4 Questions That Divide Wannabe Entrepreneurs and Successful Entrepreneurs

Have you ever daydreamed of being your own boss? Pocketing a CEO’s salary? Gaining acclaim for your innovative ideas? Well, so has everyone else. An enormous gap looms between wannabe entrepreneurs (basically everyone, at some moment in life) and successful entrepreneurs (an elite group of individuals). Bridging that gap requires not just guts, savvy, and determination but also a certain amount of self-awareness. Before you decide that entrepreneurship is the right gig for you, take a long hard look at yourself, your thought and behavior patterns, with these 4 questions:
  1. Do I ask myself “if” or “how?”
Here’s a little secret that no one in your adult life has let you in on: your mother was right. you can do anything, if you work hard enough. The “if” mindset keeps wannabe entrepreneurs stuck in daydreams rather than reality. If I attract an angel investor, I will launch my business. If I get 500 followers on my blog, I will sell more products. If I start making $900 a month, I will quit my day job and focus on entrepreneurship. The “how” mindset motivates entrepreneurs to design a strategy that will realize their daydreams. It’s a small, but critical, shift away from the “if” mindset. How can I attract an angel investor and launch my business? How can I get 500 followers on my blog, so that I can sell more products? How can I start making $900 a month, so that I can quit my day job and focus on entrepreneurship? Asking yourself “how” might mean launching into hard work, but that hard work is necessary to make it as an entrepreneur.
  1. Who do I go to for advice?
“Don’t ask for business advice from someone who has never run a business” might seem like a no-brainer tip, but wannabe entrepreneurs commit this critical error all the time. Wannabe entrepreneurs may look to successful businessmen and women for inspiration, but they rarely seek feedback about their ideas from these individuals. Instead, they entrust their daydreams to friends and family who A) probably have no business experience and B) are likely to be too gentle in their responses. Successful entrepreneurs align their ideas with their successful predecessors. Not only do they look to industry giants for inspiration, they also approach successful businessmen and women with their ideas, opening themselves up to constructive criticism.
  1. How long do I stay committed to one idea?
Wannabe entrepreneurs and successful entrepreneurs alike can fill a whiteboard with exciting new ideas in under 5 minutes. Only successful entrepreneurs are able to pick one idea from all that excitement and stick to it. Wannabe entrepreneurs rarely get past the “brainstorming” phase of a project. They get jazzed about an idea, daydream about it for a few weeks, and then let it peter out, rather than committing to the grunt work that turns dreams into reality. No matter, for the wannabe entrepreneur—a new idea will come along for “brainstorming” soon enough. Successful entrepreneurs brainstorm an idea, then get to work on that idea. They are in it for the long haul, and they won’t be discouraged by setbacks or distracted by new ideas.
  1. Am I holding out for “tomorrow?”
Compare the schedules of a wannabe entrepreneur and a successful entrepreneur, and you will discover one of the most prevailing differences between the two. Wannabe entrepreneurs almost always slate their projects for “tomorrow.” They’re either waiting for some landmark to tell them it’s the “right time” to get to work, or they are simply procrastinating. Successful entrepreneurs, on the other hand, can almost always be found carpe-ing their diem. They devote part of each “today” to making progress towards their business goals.
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