To date we have covered 10 of the 30 habits of wantrepreneurs.
The impact of the last 2 articles across social media have surprised me.
See, a number of wantrepreneurs (surprise, surprise) have reached out to me privately thanking me for the articles, saying how much the habits have been a wake up call to them, vowing they will be in touch and on their part, committing to start taking massive action and get up from their wannabepreneur stupor......but in true wantrepreneur procrastination fashion they may not keep their word.
For the moment.
And I do not judge them. On the contrary, I feel them, I do.
Because the wantrepreneur mindset is not one that one escapes from in a huff.
It is treacherously deceptive.
Why is this so? Let us jump into some more of these habits to understand this malady better, yes?
The 30 Differences Between Wannabepreneurs and Entrepreneurs :
11. ACCOUNTABILITY PHOBIA, AVOIDING REAL SUPPORT
If there is one thing wantrepreneurs fear it is being held accountable.
Like, having someone make sure that they do what they promised to do. The reason is quite simple really: most wantrepreneurs have lofty goals and ambitions ( nothing wrong with this) and lofty goals are nice until you set out to actualise them. An accountability partner will make it harder for the wannabepreneur to avoid what they are not fully committed to. A business mentor will expose the flaws in a struggling entrepreneur's mindset, necessary to be adjusted - for any meaningful progress to begin. The wannabepreneur does not want this at all costs.
It is one thing to buy the gym gear, bag, shoes, pay the membership fee and buy the USN supplements and even set the alarm clock to get up nice and early for a work out the next day. But who honestly needs a personal trainer on your neck, ensuring you make it to the gym as planned whether you are sick, cold, sleepy, hungry or plain not-in-the-mood?
Lack of an accountability partner, mentor or coach allows the wannabepreneur to regress to the mediocre world of couch surfing, Dorritos, the Netflix series and take-aways, whilst 'patiently' awaiting a divine business breakthrough.
A friend of mine had this great business idea. She had the entire strategy mapped out, the end to end business plan. She had the in-depth knowledge for it. She even had the necessary networks and an idea of the target market. When I asked her why she isn't launching she responded thus, ' I fear failing, losing money, going into debt. That would be embarrassing, frustrating. I mean, no offence but look at what happened to you? I do not need that stress. That is not my portion in life.'
On one hand I totally understood where she was coming from but on the other hand she lost me when she proposed building a debt-free business devoid of 'drama'.
Entrepreneurship IS drama. The wannabepreneur wants to have a great business but does not want to sacrifice for it, or go through what they perceive as 'public ridicule' . That is why funding, grants or winning seed capital in competitions highly appeals to them. Anything to ease the risk.
And before the morality police are called on me, I am not saying entrepreneurs do not seek funding. What I am saying, is that the REASONS vary greatly: one seeks funding to take BIGGER risks, while the other (the fake one), seeks funding to ESCAPE risk.
When employed you can try to be as risk free as possible: lay low, do your job and be a yes-man or yes-woman. Unfortunately, that luxury does not exist within entrepreneurship. The market is not a respector of persons. It wants what it wants: solutions to customer challenges. It pays you for that. Period.
For the wannabepreneur, it is the inability to sacrifice GOOD things that prevents them from making a GREAT business.
13. SELLING PRODUCTS VS SOLVING A PROBLEM
In my earlier articles I talked about how the wannabepreneur spends forsaken amounts of time on structures, processes and systems of a business that do not even have a customer demographic to begin with, and how they hide behind fancy terminologies and acronyms to placate their hollow understanding of the market.
The reason this so is that wannabepreneurs are stuck in their heads. I can say this authoritatively because I was a wannabepreneur extraordinaire.
Wantrepreneurs are in love with their ideas, and the grand romantic fairytale of that ONE BIG PRODUCT that will catapult them to global financial fame, like Kylie Jenner and her lipstick brand.
They consistently miss the moral of this whole entrepreneurial journey which is about providing SOLUTIONS to a CUSTOMER NEED.
I will say it 1,000,000,000 to any wannabepreneur reading this: forget your idea and be willing to ditch it if it does not solve any CUSTOMER problem. Problem solving is what gets you ahead. The customer is who matters. The customer is the ONLY thing that matters in the game. Your idea on the other hand is overrated, everyone has ideas.
When one gets out of their head and into the World, the real World - magic starts happening. They start the gradual shift from wannabe to real entrepreneur.
14. MAKING 'SURVIVAL' MONEY VS MAKING A CHANGE
ALL wannabepreneurs are in business to supplement or compliment income. Simple.
Their business is driven less by passion or purpose, and more by their need to pay the rent and send the children to school. This is the reason. A very valid reason, by the way.
Just because they are doing what they are naturally gifted at and have made money off of it, they confuse their business calling with entrepreneurship when in reality, what they are doing, is running a side hustle or erstwhile self-employed. Simple.
The sooner this is accepted, the less painful the heartache around understanding that one is not an entrepreneur, will be. Entrepreneurs on the other hand are crazy people. Loonies. They relentlessly pursue their dreams, forego ego and honestly do not care what others think, they hunt for solutions and have little emotional attachment to ideas or products, money is a means and not an end and ultimately if their idea cannot SCALE (be multiplied across a wide enough customer base), the entrepreneur moves to another solution based idea, until he/she gets that business model that can GROW.
All the while, the entrepreneur is months behind on rent mind you.
The entrepreneur lives to leave that dent in the World, that impact.
It is a high, an addiction that is deeply woven in his/her DNA.
The wannabepreneur just wants to pay the bills, all of them - quickly and in a predictable manner.
B.B.B, Busy But Broke
As wannebepreneurs we are very familiar with this feeling. We put it down to bad economy, a corrupt government, a heavy handed tax regime, high cost of living, the Devil and all manner of reasons why we have not yet made money despite having a website, a crisp blue suit ( do not forget the cologne), numerous social media posts and a daily prayer guide.
We seem to be doing everything right and yet, no money to show for our hustle.
We are soooo busy and yet, broke. The answer is simple really: we are doing everything EXCEPT meaningfully engaging our true customer base.
We are stuck on our desks, in business centres, posting on LinkedIn and Instagram about a life far removed from our reality and confusing that with Rhonda Burns' The Secret, but come on, the law of attraction only works if YOU DO. Work, you gotta work. We must be deliberate about finding our customers and giving them real value. Not just ANY customers, but OUR customers.
The busiest people in the world of entrepreneurship are not the ones with the most money, no. They are just the ones with an image to keep and a lack of priorities. Everyone has 24 hours. Being consistently busy points to a lack of organisation. Something is definitely broken somewhere.
Please wannabepreneur brethren, let us commit to not belong any further henceforth to the BBB religion and if we currently belong to it, let us start making strategic plans to drop that religion and denounce it. Amen?
We are half way through the habits that inhabit the wantrepreneur's World and one would be forgiven for thinking those are quite enough, but I am not done yet. 15 more habits to go!
Can you relate to any so far?
PS - Here are links to previous articles on the same in case you missed them:
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