank you for sharing the initial post. Reflecting is nice.
Cheers, Branden (a man)
Leona Charles says
First I have to say that I love that you read this article, second I am so deeply grateful that I was able to touch on a subject with so much substance. You have truly made a journey. I’m sorry for the loss of your marriage and your mother, those are some powerful experiences and I am glad that through the difficulty came a catalyst to find your greatness. Thank you so much for sharing such a profound comment. Thank you.
Lori G says
Thanks so much for posting your comments. I think many of us reach a point where we realize that ‘keeping up with the Jones’ is not enough of a purpose in life. Your mom certainly was right.
I’m just as bass akward as you! I quit my day job and decided that I was going to go back to college and work full time building our accounting application. Last year I turned 50, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and then launched the accounting program this month. For the first time in my life I feel that I’m doing what I want to do with my life and it’s the right thing for me.
You’ve got a great attitude and you will succeed at anything you set your mind to. I wish you the best.