Born to bleed
5 ways to determine if entrepreneurship is your destiny
I did not chose to be an entrepreneur; it was stitched into my DNA. A blessing or a curse, but it is in my blood. Every day I wake up, on the verge of something great — a great failure or unicorn like success. But no day is the same. Unlike my 9–5, office dwelling counterparts with “stability”, my life is one of freedom, adventure and feeling.
I’ve never felt so deeply about anything in my life other than business. I’ve always admired people with hobbies like golf or surfing. People so committed to an activity they are willing to sacrifice everything else for the next wave or the next round. They’ll sacrifice education, financial security and family in a quest to satisfy their primal need to fill a void. Until one day, I woke up, looked in the mirror and realized I’ve been doing just that. But I’m not committed to an activity, I’m committed a lifestyle. One that I live and die by.
It began 25 years ago, detasseling corn in Iowa. Despite a death-like allergy to the nasty grass, I could not wait to get in the fields, pluck the blades and get the cash at the end of the summer. At that time, $300 felt like a $3 million. I was my own boss, and had my own money which meant opportunity, possibility and a chance to determine my future. Growing up poor with a single mom and more mouths to feed than food to fill them, money meant freedom and I had a big appetite.
Before one chooses Entrepreneurship, it should choose you. There are 5 criteria one must embody, or this entrepreneurship desire will pass too…
1. Fortitude: courage in pain or adversity. An irrational belief that you can win, no matter the odds. The odds are always against you. People generally do not want you to succeed. They want to force failure to a point they’re satisfied you have the grit that it takes to overcome anything set before you. Only then will your opposition become your ally.
2. Eternal Optimism: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. I’ll be rejected more most days before you’ve had your second cup of coffee. Rejection has no time clock and I promise you, that more frequently than not, you’ll have disappointment in your mail box daily before you get out of bed. But before you jump out the window or in front of a bus, go back for one more round. There is always another way, another investor, another client, another chance.
3. Energy: an element which can be transferred to other objects or converted into different forms, but cannot be created or destroyed. As you bang your head against another brick wall, albeit a different color and texture, you must reach deep down and find the energy and desire to go again. Remember those clowns that when you punch it in the face and it excitedly bounces back up, be that guy and you’ll win.
4. Network: a group or system of interconnected people or things. You will never win alone. Contacts, meaningful relationships and a constant stream of new faces means endless chances for your idea to come to life. Entrepreneurship is a lonely path, you absolutely must find people willing to run it with you and support you high & low.
5. Gut: an instinctive feeling, as opposed to an opinion or idea based on facts. This is the most important. Every bad decision I’ve made in my life has been because I ignored my gut. It’s always there, screaming at you to walk away from a bad deal, a bad person and most importantly a bad idea. We are trained from a young age to ignore it and follow the rules and life will be glorious. THAT IS NOT TRUE. Survival of the fittest. If you don’t listen to your instinct, you will lose.
Being and Entrepreneur is not an easy thing. It certainly does not make an easy life, but done right it’s an incredible way to live…in my opinion.