In fact, most people want ownership of something. They want to look at a home, a family, a business, a life, and say “I did that. I built that.”
And that means they want stakes. They want the potential to fail, and to win anyway.
But what do most people get? Cog-in-the-machine jobs they don’t care about. Counting the hours until the day ends. Feeling like they’re not making much of a difference—for themselves or others.
In other words, no stakes. Who would want ownership of that?
Yes, starting a business is hard. Even with support, pre-built processes, and mentorship, entrepreneurship will stretch you. There will be many times where your decisions actually matter.
Choose wrong, pay the price. Choose right, reap the rewards.
And that’s the whole point. Because ownership unlocks a whole new dimension of life. You discover what you’re made of. You’re confronted by your weaknesses. You’re amazed by your strengths.
You find out that you’re far stronger than you ever realized.
So if you’re thinking about entrepreneurship, make the move. Own your own business. Own your own decisions. Own your own failures and successes. Own your own life.
There’s a stereotype that all successful entrepreneurs have borderline mythic powers of focus.
They wear the same t-shirt days on end to free up their bandwidth for big decisions.
They hone their mental acuity by reading dozens of big books per year.
They can move boulders with their minds and shoot lightning from their fingers…
You get the picture.
But you don’t have to be a Jedi Knight—or Sith Lord—to become a successful entrepreneur.
You just have to really love what you do.
Studies have shown that people with strong willpower actually enjoy the hard things they do.¹ The maniac who’s out running at 5:00 AM? He’s not necessarily a self-loathing monk—he might be having a blast.
The same is true of entrepreneurs. The fuel for their focus, their refusal to quit, and their seemingly limitless resourcefulness is that they’re having fun.
The takeaway? If you’re going to start a business, choose an industry and mission you love. It’s the best way to fortify your will against the challenges you face… and maybe have some fun while you’re at it.
¹ “Why willpower is overrated,” Brian Resnick, Vox, Jan 2, 2020, https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/1/15/16863374/willpower-overrated-self-control-psychology
It’s because the right kind of business can provide income that scales with inflation. Here’s how it works…
Inflation is the steady rise of prices over time. The only way for a salaried employee to keep up with those price increases is for their paychecks to grow at the same rate, which may not always happen.
Entrepreneurs have an option—they can increase prices. As the cost of living increases, so does the revenue from their business.
Here’s the catch—it only works if you’re selling a solution that’s in demand. Otherwise, customers may decide that they really don’t need your services after all and stop buying.
So if you’re looking to inflation-proof your income, a business may be just what you need. But make no mistake—the industry and mentorship you choose to start that business will mean the difference between inflation-proof, and inflation-vulnerable.
“Warren Buffett says these businesses do the best during periods of high inflation,” Nicolas Vega, CNBC, Aug 19 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/19/warren-buffett-inflation-best-businesses.html
Here’s a thought that will make your heart race: Quitting your job to start a business. It’s the ultimate step away from security and routine to uncertainty and chaos. But it’s a step many think is necessary to become an entrepreneur.
But it’s not. For many, it might even be a mistake.
That’s because it may be too intense for first-time entrepreneurs. Without support and, above all, experience, diving into full time entrepreneurship can be the short road to burnout.
That’s why it’s often best to explore entrepreneurship in your spare time. It gives you the freedom to start slow and steady, making strategic steps to build momentum. If your spare time experiment falls through, no sweat! You don’t necessarily need it to make ends meet.
That freedom also can give you the boldness you need to create innovative—and possibly risky—solutions.
Put to rest the myth that you need to dive into entrepreneurship full time. Start small. Start strategic. Start building. It will serve you far better than making a rash decision before you’re prepared for making a full time commitment.
It often comes with a pay raise, which is always good. It can represent a boost in responsibility, pushing your career forward.
But here’s a question few have asked—is a promotion the best way to boost your income?
Let’s do the math.
The average income boost from a raise is 3%.¹ If you earn $60,000 per year, then you can expect a raise to give you an annual boost of $1,800. That’s $150 per month.
Depending on your situation, that could make a huge difference for your financial picture. But it pales in comparison to other income-boosting strategies. For instance, changing jobs can boost your salary by 14.8%.² The average annual income boost from starting a business is $14,705.³
Suddenly, 3% doesn’t seem all that impressive!
Again, this isn’t to detract from getting a promotion. It’s a testament to your work ethic and grit.
But if your entire career arc hinges on landing one promotion after another, you may need a better strategy.
¹ “What to Expect from an Average Promotion Raise,” Indeed.com, Feb 22, 2021, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/average-promotion-raise
² “Average Salary Increase When Changing Jobs Statistics ,” Chris Kolmar, Zippia, Dec 28, 2021, https://www.zippia.com/advice/average-salary-increase-when-changing-jobs/
³ “STUDY: Millions of Americans have a ‘side hustle’ to boost their incomes and pursue their passions,” Vista Newsroom, Aug 1, 2019, https://news.vistaprint.com/side-hustle-study-us
But we all know entrepreneurs wear many, many hats. At times, they’ll juggle acting as CEO, the marketing department, sales, support, HR, and accounting. Even thinking about that level of multitasking makes many peoples’ brains shut off!
But the science is clear—multitasking doesn’t work. Hopping back and forth from task to task takes a massive toll on your brain’s efficiency. One study showed it lowers IQ 15 points, putting most people in the intelligence range of the average 8 year old.¹
Trying to successfully multitask is one of the greatest barriers to becoming an entrepreneur.
So entrepreneurs, being the problem solvers they are, have developed a simple solution—don’t multitask. Period.
Instead, they’ve learned two workarounds…
Leveraging flow. That means turning off the phone, going on do-not-disturb mode, and giving their entire attention to the task at hand. They work on one priority at a time for a sustained period to maximize their focus and efficiency. Then, they move on to the next task.
Delegating the small stuff. Remember, the super power of entrepreneurs is their team. Once they can hire employees, this frees up their time to focus on the important tasks that require their full attention.
So if you’re afraid of starting a business because you don’t think you can handle all the multitasking, don’t be. Just remember to focus on one task at a time, and delegate the rest.
¹ “To Multitask or Not to Multitask,” USC Dornsife
Seems counterintuitive, right? Business owners can work long hours, face complex problems, and carry a heavy load of stress—with no guarantee of success.
At least, that’s what you get told. And it couldn’t be more wrong.
Two new studies reveal the truth.
The first, from Baylor University, found that entrepreneurs are subjectively happier.¹ In other words, they feel better. Why? Because they…
• Have a greater sense of autonomy
• Feel a closer connection to their purpose
• Apply their skills and passions to their work
The second study, from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, showed that entrepreneurs are far happier than employees.² Even the high number of unsuccessful entrepreneurs didn’t change the results. Entrepreneurs, regardless of income, were happier than even highly paid corporate officers.
And it wasn’t just the entrepreneurs. The study from Baylor proved that the presence of small businesses improved the health of surrounding communities.³ The more entrepreneurs, the greater the health of the neighborhood.
Start a business. It doesn’t have to be a stressful, high-stakes tech startup. Just an outlet for your skills that also pays you.
¹ “The Good Business of Thriving Entrepreneurs,” Justin Walker, Baylor University Hankamer School of Business, Mar 30, 2020, https://www.baylor.edu/business/news/news.php?action=story&story=218228
² “Rich or Not, Entrepreneurs Are Happiest in Study,” Elizabeth Blackwell, TheStreet, Sep 28, 2012, https://www.thestreet.com/investing/rich-or-not-entrepreneurs-are-happiest-in-study-11721398
³ “Entrepreneurs Are Happier And Healthier Than Employees According To University Research Studies,” Bernhard Schroeder, Forbes, Apr 1, 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernhardschroeder/2022/04/01/entrepreneurs-are-happier-and-healthier-than-employees-according-to-university-research-studies/?sh=340a1cc73ee6
Hint—it’s not what you tell yourself.
What you tell yourself are excuses. They pop into your brain as thoughts, like…
“I just don’t have time.”
“Maybe in a few months.”
“Well, first I’ll have to make a business plan, and then I’ll need to find clients and then…”
Those thoughts are coming from somewhere. They come from your emotions. And emotions can be irrational… and very, very powerful.
Emotions cause the sense of overwhelm when you think about the long, hard, lonely hours.
