This article is the final installment in the 30 Habits of Wantrepreneurs series.
Today I shall cover the last 15 habits that the wannabepreneur holds onto for his or her dear life.
A true sad state of affairs if there ever was one, really. Because it is one thing to pretend to be what you are not, and quite another when you are totally convinced that you are something that you otherwise are not.
If you're late to the party to the party you can catch the other articles here:
Part 1: 30 Habits of Wantrepreneurs Part 2: 30 Habits of Wantrepreneurs Part 3: 30 Habits of Wantrepreneurs
And now, without much more delay let's get to it
The 30 Differences Between Wannabepreneurs and Entrepreneurs :
15. CREATIVE AND NOT MUCH ELSE
Some of the most creative friends I know make terrible entrepreneurs. They excel at self employment or employment but, I repeat....they make terrible entrepreneurs. A big part of this is that they are so caught up in their self-belief and divine creative gift that they leave little room for feedback, humility and resultant growth. And if there was ever a bane for a true entrepreneur it was an inability to get feedback, learn and grow.
16. LACK OF RESOURCEFULNESS
Entrepreneurs make up for their shortfalls by their resourcefulness. That is their greatest resource. Examples of the entrepreneur resources you do not get in an academic class are: passion, positive energy, discipline, focus, consistency, charisma...must I go on?
A wannabepreneur in contrast has to have the EXTERNAL environment right before they can be resourceful: they need the right job, husband, child, home, car, money, time, focus, church, friends, book, government etc. In short, their inability to take responsibility for their idea is enhanced by excuses picked from around them. 'Now' does not exist in the wannabepreneur Dictionary. 'Tomorrow' is a much better fit for them. They are never ready.
17. INCONSISTENT IAN
Perseverance, consistency and discipline. That is what determines success in any field. The ability to go on when it doesn't make sense to go on. That is why I insist entrepreneurs are a certain kind of crazy while wannabepreneurs are too sane and civilized for entrepreneurship.
18. PASSION THAT MONEY CANNOT BUY
Entrepreneurs do what they do because a bug in their souls refuses them to rest until they are plugged in to their calling. Wannabepreneurs are mostly in it for the money and are faithful to their dream as long as the money is right. It's a conditional love.
19. USING BOOKS TO BECOME SUPER-HUMAN
Entrepreneurs know that skills, not academic knowledge carry the day. Skills can be learned and developed by anyone. But one has to be WILLING to accept that they do not know stuff, then proceed to absorb new skills with child like enthusiasm. This is hard for the wannabepreneur because he already 'knows everything'. Even with the will to learn, most wannabepreneurs have an aversion to reading books to apply to grow.
20. EAT, SLEEP & DREAM YOUR PASSION TO GET IN THOSE 10,000 HOURS
Entrepreneurs are a result of magnificently obsessing and acting upon their 'natural gift' over an extended period of time, what has also been referred to as the 10,000 hour rule. To move from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur one has to simply put in the work, over a considerate period of time.
21. START EXCHANGING EXCUSES FOR LEARNING
This is closely related to Habit no.16. Wantrepreneurs have all the reasons why it WILL NOT work, while entrepreneurs are consistently asking WHAT IF IT DOES? That there is the pivotal shift. The true source of entrepreneurial perseverance. I covered how to move from a place of doubt to action, here.
22. EMBRACING FAILURE AS A TEACHER
Someone once told me that the difference between being employed and being an entrepreneur is that you get fired from a job once but in business, you get fired almost every day - that's how you become better. She was referring to the number of times you fail in order to succeed. The wantrepreneur though, runs AWAY FROM failure.
23. ABSOLUTE RESILIENCE
There is an online video clip where famous HIP-HOP legend KRS-ONE describes guilty as Giving Up Inspirational Living Towards Yourself.
An entrepreneur makes mistakes and learns from them. She does not wallow in her mistakes, does not let the mistakes consume her nor compromise her ability to be creative and develop the next great idea. She does not allow traumatic business experiences to freeze her to inaction.
