5 Lessons every entrepreneur learns — the sooner the better.
There are five things I’ve learned as an aspiring entrepreneur, after 25 years in the business world working for someone else. It was a year ago that I began truly becoming an entrepreneur. Prior to that I’d been poking around on the outside; “What did this person do? What did that person do? Let me watch an episode of Shark Tank. Wow, look at what these guys have accomplished. Look, at what these guys have done.”
I’d seen those people taking action but I didn’t think it was something I could do. I thought I was destined for the sideline.
In the last year I’ve done some amazing thing;: written for a large website, created over 80 episodes of a very successful podcast, taught to large audiences about success and podcasting. None of that would’ve been possible if I didn’t make a first step myself. That first step was joining a paid mastermind group.
I mentioned earlier about poking around on the outside and I did. I kept asking, “What did this gentleman do to gain success?” I thought at first the right thing to do was to emulate that behavior or even duplicate and mimic it. Some skills and areas yes, but there’s also a large degree of individualism that comes into play as I’ve gone along this journey.
These are the top five things that I found over the course of last year that really gave me the most success.
#1 Pay for experience.
This is truly important. As an entrepreneur we want to think about overnight successes or the dream that whatever we’re going to do tomorrow will net us $100,000 a month income. The reality is there are no overnight successes. Short of winning the lotto, which is a chance of one in millions, the true successes come from hard work.
In order for us to be successful we have to make an investment in ourselves. I found that joining a paid mastermind group did that for me. I paid. It held me accountable. I met other individuals who paid who held each other accountable. It started growing my network of individuals. It increased my experience level and my education tremendously. I cannot emphasize enough that paying for experience, whether it’s training, a mastermind group, or a coach is truly essential if you’re looking to succeed in today’s business world, especially when you are gaining new skills.
#2 Surround yourself with amazing people.
You’ve heard the Jim Rohn’s quote, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with,” and it is exceptionally true. I have found that I challenged myself by surrounding myself with people that have higher skill sets and are holding themselves accountable at a higher level. Surrounding myself with these people has made me even more honed, focused, and accountable, because of the fact that we are all like rising tides trying to gain experience as well as success and we wish to do it together. That’s an amazing feeling.
I am in a mastermind with seven other individuals from around the world. We meet once every week online. Sometimes we fail to meet as a group, but we still gather the majority of the forces. When all seven of us are together there are amazing things that occur.
#3 You have to take action.
I learned I have to actually do something — take those ideas and thoughts that I’ve had and do something with them. Performing small steps. I put something out there and let the world gravitate towards it. I asked to be a speaker at an event. They allowed me to do so. I had never spoken in public, at least not in front of this type of audience before. I was nervous. I did it. I gained the experience. Coaching clients, paid coaching clients. I had never had a paid coaching client before. I brought the first client on. I gained experience. They succeeded. I succeeded.
In order to really grow, especially in the entrepreneurial space, you have to take chances. To me a chance is a calculated risk. You’re not going to jump off a ledge to see if you can slide. Unless maybe that ledge is only five feet up and you’re taking that initial toe-dip in the water, because this leads right into number four, failing forward.
#4 Let yourself fail.
The important part of this journey is the fact that we all must remember that failing is allowed. Not only is it allowed. It’s needed to grow what we are trying to accomplish. When we fail while trying to take action on what we want to do, we are incrementally moving ourselves forward. Can you imagine if Edison didn’t try those other 9,999 light-bulbs, where would we be today? We really must make sure that we don’t look at failure as a negative. Failure is a course of action that leads us to continued success.
#5 Feel and show gratitude.
The last item that really I want to focus on that I learned in my year of entrepreneurial journey is simply gratitude and the ability to show it. You meet all sorts of amazing people in the online world, and in the business space. You meet amazing people all over. One thing I can say though is that after meeting these amazing people, they’re human like you and I. They want to be shown the same compassion and gratitude necessary for whatever effort they put forward. Supporting and helping others succeed is the quickest way to have the universe pay that interest back to you!
I am grateful for the experience the world has shown me. This is truly something that we need to look at. When you’re going through the process, paying for experience, making sure that you’re surrounding yourself with amazing people, taking action, then making mistakes and picking yourself back up again, it’s important to know that there’s a world around you that will reciprocate the feeling of gratitude if you show it.
Yeah, I know, there’s all sorts of lists out there. This is mine. I’ve spent the last year really focused on what I want to do, and I’ve created what I want, and I’m still creating what I want. In some respects I’m like a kid in Minecraft creating a world of his own, and that’s what we all have the opportunity to do. Take some lessons from somebody who has experienced it. Thank you.
Photo: Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker