I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Wishing is not a business strategy.” It’s the very first thing I think whenever I hear an entrepreneur begin a statement about their business with, “I wish…”
Someone who wishes for change in his or her business is better described as a ‘wishfulpreneur’ than an entrepreneur.
So how do you turn wishful thinking into positive actions?
We entrepreneurs take action. It’s at the root of what we do, it’s how we survive and thrive. Sure, we may dream big, but the difference between an entrepreneur and a wishfulpreneur is all in the action. Entrepreneurs take ownership and they take action.
I celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016. Organizers describe it as “…a celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.” Sounds like something worth celebrating, doesn’t it? Take a closer look at that description – innovators and job creators are listed, but not wishful thinkers. Words like drive, growth, and expand are used – action words describing action orientated people!
Wishing is not a business strategy but I hear it from people all the time as if it were…
“I just wish I could get more customers.”
“I just wish I could make $100,000.”
“I wish I could find good people.”
“I wish I didn’t have to work as much.”
Well, you know what? I wish that I had 10-million dollars that I could invest that would actually pay me a million dollar a year dividend, but I traded my wishbone for a backbone and decided that the only way this was going to happen was if I took action.
It’s time for you to decide the same thing. Being a wishfulpreneur is a sure path to failure. If you want success, you need to trade your wishbone in for a backbone too.
So lets talk about how you do that…
The first step you need to take is to unequivocally accept responsibility for EVERYTHING.
The good, the bad, and the ugly in your life and business – everything is because of you.
Your employee screws up. Guess what? It’s your fault.
Your customer is not happy. Guess what? It’s your fault.
You don’t have any sales. Guess what? It’s your fault.
It all stops with you. You own the business.
That’s how I behave in my business. When we screw up, I own it because I’m the leader of the business. If somebody is not happy, I own it, because it’s my responsibility.
It’s the same deal with you. You have to accept responsibility for everything that happens in your business. And, that means accepting responsibility for the good stuff too. Sometimes we are so focused on everything that goes wrong instead of what we want, that all we do is focus on the negative.
I recently did a Periscope on the one thing entrepreneurs forget to do in business that really matters – we forget to celebrate the successes as they happen.
The book, Pilot to Profit: Navigating Modern Entrepreneurship to Build Your Business Using Online Marketing, Social Media, Content Marketing and Sales, was a dream of mine (just one of many!) but there is a big difference between a dream and a wish. Don’t forget to think and dream about what it is you want. BUT don’t just wish about it, DO something about it. Take action and accept responsibility that if that thing you want is going to happen you, it’s going to be because you did something about it – accept responsibility for bringing your dreams to life.
Your second step is to examine what is holding you back.
Is it money?
Is it fear?
Is it technology?
Is it that you don’t know what you need to know?
If you don’t understand what’s holding you back then you are going to keep on wishing. You’ll stay stuck in fear and negativity, and you’re going to look at everyone else around you, who have good stuff happening, and think, “Why not me? I wish I could do that.”
Well, you can. You just need to examine what’s holding you back. What is preventing you from moving forward? 90% of the time it’s fear- and often the fear is in your head. It’s not real.
So not only do you want to examine what is holding you back, but you want to examine that fear. Take a really good look at it. Is it really that scary?
“Oh, I’m afraid I might say the wrong thing on Facebook.”
Unless you’re famous, the world is not going to stop and say, “You said the wrong thing on Facebook!”
“Oh, I’m afraid nobody is going to buy.”
Well, guess what, you wont be any worse off than you are right now.Stop being afraid and letting things hold you back in your #business. Face the fear. Click To Tweet
When I quit my job working for TELUS – my safe, cushy, 6-figure job – to open my own business, I had to sit down and look in the mirror at what I was afraid of. I remember making the decision, and I also remember my OMG moment, “What am I doing?! I’m investing a couple hundred thousand and I’m walking away from a 6-figure a year in income. What on Earth am I doing?!”
I had to look closely at what I really, really wanted. And, what I really, really wanted was to be self-employed.
I want to be in charge of my life.
I want to be responsible.
I want to be accountable.
I want to be in control of all of it.
I realized that I couldn’t do that if were someone else’s employee.
I could take action, but there was risk.
So what were the biggest risks that could happen to me? I could lose everything. I could bankrupt us. We could end up losing our home because at the time I used equity from our line of credit attached to our home to start my business. That’s a BIG risk. $200,000 is not chump change. It’s serious cake. It’s a lot of money.
