The Philosophy of the Entrepreneur

STOP! Whatever else you are doing, stop it.

Focusing on one thing at a time is a key driver of success if you truly want to become an entrepreneur and actually be good at it. Forget whatever you’ve heard about multi-tasking, your goal is not to become an overworked secretary; it is to become that secretary’s boss.

The title puts a question in your mind without even asking one. What is the philosophy of an entrepreneur? If you think you are one, then you should know, right? If you want to become one of those, then you wish you knew, right? Well you can finally stop looking for it. Not because it is here in this article but because there is no such thing.

First of all there is no one entrepreneur mold that all business owners fit into. Second, you should leave the pursuit of knowledge on entrepreneurship for the scholars and book writers. You are not after what makes an entrepreneur tick; you are after what makes YOU tick. This means that you shouldn’t over-analyze others (as you might be tempted to do), if you’re going to analyze anything start with yourself. Lastly, stop searching for the philosophy of the entrepreneur because believe me when I tell you; it is immensely time consuming. Your mental and physical efforts should be guided to building your business and pursuing personal goals instead.

Look at it this way; the time you spend reading about the success of others and researching their lives and what brought them to their successes you are acting like a 15 year old spending her days watching, reading and listening to news about their favorite celebrities.

I know it’s not your fault; it’s just the method you’ve been brought up by. They always tell you, if you want to do well in school do your homework, read the material, study it, memorize it and even dream about it. Only then will you be ready for the test. It is the method that has been engraved into your skull since first grade.

So naturally you started by making a career decision; I want to be the owner, the boss, el jefe… something along those lines. So then you, like any good student would do, you started looking for opportunities, for new businesses, for others who want to make it big as a businessman/woman. You start reading stories in the newspaper and looking for helpful hints online and in magazines. You watch CNBC now and look for books on the topic of entrepreneurship, how to build a business, how to startup this or how to develop that… You overload yourself with information.

So it’s been a few days, weeks, months. And you are still wherever it is you where when you made the decision to be your own boss. Maybe you had a good idea during this time but you can’t remember it. Maybe you’re still thinking about what type of business to startup. Maybe you just have no clue yet.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that obtaining as much knowledge as possible on your future career and work environment are very important. It is good to know about new business opportunities and market trends and how to read or prepare a balance sheet. But this is not the point. The driving force of your entrepreneurial-self should not be an unguided thirst for all type of trivia on topics that are in some way related to business. If that’s the sail that moves your entrepreneur-ship (pardon the pun) then you have become an ostrich. You can see others fly but you never fly yourself, and when the pressure is on, you burry your head in the ground.

Listen, do not over-complicate things. First, stop worrying about what others have done and how they did it because you are not in the same situation they are. Second, you will never find the answers to your confusion in what other people have written or said, the answer is within (I know it sounds cliché but it’s true). Third, if you spend your time trying to emulate ‘the greats’ of the business world, you are effectively spending time trying to be someone you are not, and there’s nothing worse than a person who is not true to him/herself. Finally, you know deep down that you can spend an eternity studying the minds and histories of present and past business leaders and still fail. It is a fear that is very well-founded and valid but you must not lose sight of one thing; you can take a risk and live through the consequences or you can live through the consequences of not ever taking that risk at all.

Think about that and reflect on it, on your options, on your life. Get philosophical about it if you want. But stop living under the delusion that you can be a successful entrepreneur because you know a lot about the subject. I don’t care what you’ve read and I don’t care about what you’ve heard, you forget 90% of what you study anyway. You probably already forgot how this article started. Stop wasting precious time and do it, whatever it is, try it. The opportunities are out there and you have seen them, but they might as well not even be there if you’re never going to take one anyway. In the end, if you don’t take it, someone else will, you know it’s true.

Believe in yourself; take a leap of faith if necessary. If you don’t, nobody will do it for you.
(Granted, it’s easier said than done, but the fact that it’s hard to do does not negate the premise)

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