The first morning I woke up as an entrepreneur is something I’ll never forget. It was about 4 a.m. in the morning, the house was all quiet, and I was thinking to myself, I don’t have a real job.
I got up and paced the floor with one word in my head, foreclosure.
I think back to that time and I was either running around like a chicken with my head cut off OR I was frozen. Needless to say neither of those functions make for a profitable business so I’ve had my fair share of mishaps. Mishaps brought on by bad and sometimes desperate decisions. Which leads me to another very valuable lesson I learned, desperate people don’t make good decisions.
That was then, and this is now.
The years of mistakes and setbacks have made me smarter and stronger. I’ve discovered how to free myself from the disease of perfection paralysis which allows me to get things done. I’ve also found great comfort and fortune in merely having a plan.
Entrepreneurs and the Proverbial Wheel of Doom
If I can share one bit of wisdom it’s don’t chase dollars! It’ll never work. If you start out and run a business that way you’ll never experience the true joy a profitable entrepreneur feels. You’ll also never feel like you have enough. So you just keep chasing it. Something else an entrepreneur does that’s chasing the dollar is they ride the hamster wheel. They ride it so much in fact, they think that’s how it’s supposed to be – mainly because they’ve never experienced anything else. So they go round and round and round – they’re working hard, but they remain in the same place.
If you’re chasing dollars, you’re never really focused on the big picture, the work that really needs to get done.
Don’t chase nickels when you have dollars flying out the window.
Habits of a Profitable Entrepreneur
I was reading an article by Tim Ferriss (one of my heroes), called New Research and a Dirty Truth: Read This Before Chasing the Dollar. Him and I have something in common, we both believe that we don’t have to be millionaires to have a fantastic life. One of the things he talks about in this post is determining your TMI (Target Monthly Income) for your ideal lifestyle. You can even find a worksheet to download for this exercise by clicking here. The whole idea of this exercise is to know exactly where you want to be and having a map on how to get there.
My approach is a little bit more simplified. However, for me and many entrepreneurs I’ve trained has been proven to be highly effective.
Here’s the 4 steps:
1. Declaration of Intent – What are your intentions with your business? Is it to free yourself from a job you hate? Become wealthy? Perhaps just have a secondary income resource? Whatever the intent is – declare it. Say it out loud, own it and commit to it.
2. Put a Dollar Sign On It – Whatever intent you declare follow that up with a dollar sign. How much will it take? If you want to become wealthy for example, what does that mean to you in specific terms? If it’s secondary income you seek, how much do you need? Write that number down for God and everyone to see. You can’t own what you don’t make known. You have to learn to run your business for profit – otherwise you’ll lose your dream.
3. Treat Yourself Like an Employee -Now this is probably the hardest part. It’s been my experience (personally and from others) that many entrepreneurs have a sense of entitlement. Once they’re freed from the cube they feel like they don’t have to get up at certain time anymore – or answer to anyone. Not true! If you want to make money in your business you must treat your business like it’s a real business, or like it’s big. This is the winning mindset that Crushes It! I get up every morning I do my workout, shower, get dressed, and put on what I call my Walmart make-up (this is just enough make up so that if I have to go out I don’t scare people). I do this even if I have no plans to leave the house or see anyone that day. This procedure prepares me for the day and puts me in the mindset of action.
4. Develop a Plan of Action – Once you know your intentions, you know how much money you want to make, and you’ve developed a working environment – now it’s time for ACTION! Develop a step-by-step plan that gets you to where you need to be. How many clients do you need? How much activity will it take to get those clients? How much revenue do those clients represent? Are you growing your list? How are you getting the word out? These are the types of questions that need to be answered to get you to where you want to be.
These are the traits of entrepreneurs that are successful in their efforts. Adapt to them and you’ll succeed at anything! Cheers!