What does success in the entrepreneurs world look like? It is simply a set of activities done day after day after day until the repetitive action results into a firm habit and character. Wannabepreneurs have a very impressive to-do-list (daily rituals) but struggle to stick to them. Their inability to FOCUS on their rituals sabotages their best business intentions. It is not that they are not disciplined enough, no. It is just that wantrepreneurs have their priorities in the wrong basket.
25. COMPETING AGAINST SELF, NOT OTHERS
If there is one sure way of discovering your self, purpose and passion and enjoying the process while you do so, even BEFORE the money comes in - it is by bettering yourself. By not comparing yourself to someone else today but rather, to yourself yesterday. Entrepreneurs focus on self. Business is very personal to them.
26. HIGHER LEVELS OF SELF CONSCIOUSNESS
What is the source of one's creativity, that oasis of ideas that resonate with the customer need? The answer is: flow state. Or simply, a heightened positive emotional state.
True entrepreneurs know that 'being off' on their game can jeopardise their best ideas. They go to great lengths to insulate their minds from retrogressive ideas, movies, music, people. They are highly aware of how contagious mediocrity can be and embrace isolation as a way of accessing their greatest ideas. I will not contrast this with what the wantrepreneur focusses on, on the other hand. By now you pretty much get the drift.
27. YOU ARE YOUR IDEA, COOL?
Wannabepreneurs are divorced from their idea. I put it to you that most wannabepreneurs are not creators at all, but are more likely just distributors or suppliers of the most trending product at the time. That's it. They jump on the current hot thing. They do not invest in a personal brand, lack a business story and as such may lack a website or adequate social media representation of themselves.
Unless it is personal selfies, filtered pictures and family vacations - they put out plenty of those.
So why is their business not as prevalent on social media? Well, because they do not want their business to be out there. They rally just want to push product, get the money and survive. An entrepreneur though, fights to protect their idea, service or product because they have a lot of emotional investment in that facet of their business. Well beyond the financial opportunity it offers.
28. SCALE VS SURVIVAL
Most fake entrepreneurs lack a business plan or a business model canvas (BMC). Because their plan does not require it. See, their plan simply a 4-step business model: 1.Acquire, 2.Mark-up, 3.Sell and 4.Make margin. Rinse and repeat. You do not need a detailed document for that, especially when the end game is to foot the bills and that is it.
You DO need a business plan if you are thinking of eventually scaling: growing your business in terms of staffing, brand presence, locations, customer reach, asset base, revenue and so on. True entrepreneurs have the bigger game in mind and the courage to ACT on it, from the start of their business idea.
29. VISION IS GREATER THAN PRODUCT
What happens when a true entrepreneur's idea is not working, time after time after time? They pivot, that is : change it up or they drop it all together. True entrepreneurs are less attached to their product or service as they are to their business VISION. The product and service may change, but their vision remains.
Our friends next door, the wannabepreneurs - have one, overarching, urgent, all powerful and consuming personal vision: to pay the bills. This personal vision is so influential that it often times renders the business vision (if there is one) redundant and easily disposed off based on the financial state of the company.
30. NEVER TAKE TIME OFF
When I first stepped out of employment to start off my new life as an entrepreneur, I had it all figured out: I would do my 8am to 5pm grind and hustle and then rest, relax, watch movies, eat junk food and take leisurely walks around the neighborhood. I mean the the key benefit to starting one's own business is FREEDOM, right? Right? WRONG.
I quickly learnt that entrepreneurship is about passion and real passion never sleeps.
It slowly and gradually dawned on me that I had to consistently have my business on my mind. I could not totally switch it off at will, this passion. In entrepreneurship there is no work-life balance. Because entrepreneurship is NOT work.
In our World, your passion, life and work are all one. That is something no wannabepreneur wants to believe but take it from me, you will know if you are an entrepreneur by your level of commitment and willingness to sacrifice towards your life's purpose.
The author, Jan Okonji is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and Founder of the Pan-African accelerator BGS – Business Growth Solutions.
Jan is passionate about helping employees transition safely into entrepreneurship whilst turning their great ideas into profitable businesses and has helped entrepreneurs collectively grow their revenue to over $ 10 Million in the course of running BGS.
Get in touch with him and book a personal session HERE