Leadership Toolkit 2: What’s something you wish people knew about what it’s like being an entrepreneur?

Camille Monce —  September 15, 2021 — Leave a comment

One thing I have learned is that for the most part, people express the same idea but they express it in many different ways and with many different words. It is the details in the expression, the words, and combination of words used, that give a story its colour, its texture, and brings it–and its lessons–to life.

We are unique combinations of our beliefs, values and life experiences. Differences notwithstanding, we, and our experiences, are important. Therefore, there is value in compiling and sharing these stories and the multitude of ways in which ideas are expressed. Combined, these stories weave a wonderful tapestry that exemplifies just how rich and beautiful life can be.

And who knows? An inadvertent remark or detail in the retelling of a story can stand to attention and have an impact in the world of a reader. And with that exciting possibility, perhaps the most valuable thing I can do is create the space where the stories of those whom I admire and respect can be shared.

Below are people that I have come across on my own life journey whom I deeply admire and respect. Whether it be their tenacity or courage, or relentless drive or passion, each individual generously reveals a different lens in response to the questions I regularly pepper them with.

As we continue on our sharing over this anthology, I will share tidbits and anecdotes as to why I hold them in such high esteem, and what I love most about them. In turn, I hope that you do too.

What’s something you wish people knew about what it’s like being an entrepreneur?

You can’t make it alone.

Adam Massaro, Partner at Akerman LLP. Denver, Colorado.

You can’t make it alone.

Empower those around you and celebrate them.

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If there’s a way forward, an entrepreneur will find it!

Arnie Malham, Founder and President of BetterBookClub.com, Author and Speaker at Worth Doing Wrong. Nashville, Tennessee.

Much like the term “athlete” covers a broad swath of skill levels ranging from occasional weekend warriors to the best-known heroes of the game, the term “entrepreneur” equally includes a broad swath of individuals ranging from hustle solopreneurs to the most respected titans of industry and hero disruptors of our day.

Both as competitors to drive innovation and as collaborators in the grand game of global economics, know that all ‘“entrepreneurs” at every level, play a role in powering economies, innovation, and prosperity all over the world. If there’s a way forward, an entrepreneur will find it!

One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur is that it’s a great platform to design your best life and live life on your terms.

Finnian Kelly, Founder of Intentionality, Inc., International Keynote Speaker, Area Director for Entrepreneurs Organization. Aspen, Colorado

I wish everyone knew how feasible being an entrepreneur can be. A few intentional acts can get you there, and remember to ask other entrepreneurs for help along the way as we love to help!

One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur is that it’s a great platform to design your best life and live life on your terms.

Finally, a lot of entrepreneurs seem confident from the outside but on the inside, they are not; inadequacy is a big theme in entrepreneur communities.

If you change the way you look at the world, your world will change

Kym Huynh. Founder at WeTeachMe, Former President at Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Melbourne, Australia.

Being an entrepreneur gives you countless opportunities to practice making conscious and intentional choices in (1) keeping things simple; and (2) choosing how we approach problems/reach to events.

I’m in constant amazement with: (1) how prone people are to making things more complicated than they need be; and (2) how quickly people get bogged down with the little details i.e. things that won’t matter in 10 years’ time.

On simplicity: The act of keeping things simple, is complex (and dare-I-say the ultimate sophistication). Simple problems require simple solutions. Complex problems require even simpler solutions. This type of thinking is rare.

On how we look at problems: The idea–that things that can signal the end of the world to one person and can result in what I call “analysis paralysis” or “constipation via contemplation” can be inconsequential to another–is an intriguing one, and speaks to the idea that how one looks at the world is how one experiences the world. For example, where one sees obstacles and problems, another sees opportunities for learning and growth. In the former, life is a struggle. In the latter, life is a journey of learning, expansion, and growth.

How you look at the world is how you experience the world. In other words, if you change the way you look at the world, your world will change.

Being an entrepreneur can be all-consuming, but it’s not all you are.

Marc Gutman, Founder and Brand Strategist at Wildstory. Host at Baby Got Backstory Podcast. Denver, Colorado.

Being an entrepreneur can be all-consuming, but it’s not all you are.

Entrepreneurship is just one part of who you are. Don’t let it swallow you whole.

What they don’t see is the many late nights and early mornings, the continuous challenge of finding (and retaining) the right people, and the personal financial risks you take to grow the business.

Richard J Bryan, Founder at The Bryan Group Inc., Keynote Speaker and Author. Denver, Colorado.

Being an entrepreneur looks easy from other people’s perspectives. They see you driving a new car, being in control of your own calendar, and taking nice vacations. What they don’t see is the many late nights and early mornings, the continuous challenge of finding (and retaining) the right people, and the personal financial risks you take to grow the business. Having said that I wouldn’t want to have it any other way as I love the freedom of choice that being my own boss brings.

Here’s the real truth. Being an entrepreneur is hard. But it’s worth it.

Stu Swineford, Founder at Relish Studio, President at Anabliss, Partner at Forty105 LLC. Denver, Colorado.

Here’s something you won’t hear every day. Being an entrepreneur is hard.

Most of us have been brought up to hide our pain; to keep vulnerability undercover. We put on a happy face and exude control, positivity, and power. Well, that’s just not how things work in business.

Business is a tough journey full of hurdles, setbacks, and challenges. Many peers talk only of the successes and big wins and hide the multitude of setbacks and losses experienced along the way.

You are going to need to expand your skill set more than you ever might have expected. At the onset (unless you have some serious capital backing your new venture), you are going to be wearing a lot of hats; many of which simply don’t fit. Figure out how to get rid of as many of these as possible, as quickly as possible, to keep yourself focused on those items that matter most for your new business. If it’s something you aren’t great at or really dislike doing, get help.

Here’s the real truth. Being an entrepreneur is hard. But it’s worth it.

What do you think?

Do you agree or violently disagree with anything shared in this article? Or do you have any of your own stories that you want to share? Pop them in the comments and I will personally reply.

Call to action 

My goal is to help 1,000,000 people. My wish is to have these articles shared 1,000,000 times through the various social networks. For this reason, I provide this collection online for free and all I ask of you is this: If any of these articles have helped you in any way, please take a moment to share on social media, email to someone you think will find benefit, or print and leave it on the desk of someone whom you believe has the motivation, but lacks the tools to take themselves to the next level.

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