Entrepreneurs: You Don’t Need to be Inspired

I’ve witnessed a sad transformation in the online entrepreneurship community over the last several years: the energy that was once being devoted to creation is now fixated on cultivating inspiration.

Let me be clear: Successful entrepreneurs do not need a constant source of external inspiration, they derive inspiration from a need to create.

Recently, it seems like the majority of entrepreneurially-focused content is just a regurgitation of previous advice. It’s analogous to fast food: the quantity is present but the nutrients are lacking.

If it isn’t a tactic, it’s a distraction.

These articles are dangerous because they reward you for the wrong reason, i.e. thinking about progress rather than achieving it. In most cases, the inspiration that you derive is a false positive because the behavior that’s reinforced is the consumption of inspirational material rather than the process of creation.

Furthermore, be very suspicious of anyone who wants to teach you how to be an entrepreneur yet is only an entrepreneur themselves by virtue of teaching it… If these charlatans actually produced successful entrepreneurs, they wouldn’t have an audience (similar to why it’s dangerous to invest in a dating app: if it works, your users don’t need your product.)

Entrepreneurship, perhaps more so than any other skill, is learned through action rather than theory. This is primarily because entrepreneurs’ personalities affect the tactics that they employ in business. Generalizations tend not to be helpful.

What you choose as your sources of inspiration says a lot about your potential for success.

If you’re constantly trying to be inspired to pursue entrepreneurship, perhaps entrepreneurship isn’t for you…

Or maybe you’re just not passionate about what you’re working on.

If the problem you’re trying to solve doesn’t inspire you, perhaps you’re working on the wrong problem.

Next time you see a super inspiring article headline, have the confidence to ignore it. You’re not missing anything.

Need some help eliminating the clutter? Try SelfControl: https://selfcontrolapp.com/ (It’s free and I have no affiliation with them — the product just works.)

Quick Tips:

  • Find someone who’s done something similar to what you’re trying to accomplish and talk with them.
  • Read Lean Startup
  • Share your business ideas with people that you respect and note their reactions.
  • Read Zero to One
  • Avoid feature creep (concentrate on only one problem at a time)
  • Keep your email closed while you’re in work mode.
  • Be cognizant of your health and cut back on the alcohol.
  • Listen to Tim Ferriss’s conversations with world-class entrepreneurs.