But I looked at it and I thought, “OK, so I lose everything. I lose the money, I lose the house, and I’ve got to start over again? Well, I’ve been there.”
When I examined that fear I considered what were the odds of me, a top performer in my job, who does a really good job of driving sales, who was never reprimanded at work, who hadn’t been let go at a job since I was 12 – what were the chances that I’d fail? The odds were really in my favour. I knew how to do what I wanted to do, so did I need to be afraid?
Just dive in – examine the fear. Examine what is holding you back.
And that wasn’t me just going, “Oh, I’m afraid. Oh, I don’t know maybe I won’t be successful,” and going on and on about it and right back to my regular programming. Examine it! Sit and think about it, journal about it. Write down the worst-case scenario and write down all the things you can do to prevent that from happening.
Take a little bit of time and think about it. You will diffuse, or find a solution, for whatever it is that is holding you back.
Your third step is – and this might not be popular – you’ve got to decide.
Are you going to be a full-fledged entrepreneur, are you going to put your heart on the line, are you going to risk it, and go for it – or do you want a job? Because there are too many entrepreneurs out there who act like employees. It’s time to stop behaving like an employee. If you really want what you want you need to change your behavior. And, if you can’t change your behavior and make your business successful then maybe you need to decide to go back to work and just get a job.
And, it’s OK – not everybody is meant to be an entrepreneur.
I would rather you have a job, love your life and have safety, and regular hours, and 2.5 weeks vacation, and 7.3 sick days, and a 401K, and a retirement plan, or whatever else it is that feels good to you; than for you to agonize and stay stuck in entrepreneurship for the rest of your life.
But you are the only person who can decide.You’ve got to decide whether you’ve got what it takes to be an #entrepreneur, or bail and get a job. Click To Tweet
There is nothing wrong with bailing and getting a job. But, I’ll tell you something, the mindset of a true entrepreneur; the mindset of a successful entrepreneur is not the same as the mindset of an employee.
You choose. You decide.
Do you have the mindset of an entrepreneur or do you have the mindset of an employee? And pick the path that is the right path for you. There is no shame in either choice, but you’ve got to decide.
The fourth, and final step you need to do is…something, anything.
One of the key things that resonated from my Tim Ferris Rocked My World post last week, was his concept that, “Life favours the specific ask and punishes the vague wish.”
So, get specific!
If you decide, “I don’t want to do this anymore,” then find a way to exit your business and start looking for a job. Do something. Take action.
If you decide, “No way man! I’m not going back to the workforce, I’m going to do this!” Then do something to move your business forward. Start thinking about what you can control and what you can do to change your situation. Work on a system for your business success!Make a conscious choice to get rid of your wishbone and start using your backbone. Click To Tweet
Using your backbone means speaking up instead of keeping everything in your head. It means doing the things that are uncomfortable and being OK with being uncomfortable.
You know you can do this if you really want to. But if you don’t really want to, you’re just going to spin round and round in circles. You’re not going to be happy.
I am jazzed about the opportunity to do new things in my business. When I’m trying to get to the next level and I’m trying to make things happen. I’m excited about it. I’m not like; “Oh I wish someone would come do this for me,” or “Oh, what if they don’t like my post.” I’m in the hustle.
“Oh? They didn’t like that post?”
Great! What can I do next?
“Oh? That email didn’t convert any business?”
Great! How can I explain this differently?
“Oh? That didn’t work?”
Great! Then, I’m going to try this!
I am in it to win it. I am hustling to build my business and it is enjoyable.
Now trust me, there are speed bumps, there are times I’m just like, “Oh God, could this get a little bit easier?” But those are exceptions; they’re not the norm.
I’m not constantly wondering if I was cut out for this. That doesn’t ever cross my mind. Not once. Not once have I ever thought maybe I should just go get a job, because I’m built to be an entrepreneur. And I know that.
If you’re not built to do this, you need to decide. You need to take the first step to doing something that is going to make your life a whole lot happier than it is right now. And, you need to let go of whatever expectations are stopping you from doing that. If you think family, friends and all these other people are going to judge you– guess what– you need to stop living your life for everyone else and start living it for you.
This whole post is based on a Periscope I did a while ago – I get very fired up about trading your wishbone in for a backbone, because this is really important for your success. Leave me a comment, and share a wish that you are going to turn into an action. Maybe it’s a new product or a new service. Or maybe it’s your own book! If it’s a book that you’ve been dreaming of writing I might even be able to help you turn that dream into a reality…
Download and use the book outline I created to turn my dream into a reality at: lisalarter.com/outline
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.