Entrepreneurship Isn’t for the Faint Hearted

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I wasn’t prompted, taught or coached to run a business growing up. Like many entrepreneurs and small business owners, I wasn’t raised in a family business. Actually, it was literally the opposite for me. I was told to be quite, wait your turn, go to school and get a job.

I was thrown the most typical career textbook one could imagine growing up. I didn’t do well in school, and I definitely never did well with following a cookie-cutter road map. I’ve always been a little rebellious. I never followed the rules, and really in many ways was an outcast in my family professional tree. So much so, when I got my first salary paying job when I was 23 my mother made me promise it wasn’t a pyramid scheme. (Which it 100% wasn’t)

My Professional Guidance Flowchart Growing Up

Go to school - Get good grades - Graduate - Go to more school - Get a free internship - Graduate again - Make a good resume - Get a job - Stay at that job - Assume that job promotes you - Retire - Die!

My point here is simple. I never intended to be an entrepreneur. Literally, many people in my family would tell you that being a business owner or entrepreneur is “risky”. (I love it when people say that, it makes me feel cool.)

Entrepreneurship is in my blood. Who did I get it from? I have no clue, but it’s literally in my veins. I believe I was set out to build things, break things, re-create stuff and hopefully make a profitable business along the way.

I’m blessed to do what I do. I truly believe that. But there is a major problem going on and we have to address it for future generations.

Follow the hashtag #entrepreneur on Instagram and you will see the problem clear as day. There’s a bunch of bullshit happening right now. We have made a false reality out of entrepreneurship. I’m not sure how this came to be, but it’s lost and warped. Business isn’t for the faint hearted, and we have to be honest about with the next generation of trendy entrepreneurs and business owners.


The Truth About Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is hard. There is no road map on how to be an entrepreneur. So don’t waste your money on 99% of those entreleadership books you see out there. Many times, entrepreneurs don’t even realize they're a so called “entrepreneur” until they’re knee-deep in their new business. That’s exactly what happened to me.

My goal was to start a business and hopefully make that business self sustaining and profitable. That’s exactly what I did. I just built a business. Nothing more, nothing less.  I didn’t have dreams of a Lamborghini and taking selfies of a jet and putting it on Instagram. I wanted real life success.

I believe the entrepreneur world is hurt right now. Our reputation is damaged. There are so many misconceptions out there I’m not even sure where to start but I feel we need to start calling it like it is.

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur you will be able to relate to this post. I hope you if you agree with this post, you decide to share it with your people. If you’re thinking about venturing out into the world of entrepreneurship with hopes of becoming 100% self-sustaining then there are a few things I’d like to tell you. I hope this honesty helps you. I also hope, my truth, gives you some better direction. Running a business is hard, no doubt about it, and I want to clear up some misconceptions about this fake image of entrepreneurship that’s going on in today’s Instagram fueled world.


You Have To Be Obsessed.

Passion projects are fun and side businesses are cool if you need some extra cash, but if you want self-sustaining success I believe you have to be obsessed with the process. You don’t have to be obsessed with ‘what you do’, but you have to have an source bigger than yourself driving you.

I enjoy what I do. I like marketing, but I’m by no means in love with it. Running a digital agency can be wearing beyond belief. My second business, selling cannabis oil is also great, but it also might not be in my long-term plans, so that doesn’t necessarily drive me to ‘want more’.

My purpose is rather simple. I can tell you exactly what drives me, and it has nothing to do with what I actually do. I have a burning desire to be overly successful, financially free which will allow me to live the life I envision for my family and it will allow me to take care of the ones around me. I also have a fear of going broke, although I’m by no means even close to being in any kind of financial trouble. I feel like I have to outrun the lion as I put in my first blog I ever wrote for 100% Earned.

If you’re not obsessed and don’t have something bigger than yourself driving you than I have little faith you will reach your most potential.

The second I saw my wife hold our newborn son I knew my purpose grew that much more. I knew I had more meaning to grind. For the last seven months my business has grown in the mix of having a newborn around while working from home. I’m obsessed with the will to be successful.

So I’ll ask you directly - What’s driving you? - email me directly: james@goedison.com


Zero Excuses Can Be Made

When you’re running your own company and every dollar you make depends on you, your mentality and accountability level has to change. I can’t make excuses for any of my actions, thoughts or out of control situations that happen to me. I have to be 100% accountable and and take FULL ownership of my life.