They cause the hazy uncertainty of ditching your stable and comforting routines.
They cause that churning in your gut when you realize you could fail.
Emotions are stopping you from entrepreneurship. The reasons may come and go. But the feelings stay the same.
So what are the feelings that come up when you think about starting a business? Are they moving you towards a destiny that excites you? Or are they moving you away from pursuing your potential?
Your partners, mentors, and collaborators will impact every way you’ll be measured as an entrepreneur. What your success will look like. What your income will look like.
As the great Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Think about those five people in your life. Do you want to be the average of them?
If your answer is anything less than an enthusiastic yes, it’s time to do some soul searching. To be a successful entrepreneur, it may be time to make some hard decisions about who you spend the bulk of your time with.
Maybe you need to limit your time with energy vampires. Maybe you need to stop sharing your hopes and dreams with negative people. Maybe you need to completely cut toxic influences out of your life…
You may think it’s cruel to tell someone in no uncertain terms, “Sorry. I’m not going to spend my energy on this anymore.” You’re afraid they’ll feel like they’ve been abandoned.
But you don’t owe them anything. They’re the toxic people who brought negativity into your life. If they can’t deal with your building something great, that’s kinda their problem.
In other words, it’s time to set boundaries for yourself. It’s time to say what behavior you’ll tolerate and what behavior you won’t. It’s time to show yourself some respect like never before.
They thrive on flexibility. They need space to be creative. They have to be unrestrained to dream.
Surveys have revealed that 55% of entrepreneurs started a business to become their own boss, while 39% said they wanted to pursue their passion.¹
Why? Because it’s how they’re hardwired. Research has shown that entrepreneurs are higher in both openness to experience and conscientiousness than managers.² In other words, they’re very creative and highly driven.
And those are terrible things to be in many offices. Think about it. The average employment position is not designed to offer freedom—it’s designed to pay you a defined amount of money for a defined job.
Employees often have no creative control over their work. They can feel like a stop on an assembly line. If they work extra hard, the boss may reward them with a promotion. Even then, sometimes there’s little correlation between effort and reward.
Hear this loud and clear—entrepreneurs are not designed for pre-defined limitations.
To thrive, they need freedom.
Freedom to solve problems their way, not according to protocol.
Freedom to focus their energy and efforts toward making their vision a reality.
Freedom to reap the full rewards of their efforts.
Freedom to reach their full potential.
But here’s the catch—freedom requires time and money. And entrepreneurship is the only way to gain this control.
That’s because it places responsibility right where it belongs—with you. You become responsible for solving problems. You become responsible for critical decisions. You become responsible for company culture.
Above all, you become responsible for your own success.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve already noticed that you were built different. The monotony, the boredom, the beige walls of being an employee aren’t for you. You just need an opportunity to spread your wings and claim the freedom you crave.
¹ “39 Entrepreneur Statistics You Need to Know in 2022,” Dragomir Simovic, SmallBizGenius, Feb 25, 2022, https://www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/entrepreneur-statistics/#gref
² “Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature,” Sari Pekkala Kerr, William R. Kerr, Tina Xu, Harvard Business School, Nov 2017, https://www.hbs.edu/ris/Publication%20Files/18-047_b0074a64-5428-479b-8c83-16f2a0e97eb6.pdf
It starts with massive success. You pick up a hobby, new skill, or start a business, and you’re crushing it. Everything you touch just seems to work.
But it’s short lived.
Beginner’s luck dries up. It gets hard to nail even the basics. You feel like you’ve somehow gotten worse the harder you try. Effort no longer translates to results.
And worst of all, you’re not sure why. Something feels off, and you have no clue how to fix it.
Welcome to the Dip. This dark valley is when MOST quit. It’s the boneyard of business. It’s where you’re faced with a choice…
Quit. Or don’t quit. That’s it.
This is the premise of Seth Godin’s classic The Dip. It’s fast and uplifting, and every aspiring entrepreneur should read it.
Godin shares two critical ideas…
1. Winners quit all the time. The idea that only blind determination will carry you through is foolish. Instead, winning is about knowing when to quit.
2. The Dip creates scarcity, which can bring massive opportunity. The more people quit, the greater potential you have to dominate your industry.
