We all know there are certain actions, habits, and behaviors that we should be doing each day to be a successful entrepreneur. I’ve read countless blogs, listened to hundreds of podcasts, and observed my mentors on the subject. I know that to be a successful and productive entrepreneur, I should be and need to be reading one great business book a month, exercise daily, drink water, wake up before 6 am, check emails before 7 am, eat healthy, find a mentor, plan your day, set goals, save money….and I completely agree with every single TO DO.
How many of you entrepreneurs out there hear the following on a daily basis?
“You work too much.”
“Do you have to work today?”
“Are you working this weekend?”
“So…what do you do for FUN?”
In the beginning, my responses were always a nod, half paying attention, half not caring and simply yes, yes, yup, uh-huh, ok.
But when it came to the FUN question, I tried explaining that my Work IS FUN. Building a business is so much FUN each and every day. Learning something new by meeting someone new is FUN.
But the reality is, non-entrepreneurs just don’t understand that concept. In fact, non-intrinsically motivated and un-passionate entrepreneurs don’t even understand that concept.
For those out there reading this who don’t understand where I’m coming from, let me just tell you the things about being an entrepreneur that are SO FUN every single day.
- It’s like a board game, the fun isn’t in the end when you win or lose, it’s the anticipation of setting up, getting started, and going through the course that’s the fun part. Entrepreneurship is like one never ending family board game night…. Complete with tears and impromptu victory dances.
- Succeeding through others brings extreme happiness.
- A “To Do” list is the most exciting read of the day for me. It’s never a “To Do” chore, it’s an “I can’t wait to get this done” activity.
- Meeting other entrepreneurs for the first time is like discovering a long lost friend or sister from another mister. There is an instant connection, bond, ongoing conversation and sense of comfort unlike any other.
- The glass is ALWAYS half full with an endless water cooler supply sitting right next to it. It’s incredible to look at the day and the world in front of you and know that opportunities are endless.
- There’s places you go where “Everyone knows your name.” If you create relationships, brand yourself, and consistently network yourself and your business, there is always somewhere you can go where everyone knows who you are, what you do and your name. That’s just fun.
- Freedom is fun. Freedom to create your own choices and then make your own choices. Freedom to create a life you’ve always imagined. Freedom to change directions. Freedom to change schedules. Freedom to work with whomever you choose. Freedom to do whatever you want.
Don’t get me wrong. This ‘ship is hard. There are times I feel like I’m in college going through sorority “Hell Week” all over again.
Entrepreneurship takes time, money, emotions, physical endurance, strength, love, passion, and discipline.
But at the end of the day, it’s fun and we wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t.
I’d rather go through the entrepreneur “Hell Week” every week because it’s more fun and exciting than going back to the corporate desk job life I lived before.
You know what wasn’t fun? Having anxiety if I hit traffic going into the office. Having a weekend “off” but not enjoying it because my work bestie in accounting just got laid off. Being told I do an amazing job, but there’s no room for growth.
That’s NOT fun.
Whenever anyone asks me and my Intrinsic Events business partner, “So how has it been starting your own business?” Our first answer is always, FUN.
We know it’s hard for people to believe us, but I hope this blog gives some insight as to why entrepreneurship is fun. At least for me.
I’d love for you all to share what you think is FUN about being entrepreneurs.
Stay tuned on my next blog for some steps to take in order to ensure you are able to have FUN as an entrepreneur.
FOLLOW @Intrinsicevents for more advice and of course, FUN!
Have you ever been woken up by your alarm, and all you wanted to do was hit the snooze button and take the day off? Have you ever had a meeting scheduled that you wanted to just blow off? Or have you had a huge project that you let sit untouched until it was too late?
“AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!”
We’ve all been there at some point in our professional lives right? No matter how you label it – whether it is procrastination, laziness or downright exhaustion…entrepreneurs don’t have time for that.
Luckily for us, we as entrepreneurs all possess a special phenomenon deep inside that keeps us going. A feeling that continuously feeds our passion from within and fuels the drive to accomplish our goals each and everyday.
This beautiful thing is called intrinsic motivation.
ARE YOU CRAZY?
When my business partner and I first started our event management company, many people thought we were crazy and were pretty vocal about it too. We were often asked how we were going to make it on our own and how could we leave Corporate America; giving up a consistent paycheck with benefits.
I always thought it was interesting that everyone seemed so concerned about our financial security. They didn’t seem to understand what was truly driving us to go follow our passion.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
We all have things that motivate us throughout life. Some are motivated by money, some are motivated by gratification and approval from others, some are motivated by power, and the list goes on and on.
WHAT MOTIVATES ME
I absolutely love what I do for a living. I get up every morning excited for new challenges, eager to meet new people and continuously find ways to build my business. Wanting to produce great work and to help people is what motivates me.
A lot of people ask me “Why did you name your company Intrinsic Events?”