One of the biggest turn-offs someone can possess is the ability to make excuses for their actions and life. Those people also tend to be major complainers. I get we all can have moment of weaknesses at times, but if making excuses and complaining is more normal than not for you, you’re going to have an uphill battle in the world of business.

I can’t make excuses for any bad moves I make when it comes to my companies. If I miss a sale, that’s on me. Everything I do is a reflection of my business and my work, therefore I have to be 100% accountable. You can only be 100% accountable if you’re willing to make ZERO excuses. If my team’s not performing, that’s not on them, that’s on me. I’m not leading well enough. If I have an unhappy client, that’s because my business failed them along the way, again, that’s on me. Everything I do falls back to choies I have to make. To be a good leader and own a successful business, it’s no secret, there is zero room for any type of excuses.


Don’t Talk About It. Be About It

I have an old friend named Eric. He’s not an entrepreneur, but he’s got a hustler mentality. He used to say ‘Hey man, don’t talk about it, be about it!” Well, he couldn'’t be more right. Too many people in today’s world are NOT about it, even when they want to be ‘about it’.

I wanted to start this blog forever ago. I made a TON of excuses why I shouldn’t, although I’ve been burning to have a website dedicated to the everyday entrepreneur. I would preach to people how THEY should have a blog and share their passion and experience with other, all while I wasn’t taking my own advice. In this instance, up until December 28th, 2017, I truly wasn’t ‘about it’ when it came to enhancing my own personal brand.

Today, I have to be all about action. If I’m not, I’m wasting time and AS WE ALL KNOW HERE - The 100% Earned community believes time is valuable because time is money!

If you’re not taking action and putting steps in place to progress forward and grow, I can’t be around you. I’ve written about the importance of sticking with winners and we know winners posses one thing - the ability to take action!

This principle is as straightforward as it comes. If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. In the world of entrepreneurship, you have to take action and make moves. The most successful people I know are all ‘movers and shakers’. They don’t waste time when it comes to making decisions and they back up every decision with a strong action. FYI: If you’re looking for simple ways to improve your decision making skills, check out my most recent blog here.


Do You Have the Guts?

Having heart and having guts are two different things, figuratively speaking. You can have major desire and heart and the ‘want’ to be successful, but having the guts and skin to bare the day to day pressures of running a business is completely different.

Entrepreneurship has tested my comfort levels more times than I can count. I remember when I sent out my first recurring money proposal to a client and how nervous I was to hit send. (They accepted!) - Now I send out proposals weekly at much higher dollar amounts. I’ve grown. I remember the first time I had to call a client because of a late payment, I remember the first time feeling awkward asking for more money, I remember the first time having to stand up for my business to another CEO of a bad company trying to throw shade on our name. All these situations has forced me to grow. Thanks to situations like these I’ve learned to have the guts of an entrepreneur.

Some of the smaller things you’re forced to do in entrepreneurship is very overlooked. Having direct, accountable and honest conversations with employees and business partners isn’t easy, but at times needed. You have to have guts for this. You have to know how to be a leader, which takes courage. Also, having the pressure of closing a sale or pitching an investor is high pressure. These are everyday things in an entrepreneur's life that most people don’t understand. People with jobs always say “you have it easy, you get to work from home!” - Ha! You get to stop work at 4pm! Entrepreneurs don’t measure time, we measure impact. Having guts is an essential tool for success.


The Time is NOW  

Listen, the time is now. The self-employment rate is expected to TRIPLE in the next 24 months. We’re living in one of the greatest times ever to become a business owner, entrepreneur, freelancer, or whatever it takes to be 100% self-sustaining. You can read the full report here.

The time is now. I humbly ask you - What are you waiting on? What excuses are you making this month? Don’t talk about it, start to be about it!

There is also an ugly truth; most people aren’t cut out to be 100% self-sustaining and that’s fine. There’s NOTHING wrong with following the lead of others, having a nice and secure job and just being you! This site and content is for specific people and I’ve realized over the years not everyone is as passionate as I am about business, money, impact and success. Also, not everyone has what it takes to be truly self-sustaining. Anyone of us, at anytime could get complacent and lose everything. It’s truly that extreme.

This past month I’ve got a TON of great new responses and new people to join my 100% Earned community. If you’re a top performer, entrepreneur or business owner then I ask you to sign up for my 100% Earned Newsletter. I send out ONE email per month (12x/emails per year) packed with exclusive content. No sales, no games, no bullshit. I want you part of my community. I want to surround myself with winners, and I KNOW majority of you reading this far into my content are winners. Until next time, let’s not talk about it…. Let’s be about it!