His advice? DO NOT quit when you first encounter the Dip. In fact, you must embrace the Dip for what it is—the opportunity to become a leader. As your competitors collapse under the pressure, you’ll become one of the few options in your market. It’s a powerful—and potentially lucrative—position.
But that’s not all. The Dip can also be an opportunity to strategically quit. Why? Because it gives you critical information about whether you’re on the right path. Godin gives some criteria on how to tell if you should push through, or quit and invest in another opportunity…
1. You’re not positioned to become world-class. Almost all the rewards go to the greatest. It’s an exponential drop-off after. If you can’t become world-class in the business you’ve chosen, then it may be wise to quit now and invest in something else.
2. You’ve made no measurable progress. The Dip causes panic. It makes everything seem like complete and utter failure. But there are often signs of progress. You just can’t see them because the Dip has blinded you. If you’re just panicking, stay the course. Keep pushing. Payoff may be just a few steps ahead. But if you’ve hit a dead end, quit now. You’ll be glad you did instead of sinking more money and energy into a failing venture.
The Dip is something every entrepreneur wishes they had known about before they started. It could potentially have saved them time, energy, and heartache.
But now you know about it! And that means you can prepare. How? Here are a few ideas…
Get mentorship. Seasoned entrepreneurs have experienced the Dip before. Their insight and wisdom can help you decide if the Dip is worth fighting through. So before you start your business, seek a mentor. Shadow them, ask them questions, share your ups and downs with them. It may be the best investment you make!
Make a plan. The more detailed your plan to become an entrepreneur, the better prepared you’ll be for the Dip. Why? Because a plan short circuits panic. It gives you objective benchmarks for success that can help restore your confidence when progress seems slow.
Build mental toughness. It’s a fact—the Dip will test your fortitude. Tapping out too early could prevent you from reaching your true potential. The greater your mental toughness, the more likely you become to reach the rewards on the other side.
The Dip is a challenge that many entrepreneurs face. It’s when the work gets hard, the rewards dry up, but it’s when most of your competition collapses. The Dip won’t last forever. Once you push past this difficult phase, rewards are ripe for the taking if you can exploit it to your advantage!
Why? Because starting a business shouldn’t feel impossible. The goal is to empower yourself to make as smooth a transition as possible from employee to entrepreneur. And if you don’t have answers for these questions, you could find yourself slamming into obstacles instead of sailing into your future.
What INDUSTRY will you choose? Consider stability, potential, trends, and size. Check your gut—can you see yourself working in this industry for the next stage of your life?
Who is your MARKET? Not what, but WHO. Who is the precise client group you will serve? Every industry is filled with different demographics and target consumers. Identify yours.
What’s your DIFFERENTIATOR? What makes your offering different from the competition’s? What is your special formula—your secret sauce? Could others easily copy it—or can you protect it from your competitors?
What is your clearly defined PRODUCT or SERVICE? How much will it cost you to make and sell? Who will provide your business with the materials, inventory, or services you need to run it?
What is the big SOLUTION you’re bringing to the world? Write down the one great problem you’re going to solve and why your market wants or needs this solution so desperately.
And lastly, what special ABILITY qualifies you (and any business partners) to solve this problem for your market? With the right skills, you’ll deliver results that amaze and delight your clients. And there’s no marketing better than a satisfied customer.
Once you have the answers to these six questions, you’re ready to make decisions about transitioning to entrepreneurship. It proves that you’re serious about making the move, and helps eliminate fears and doubts about the process.
Don’t delay! Answer these six questions TODAY so you can move forward with confidence tomorrow.
It’s a tale as old as time. An eager entrepreneur starts a business selling a clever product or service with world-class branding.
And it fails. Hard. After a few months or even years, it becomes clear that the business will never turn a profit. Investors bail, and the business eventually shutters.
Why? Often, it’s because there’s not a market for the product or service. And why isn’t there a market?
Because the product or service doesn’t solve a problem.
And if the product or service doesn’t solve a problem, why buy it?
Think about the most successful businesses in history. What do they all have in common? They all solved problems. From Standard Oil to Amazon, there’s big money in solving big problems.