My business partner and I follow a simple belief that motivation from within produces extraordinary results and success. We also believe and agree with entrepreneur extraordinaire Steve Jobs, that “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Since going off on my own as an entrepreneur, I have had the privilege to meet so many inspirational business owners. I’m always so wowed by the level of intelligence, extreme drive and amount of passion each one possesses.
Every entrepreneur is different in the sense of what he or she brings to the table and how they go about running their own business. But the one common link we as entrepreneurs all have, is that we love what we do and are passionate about our work.
THE INTRINSIC WAY
I’ve said it before; starting a business is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears but if you are intrinsically motivated from within I promise it will evolve much easier.
Don’t worry about the money, the fame, and the power that comes from owning a successful business. Never lose site on why you started in the first place. Focus on that passion that led you to where you are now and the rest will fall into place naturally.
AULD LANG SYNE
It’s that time of year again! The New Year is right around the corner. And you know what that means – making a new year’s resolution, right? You know the drill, resolutions to be healthier, happier, more successful, etc. All great ideas, but personally I take a different approach.
I used to make them too, until I realized…they don’t work. In fact, studies show that more than half the country begins the New Year with one or more resolutions, but only 8% are successful in keeping them.
Like everyone else, I look forward to each New Year being healthier, happier and more successful, both personally and professionally. But what I’ve learned as an entrepreneur, there’s only one real “resolution” that works 100% of the time! No matter what dreams, aspirations or goals you have for the New Year, this simple 3-step formula works every time: Action-Reflection-Repeat.
IT’S A LIFESTYLE
As business owners, it’s natural for us to look ahead and plan for the New Year. But for me, the process of Action-Reflection-Repeat is more than a New Year’s resolution; it’s a way of life.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Action is the first and most important step, yet this is where many of us get stuck. Why? Because as entrepreneurs no one hands us a blueprint or a roadmap outlining the steps necessary to make our businesses work. That is totally up to us and only happens through action.
So why do we get stuck? Could it be because we think we have to make it happen all at once? Or because each step has to be perfectly in sync or we get paralyzed? Or maybe it’s because we aren’t certain which step to take next. Sound familiar? As business owners, we’ve all been there. But what we know for certain: success lies in action. So take the first step, no matter how small, and remember the words of Robert Collier, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Even one small step forward will take your further than doing nothing at all. It’s that simple.
A TIME TO REFLECT
While action gets us moving, it’s equally important to pause and reflect. For you see, life and business can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards. As entrepreneurs we are always moving forward into the unknown. It is only through reflection – looking back and assessing what worked, what didn’t – that we find our inspiration and next steps. One tool I’ve used for years is journaling. What started out as a young girl’s diary has evolved into a business plan for life. It’s a practice that continues to serve me well, both personally and professionally.
REPEAT, IT’S EASY
So there you have it: once you’ve gotten into the rhythm of action and reflection, repeat is the easiest step in this formula. Being an entrepreneur is like a dance. We do it because it’s exciting and fun and we love it, even in times of uncertainty. And perhaps it is that uncertainty that leads us all to make New Year’s resolutions in the first place. To look forward, make a plan, chart a course, and strive for new goals in the New Year. As entrepreneurs, we don’t limit ourselves to just one New Year’s resolution, because every day is a new day to make a plan, chart a course, and achieve greatness.
“You can cry, ain’t no shame in it.” –
Will Smith, Actor
As entrepreneurs, business leaders & innovators, we are often looked up to as fearless, intelligent, & inspirational to the community around us. If you’re anything like me, you probably often look in the mirror & think “What am I doing?” We are our own worst critics & it’s in our nature to find the fault before the good in everything we do.
It’s OK. We are allowed to think this way & we are allowed to shed a tear every now & then… “ain’t no shame in it”.
Because that’s where we are different than the rest of the world. As entrepreneurs, we allow ourselves to feel this way for a split second, then we look back in that same mirror & tell ourselves, “Oh well, lesson learned, keep hustling, get out there, & keep learning”.
We all have these fierce conversations with ourselves. Entrepreneurship is a never-ending mud run. We’re going to face great risks, make mistakes, succeed tremendously, fall down, get up & have fierce conversations with ourselves. However, if you’re going to be successful as a business owner, you need to know when to have no shame. Each of us are different in our strengths, weaknesses, successes & failures, but there are certain times that all of us need to know when to never have shame in our actions:
1. Asking for EXACTLY what you want.
Be clear, be concise, be demanding, be honest, & keep it simple. There were many times in my professional life where I hesitated in asking for what I wanted because of fear of embarrassment, rejection, or shame.
Let It Go! As an entrepreneur, you cannot be afraid to ask for exactly what you want. Whether it be your fees, your website design, or your strategic partnerships- you will never get where you want to be in your business if you aren’t letting people know what you want. And believe me, most of the time, you will get what you’re asking for – or really close to it.
2.Talking about your business at all times.
You never know who is listening, who needs what you are offering, or who is looking for an opportunity like you were once upon a time. There is no better person to talk about your company or product than YOU. Your team will never learn to sell your service or product with passion & excitement if YOU don’t do it first. So start talking & have no shame in doing so. Some people will roll their eyes, some will walk away immediately, some will interrupt you, but who cares. You are on a mission towards greatness.
