Why are entrepreneurs revered around the world? Why are American Entrepreneurs viewed as having the best business venture opportunities? Why are the dreams of going from rags to riches still alive and well today? When you choose high risk for high reward, as many entrepreneurs fearlessly do, some amazing things happen along the way. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize these changes and victories, so I present this question to all considering the risk of striking out on their own and becoming an entrepreneur: Win or fail, what great things happen to entrepreneurs when they take a chance on their dreams?
While there is little research that answers this question directly, I can share from personal experience how the entrepreneurial spirit has impacted my life and the lives of my family members. My son Dallas and his wife Ryle, along with my son-in-law Travis and his wife Summer have succeeded as entrepreneurs. They each started as independent contractors. They developed the skills, attitude and mentality necessary to then launch as entrepreneurs. I am so proud of each of them, but even more so of the character they developed along the way.
Entrepreneurship develops character. Even the most unsuccessful entrepreneur can look forward to some critical growth on their journey. Embarking on any entrepreneurial endeavor will produce some interesting and natural consequences. To me, the well-developed character that comes as a direct result is as important, if not more, than any success you achieve en route to your dreams. Lets look at what happens when you choose the most daring and exciting business venture a businessperson can imagine. What do few anticipate, but many can expect when they dare to be an American Entrepreneur?
When developing a business, especially one that may be unique and demand you blaze new trails, it challenges you from almost every angle. The discipline to believe in yourself, believe in your product, and the faith to stick with your plan and ultimately the discipline to persevere is a battle in and of itself. Without discipline you may not make it out of the gate. With it, you can explode onto the scene and take a market by storm. Discipline comes in two ways, by default through necessity, or with purposeful intention. Either way the entrepreneur must adopt and adapt or be defeated. In either case, discipline must happen.
Time Management Happens…
Whether you think you’ve got time management skills or not, they will come about if you’re an entrepreneur. Balancing your life will become a priority by necessity. Amateurs and professionals can both struggle with time management. With so much on your plate, time management simply has to be developed. Without it comes imbalance and an avalanche of issues. Unchecked, these issues will be the demise of your business.
My advice, develop the skill of delegation early and understand how to define role identification. If you try to do it all yourself, which is the natural tendency of the entrepreneur, you will suffer greatly for it. On the other hand, if while growing your business you learn to delegate, and identify roles quickly, you can accelerate the growth of your company exponentially. Time management must happen.
Setting The Bar…
There are few things more motivating than a mentor, a hero, or an excellent example that inspires the entrepreneur. The opposite is true as well. Few things can raise a friend a family or a company’s moral or performance higher than the example of a dedicated entrepreneur. Either way the bar is set. The modern cliché, “just do it” sums it up nicely. When it’s over you’ll look back and know you made it happen, precedence will emerge, and the bar will be set for all to see. More important may be the example you set for you family, friends and colleagues.
A great example is my son Dallas who scoffed at his mother’s encouragement to take his MBA and enter corporate America. He said, “everyone around me has been a successful small business professional, why would I do anything different!” The bar had been set, and the natural result inspired him and the rest of the family to take the risk and pursue his dream. Summer and Travis did exactly the same. They risked it all and on three occasions rose to the top of their industry by recreating their brand and reinventing their business. They successfully developed
an international network, and were heralded as trendsetters in their industry’s most popular nationally syndicated magazine. Both risked it all. They braved the trails, built character through perseverance and set the bar for all to see.
The bar can, will, and must be set.
Entrepreneurs will adopt discipline, learn good time management skills and build character along the way. These actions and the tangible results for all to see is what sets the bar. This is inevitable, it comes with the territory, and as entrepreneurs they develop new character. Sooner or later all these business attributes evolve whether by design or default, by success or failure. This is the natural consequence of the entrepreneur trek.
I have made it a point to learn from those who have gone before me. Those who are older, wiser and have more experience. I have attended many seminars, but my Sunday Seminars are without a doubt, my favorite.
I have learned some extraordinary things from some extraordinary people. One thing is the value to be placed on developing personal character. Few ever grasp the lesson of building character through the trails of life. Wisdom though, demonstrates it is an essential ingredient for success. Fewer still, appreciate what it means to fail forward, to persevere, and to hold steadfast in the belief of their vision. I have learned that everyone will take three things with them when they depart this wonderful journey called life. These three things will permanently move the needle for everyone, but the entrepreneur will have the advantage. When we depart, the legacy that we leave is made up of three things: the relationships we developed and nurtured, the promises we made with God and the resulting character from living our true purpose. It is my experience that the development of personal character is our ultimate goal in life whether we realize it or not. Developing discipline and time management is a natural consequence of being an entrepreneur, and the character that results along the way is a wonderful consequence of that journey, no matter what the results.
Being an example of perseverance in the pursuit of your dreams will set the bar for you, your family, your posterity, your colleagues and everyone one you touch for the rest of your life. Whether it’s through the joy of success or the pain of failure, you will have walked where few dare. You will cultivate skills you would never have had a chance to do otherwise. Lastly, you will develop a new character that will stay with you forever! The Acquisition of character is the one of the greatest gifts life presents, and it is the entrepreneur who strives for and achieves these things.
I hope you will treat your entrepreneurial endeavor as much more than just a business goal, but instead a life long pursuit to be the most you can be, and get the most out of life that there is for the taking. You are an entrepreneur, so be just that, be an example, be a hero and build character! After all, is there anything more challenging and more rewarding in life than being all you can be – the American Entrepreneur?
To your Success,
VP Sales, Entrepreneur Life.
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