Are you tired of your 9–5 job? Want to become a millionaire in 30 days? Look no further! Hop on the internet and start a business! Your wildest dreams will come true in no time!
Entrepreneurship is the new cool trend for many people. You see many young kids becoming famous from the internet — but is it really that easy? I mean, if they can do it, everyone can do it too, right?
No — that’s why you shouldn’t believe the hype.
I believe entrepreneurship has become parodied from its true sense. It has almost, dare I say, become bastardized by people who want it for the wrong reasons. Before the hype, I had no issue calling myself an entrepreneur. Now, I cringe when I hear it. What I picture isn’t fast cars, making it rain with money or yacht parties. It’s doing something that can create a ripple in time.
Expectation vs Reality
From time to time I get on social media and see a post about someone wanting to start a business because they’re tired of their job. What follows are comments from other users encouraging them to be their own boss so they can call the shots. The statement “Quit your job and become your own boss” is said as nonchalantly as someone telling you the solution to lighting up a dark room is turning on the light switch. It comes across as one of those things people say just to say it without giving it much thought. Very few people actually consider what goes into pursuing entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneur hype is highlighting the good parts of entrepreneurship without acknowledging the bad that comes with the territory. It’s focusing on the finish line and not the beginning. The rewards and not the work necessary to get it. It’s easy to say “Okay, I’m going to start a business.” What happens after that? What steps are taken to get started and take action? How many actually follow through?
The last thing I want to do is sound like a gatekeeper. In fact, I support anyone who wants to forge their own path in life. However, most speak on entrepreneurship as if it’s like riding a bike. Starting a business is more like riding a motorcycle going at least 60 MPH. There are no training wheels and isn’t a lot of hand-holding going on. You’ll have to figure out how to ride and get back up when you fall. With most people, all it takes is one fall for them to be done.
Most people get caught up in the fantasy of quitting their job and starting a business because they believe once they do, everything will fall in place. However, if success doesn’t come as quickly as they’d like, they’ll quit. If they face hurdles, they’ll quit. If no one is supporting them — you guessed it, they’ll quit. These are the kind of people to do the bare minimum and expect things to come falling in their lap — it doesn’t work that way.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype when you’re unhappy with your current life. Getting caught up in the hype causes you to make emotional decisions rather than taking time to think things through. The truth is most people don’t really want to start a business. They don’t want to deal with the extra work that comes with running a company. They want to because it’s popular, they want the accolades, or they believe it’s the answer to leaving their current job.
I admit to keeping tabs on people who say they’re going to start a business. Often times, nothing comes of it. Weeks, months, and years past and nothing. What does this mean? Did something happen? Does it even count?
There is a saying that goes, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” When people don’t follow through with plans, I take it that they got punched in the face.
This is why self-awareness is important. Self-awareness stops you from going after something you don’t really want. It helps you realize whether or not you have what it takes to make it. It never hurts to try, but if you decide it’s not for you, don’t be ashamed. Take what you’ve learned and move accordingly from there.
Any entrepreneur with skin in the game will tell you it’s nothing like you’d expect. The thing about starting or running a business is you still have to run a business even when the excitement wears off and days aren’t so great. Everyone wants to be the boss until it’s time to be the boss. If you dread working long hours, chances are you’ll work more than anyone else. If you’re easily affected by others' opinions, you’ll have a hard time dealing with receiving negative criticism. If you’re easily overwhelmed, you’ll risk early burn out trying to wear many hats. Business is hard. If you’re not able to adjust then you’ll end up getting your ass handed to you on a silver platter.
If making money is your motivation, making money isn’t going to be enough to want to continue. You’re going to need a reason deeper than financial gain or material things. I believe you should be purpose-driven if you want to start a business. Wanting to create change is what motivates most to persevere. If you don’t care about changing lives and just want to make money, investing is probably a better alternative.
Don’t Fall For Blanket Statements
Most likely, you’ve heard a few of these statements:
“You’re working to make someone else rich.”
“They’ll only pay you what they can get away with.”
“You don’t want to work for someone else for the rest of your life, do you?”
“You’re working to build someone else's dream.”
These statements seem to push the idea that jobs are undesirable. The stance is too wide and convinces everyone that they should have their own business instead of work for others. Because of this, you have a subtle rise in job shaming people who are happy where they are. Obviously, everyone can’t be their own boss because we would have no employees. Everyone has a part to play. You may want to be the CEO and realize you’re a better COO or CMO. If that’s the case, check your ego and appoint someone else who can perform better as the CEO. It’s not about the title, it’s about having a successful business.
There are jobs out there that are great. Jobs that allow you to travel, make a great amount of money, offer benefits and offer work-life balance. Again, it doesn’t hurt to try your hand at starting a business, but make sure it’s something that you want to do, not because it’s popular. If not, there are jobs that can provide the life you want.
The internet will make you believe that you’re making another person rich when in reality, you’re working an assigned role. It’ll make you believe you’re building someone else dream and wasting your life away — which isn’t true.
The truth is most people with these ideals come across more as disgruntled employees who would be easily pacified by higher pay. Freedom isn’t the reason most people want to become their own boss — money is. By making more money and a better work environment most of the rants you hear online will decrease. The difference between those who want it and those who think they do is those who want it won’t settle for a salary. Their dreams aren’t for sale.
The last thing you want to be is someone who has “CEO of…” in their bio and no actual business. All while unemployed and refusing to get a job because you’re sticking it to “the system.”
Beware Of Online “Gurus”
Chances are you’ve come across a YouTube video of someone who claims to have reached millionaire status by their 20’s or 30's. The video usually features clips of them either riding around in a sports car, walking to a private jet, or looking out onto a balcony in their robe. To capture attention, they’ll throw in a screenshot of financial statements and flash money for a little razzle-dazzle. Throughout the video, they’ll talk about how they quit their miserable 9–5 and have now achieved financial freedom. The best part is they’ll be willing to teach you how to live it up like them for the low low price of $19.99/mo. Awesome, right?
The person selling you this image of financial freedom is doing so because they know you want their life. You want to quit your job and you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. By triggering your emotions, they’re able to get you to do what they want — which is to buy their courses or products. Imagine a carrot dangling and a rabbit running on a treadmill trying to catch the carrot.
Guess what? You’re the rabbit and you don’t even know it.
Those six and seven-figure social media entrepreneurs are only making money because you’re financing their lifestyle. Your hope to get rich is what puts food on their table and gas in their Lambo. The knowledge many claim to have is minimal and market themselves enough to convince others they know more than they do. In most cases, their material can be found online and most people who sign up don’t learn anything new and end up still in the same position they were in before. The number of scams and get rich quick schemes out there are abundant and gives those who are legitimate a bad reputation.
Fortunately, these kinds of marketers never last long. People eventually see through the facade and once the person is exposed they’re shamed into obscurity. Before you follow anyone, do your due diligence and find out any information you can before you spend your money.
Think Before You Act
Just because you can start a business, doesn’t mean you should start one.
Ask yourself why you’re doing it. If being fed up with your current job is the sole reason then the solution isn’t starting a business — the answer is getting a better job or freelancing.
The internet makes it seem like entrepreneurship is the golden ticket — don’t believe everything you see. Take time to research whatever you want to do and see if it’s something you’ll do for a long time. If you believe you have something to offer the world, even something small, then I encourage you to give it a try. If not, then there are other ways to succeed in life.
Most importantly, know yourself. When you know yourself, no one can fool you into thinking you’re something you’re not. Not even the internet.