3. Taking time for yourself, your family, and your friends.
Entrepreneurs must work hard, it’s inevitable. Often times, we feel if we aren’t working, we are being lazy or unproductive & ultimately, feel shame. Here’s a thought- You are where you are today because of your family, your friends, & yourself. This support system is what has shaped your personality, your work ethic, your creativity, & your values. Think of the time you spend with these people as WORKING on being your best self.
Is this not that hardest work of all?
4. Having a beer at lunch.
As Jimmy Buffet would say, it’s 5:00 somewhere. We are entrepreneurs, we make our own rules, & we answer to ourselves. If a beer makes you feel better, be nicer or foster creativity, then go for it. Trust me, my business partner & I have acquired HUGE Clients, brainstormed the best ideas, & signed contracts over beers at lunch. One tip - just make sure it’s good beer.
5. Demanding what you, your service, and your product are worth.
Enough said. You are worth something, you are valuable, & you set those parameters. It is no one’s place to tell you you’re wrong or ridiculous but yours.
6. Rocking your personal style.
Whether it be a suit & tie, leggings, jeans or a t-shirt with a hole in it… if it represents who you are & what you’re about then have no shame & own it. You are an entrepreneur because you are staying true to yourself & your dreams. If you want to rock jeans to a meeting & think it’s the best decision at the time, then do it. Above any dress code or expectation, confidence is what attracts business.
7. Making a mistake.
We all make them. Everyone, everywhere does. No great entrepreneur has gotten where they are without making mistakes. So don’t beat yourself up, don’t be ashamed, learn from it, move on, & become great.
8. Asking for help or advice from a competitor in your industry.
I once read that great leaders should always make sure they are NOT the smartest person in the room, and I agree. One of my personal goals in life is to learn something new every day. What better way to do that than to ask for the help or advice of someone who has been where you’ve been, who is struggling with your struggles, & ultimately taking a piece of the market away from you. There is NO shame in asking for help or advice and that is what I’m most excited about with Startup Soiree. It’s a catalyst for this type of conversation and environment where sharing is fostered and shame does not exist.
[foo l-kruh m, fuhl-]
noun, plural fulcrums, fulcra
1. THE POINT ON WHICH A LEVER RESTS OR IS SUPPORTED AND ON WHICH IT PIVOTS.
2. A THING THAT PLAYS A CENTRAL OR ESSENTIAL ROLE IN AN ACTIVITY, EVENT, OR SITUATION.
Turn off the Naysayer
Just edit the podcast. "I really need to show my editing chops!" Just edit the podcast. "I have to record the most Incredible voice-over stuff" Just edit the podcast. "I have to write the most compelling questions." Just edit the podcast. "The theme song has to be AMAZEBALLS!" Just edit the podcast. "The theme song has to be AMAZEBALLS!" Just …..
I know, right? Wait. Huh? Here we are again.
I'd allowed a project I was helming to become much bigger than was necessary. This lesson goes to show that sometimes our biggest natural talents; talents we know (or think we know) to be our best, can be the greatest hurdles we have to overcome.
In my pre-business life, I was a fount of musical production. Like Rachmoninoff with a stack of Stooges records. I spent all of my time filling up cassette tapes and mini-discs; later piles of hard-drives with tons of musical compositions. In short, I love making music.
For me creating music and producing audio has always come easily; a gift I don't take for granted. But sometimes you get stuck. Or you get away from your confidence. It becomes easy to forget that feeling. That natural confidence that comes from being so in-tune with your efforts that the lines of division disappear.
You with me?
What it is
So what's the deal? I don't know really. You find one thing after another that hangs you up. An excuse to delay. First it's the music. Then it's the process. Then the Intro and Exit tracks. Really it's the approval. I get nervous.
Anyway, I love making music right? And I've said so more than enough around PixilatedHQ. You know, that music is my thing. (in jaded cool guy voice) But….I've never really shared that stuff with my Pixilated family. So, you know, the jitters. Approval jitters.
I recently watched a Ted Talk with Dr. Laura Trice speaking about asking for what we need and not being scared of showing vulnerability in doing so. I thought her POV was eloquent and insightful.
It reminded me of a pact I've made with myself. To use humility as an opportunity to grow when it's easy but also when it's difficult; always. A pact to not be shy about needing to feel the support of those around me; and maybe more so, to not shy away from asking for it.
I'm not brave enough to carry myself that openly out of the gate but I'm going to try. If for nothing more than to place my faith in the taking of action, not inaction.
Salvation in Entrepreneurship
One of the things that entrepreneurship provides me is the opportunity to change direction any moment I choose; a trait I will fine tune as my businesses begin to grow and prosper.
We pride ourselves on agility, on taking things into our own hands, on persevering regardless the challenges that need be overcome. In short, Temerity. Find that hunch, now turn it up.
See you soon, now get to work.
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