Compare them to Quibi, the $2 billion streaming startup that failed within two years. It arrived in the streaming scene long after Netflix and Hulu had cornered the market, and as Disney was entering the fray. They were trying to solve a problem that had already been fixed.
So before you start your business, ask yourself this—what problem am I solving? How many people actually have this problem? Is someone else solving this problem better than I can? And are people willing to pay for my solution?
The bottom line is this—don’t start a business. Solve a problem. It can save you time, stress, and capital over the long haul.
And it’s no wonder why. You’re abandoning the familiar routines and regular paychecks of your 9-to-5 for something uncertain and unfamiliar.
You have to face a lot of fears.
There are the financial fears. Are you going to be able to pay your bills?
There’s the fear of overwhelm. Anything new can be daunting. And it seems like as an entrepreneur you’ll face challenges and obstacles that you’ve never faced before.
There’s the fear of failure. Not accomplishing what you set out to do is one of the worst feelings in the world. And entrepreneurship seems to expose you to fear of failure like nothing else.
The result? Entrepreneurship feels like a Pandora’s box that’s better left closed.
But here’s the truth—entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be scary. And if you make and follow a solid plan, it is possible to achieve personal and financial freedom. You can reach the entrepreneur lifestyle.
Again, it’s no wonder why. When you abandon the routines and paychecks of your 9-to-5, you face more than fear—you face unlimited freedom.
As an entrepreneur, you have the power to control your own time. You work whenever you want, not at your boss’s whim.
As an entrepreneur, you make your own decisions. No more watching your ideas bog down in red tape and bureaucracy.
As an entrepreneur, you pursue your own potential. You reap the rewards of your hard work, not your boss.
In short, entrepreneurship gives you the power to just live your life on your terms, not someone else’s.
It’s like Cicero once said…
“What then is freedom? The power to live as one wishes.”
All that’s standing between you and the power to live as you wish is fear. And with the right planning, system, and mentorship, that fear can be overcome.
That’s why I’m a leader with e2E. Because that’s my mission—to free employees from fear so they can become entrepreneurs.
It’s no secret that there’s an uprising among employees. It’s called the Great Resignation. The cause? The fact that workers…
-Want to earn more money
-Feel burned out and unsupported
-Lack leadership and mentorship¹
And so they’ve quit in the millions.
Can you relate to that? Do you feel like your boss doesn’t really care about your well-being or career? Is your gut telling you that your talents could be earning you more?
Perhaps you’ve worked hard for a raise, only to get passed over in favor of someone less qualified.
Or maybe you’ve explored new opportunities, only to find employers are requiring outrageous qualifications for little pay.
Plan A was getting a promotion. Plan B was getting a new job. And now, both seem impossible.
So what’s next? “Plan E”, the path to entrepreneurship.
Your Plan E leads to the entrepreneur lifestyle—owning your day, working when you want, collaborating with whomever you like.
It’s your escape plan for making a smooth transition from where you are now to the business and lifestyle you want. This plan gives you an easier way by lowering risks and removing obstacles. And most importantly, your ‘Plan E’ can put you in the helping hands of experienced mentors who can guide you on your journey.
Make no mistake—there will always be stumbling blocks along the road to building a business.
But a solid plan can keep you moving forward in spite of those hiccups so you’re not forced to retreat back to employment. It’s the difference between hitting a dead end or hitting the mark.
Any successful “Plan E” must assess…
The Risks that can end an entrepreneur’s dreams
The Reality that the most rewarding success will also be the most painful to earn
The Mindset that you’re either growing or dying
The Answers about which industry and market you’ll serve—and how.
The People you go into business with who are critical to success
The Options of going into business spare-time, part-time, or full-time
The “E-Factor” of becoming a digitally-enabled entrepreneur
You don’t need permission. Once you’ve made your “Plan E”, you’re free to begin your mission. You’re ready to make the move.
If you have any questions about entrepreneurship, let me know. As part of the e2E movement, it’d be my privilege to help guide you from employee to entrepreneur.
¹ “The Real Reasons Workers Are Leaving in Droves? (Burnout Is on the List, but Not at the Top)” Melissa Angell, Inc., https://www.inc.com/melissa-angell/great-resignation-burnout-workers-upskilling-career-development.html