If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, one of the toughest things you may wrestle with is having too many ideas. Which idea should you pour your heart and soul into? Which one will succeed?
But before you go all in on an exciting new venture, it’s prudent to first cover the basics. What kind of business suits your lifestyle and personality? What are you really wired for?
If you love the idea of a big pay-off on a big gamble, and you’re prepared to give 200% all the time to try and influence the odds in your favour, then this is the path for you. The mantra of start-ups is go big or go home, and commitment-with-constraint doesn’t cut it in this world. On the other hand, 100% commitment is also not a guarantee for success. A lesson I learned the hard way.
Start-ups have their own drivers and rhythms, many of which are beyond your control. Working on the product, working on your business plan, courting investors, marketing your vision, scaling at super-sonic speed, hiring and firing, managing employees, dealing with HR issues, dealing with legal, dealing with accounting, and a whole lot of other realities that drive your day. If you want ‘freedom’, living the life of a start-up founder may not be the path for you. Escaping your eight-hour a day grind to find yourself in an eighteen-hour a day grind can be quite an eye-opener. There is one fundamental truth when it comes to startups – it’s never about the idea; it’s always about the execution.
The good news is, even if you’re not willing to work those eighteen hour days consecutively for a couple of thousand days, you don’t have to resign yourself to the 9-to-5 employee shuffle. As long as you have some key characteristics that distinguish you from the rest of the crowd, you can attain what most people really dream about – flexibility.
Freedom is the ability to choose how to spend your time. Time is precious. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t get it back, and you can’t create it.
Is it the billion dollars that you want? Or is it what that theoretical billion dollars can buy you?
Freedom to choose, freedom to say no, freedom to do what you want.
Luckily, for myself and others like me, you don’t need a billion dollar payday to attain freedom. A “self-starter” business is a term I like to use for those of us without employers, earning a living on our own terms, whether by consulting, coaching, training, writing, or any other number of marketable skills in an age where technology removes borders and opens up the global marketplace to anyone with the ambition and drive to explore it. But, you do need to be honest with yourself. Getting a pay check every two weeks is much easier than creating a consistent revenue stream month after month. The rewards are well worth it, as long as you have that “self-starter” personality. If you work well independently, can drive things forward without needing someone to drive you forward, if you find you work more hours at home than at the office, these are good indications that you are motivated and goal-oriented. As long you have that, you can attain the freedom that others only ever dream of.
Living life on your own terms.