Friday, July 23, 2010

Have the Heart to go the Distance

The beautiful thing about being the CEO of your own company is that nobody can tell you what to do. The dreadful thing about being the CEO of your own company is that nobody can tell you what to do! Therein lies the dilemma of entrepreneurship.

To be your own boss, to call the shots, to have the flexibility to work when, and where you want is pure bliss, but the perplexity of what to do, when, and why, is the flip side and can be quite daunting. Most people are not taught how to be entrepreneurs. We come to it either by accident or through necessity and we learn the ropes as we go. It is a trial by fire or on-the-job training of sorts and initially we try anything and everything because we don't have a road map as to how it's done. We throw all kinds of things against the wall to see what sticks and this can sometimes lead to frustration and even failure. We can become impatient because we may not see results as quickly as we had anticipated and we begin to second-guess our plan.

Once you get the entrepreneurial bug, there is no turning back and you want to share it with everyone. You wonder why people don't see the opportunity that you see as a business owner. Or you wonder why they continue to choose a traditional type of work situation, rather than one that can bring them financial freedom beyond their wildest dreams. But success is not a given as a business owner and it does not come easy. It takes time, daily action, dedication and most importantly, heart to see your efforts pay off.

Rome wasn't built in a day and get-rich-quick-schemes are not the way to make it, so patience and perseverance are necessary in order to succeed. Time is important because it paces your efforts. You need to understand that it takes many months and even years of effort sometimes to see your business thrive. Daily action is fundamental in growing your own business. The quantity and quality of the daily action you take will affect the amount of time that it takes to see positive results. And although daily action is crucial, some people who are new to entrepreneurship don't realize just how important it is!

Customers do not fall out of the sky nor do they flock to your enterprise as soon as your proverbial "shingle" goes up on the door or on your website. One has to take daily action that communicates the fact that you have a new business and that you are looking for customers. You have to talk about your business to everyone, and not just through word of mouth. You need to advertise it in a way that will bring the best return on your investment through direct mail, newspaper ads, flyers, web links, the three-foot rule, etc. You need to pick up the phone and talk to your leads even if you dread the thought and if you own a brick and mortar store, you need to showcase it in a way that attracts customers to it. Failing to take daily action is in essence, inaction and it will paralyze your efforts and your business.

Without dedication, you might as well call it a day and go back to your corporate job. It's a given. If you are not dedicated to your business, then it's a hobby for you and you should not expect it to pay your bills.

To be sure, these qualities are all important in your ability to succeed as an entrepreneur, but the most important thing that one needs to be successful as a business owner, the grand-daddy of all of the other attributes, is heart. Heart will get you further than any other characteristic or skill because it gives you the burn you need to make it through the difficult times. It drives you when talent falls short. It will not let you stop. It will not let you fail. It will take you the distance and will not let you quit until you have succeeded.

If you have that passion inside that keeps you going toward your goal no matter what, then you have an entrepreneurial spirit, the heart that it takes to succeed, and that is more powerful and more compelling than any other quality.

Go for it! Because the actions you take today will undoubtedly pay you in droves in the not too distant future!

As Lance Armstrong said so eloquently, "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

Quote of the Day

"Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day." Jim Rohn