Are you at that stage where you are asking what it means to become an entrepreneur?
There is still a lot of buzz about entrepreneurship. In fact, recent events seem to have only accelerated the need and appeal to become an entrepreneur. Celebrated entrepreneurs are proving they can create multi-billion-dollar companies, even in the wildest times. Many make it look very easy.
Even though it may not be as effortless as made out to be in the media, the risk of going into entrepreneurship may now be seen as far lower than before, and even working for many large long-running corporations. So, what is it really like? What does it mean? What can you expect?
The Ability To Make An Impact
When it comes down to what it means to become an entrepreneur, it is all about giving yourself the ability to truly make an impact. To be able to do something meaningful, and even to shape the world and the future. This is really what it is about. To see a really big problem, and to create a solution for it. This is what really drives the most successful entrepreneurs, not just the money.
You can make the world better or worse with your contribution. You can touch and impact billions of lives, and even do this across generations.
The Freedom To Work On Your Own Terms
One of the top reasons people choose to start their own businesses is to gain the freedom to choose how they work and live. Not everyone is cut out for this or can handle it. Very few people have been trained to work like this. Most have been programmed for the opposite.
As an entrepreneur, you get to choose the when, where and how much you work. If you are doing something you really love, then it may not ever feel like work at all. So, working too much can still be a danger.
Still, if you want to work from a different country every month, or on the road in your RV or from your cabin in the mountains, you can. Or you can work from your home office in the city while your kids home school online in the other room. You can work seven days a week or three. You can work whichever hours suit you best.
Keep in mind when considering what it means to become an entrepreneur that there is no clocking in or out. Though that also often means no salary.
The Ability To Create Jobs & Futures For Others
One of the favorite rewards of entrepreneurship for some of the most successful repeat startup founders is being able to create multiple millionaires every time they sell a company or take one public. It’s a deeply impactful way to change the lives for many families.
Even if not all of your team members get that kind of outcome, you can provide a much needed and better workplace and financial package. This can go far beyond the money. There’s no telling the difference it can make in their family and all of the others they are able to touch and help in the future too.
You may be creating great outcomes for your investors, but even recruiting a top team, empowering them, and getting out of their way so they can do amazing things is a big deal. Just find the discipline to let them do what they do best, and make sure your company doesn’t run out of money and have to lay them off in the meantime.
The Ability To Serve Customers Better
The best reason to become an entrepreneur is usually to serve others better than they have been. This is truly important when figuring what it means to become an entrepreneur. This can be B2B or B2C. It’s the opportunity to give them products and solutions they really need. Either completely new options, or options that are notably better than incumbents. Sometimes it is even just about providing better customer experience and service. Treating them the way they should be treated.
To Take On The Responsibility Of Multiplying Other People’s Money
Whether you are borrowing through loans, getting grants, or raising equity funding from angels and VCs, entrepreneurship, and becoming an entrepreneur is largely about taking care of, protecting, and multiplying other people’s money. You are personally accountable for that. It is a big responsibility which demands you do your best and hire the best help to do it.
Sometimes this means making decisions in their best long term interest, even when they are only thinking of the short term. Or at least trying to.
Keep in mind that storytelling is everything when you are seeking capital. For a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
To Be Able To Fulfill Your Full Potential
There is nothing more tragic than a wasted life, and wasted potential. Few will realize this through working as a cog in the wheel for someone else. A job like that is normally just about giving your life to fulfill someone else’s’ dream and to fund their retirement. This is your chance to do everything you are capable of. What’s really cool is that once you start down this path what’s possible and your potential scales exponentially at an incredible rate.
To Work Hard
The truth is that becoming an entrepreneur is a passport to hard work. It is worthy of work. It can be very satisfying work but expect to work harder than you ever have in new ways. It’s not a matter of scribbling an idea on a napkin over a coffee, spending five minutes on a pitch deck, receiving billions in funding and then selling the company in a few months.
There’s a whole lot more to it. It is worth it, but don’t expect it to be effortless.
To Become A Great & Fast Learner
Entrepreneurship is all about learning. From fundraising to recruiting and managing to marketing and working with your board and negotiating with an M&A advisor deals there is a lot of learning. The more you learn and faster you learn, the better the journey.
You may also find interesting the video below where I cover in detail how to become an entrepreneur.
Hopefully, this post gave you some perspective as you are looking into what it means to become an entrepreneur.
FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE VIDEO:
Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to become an entrepreneur. Becoming an entrepreneur is a supercritical decision. Taking that leap of faith and making the decision of “I’m going to say goodbye to my 9 to 5 and going after building my dream” is a really critical decision in your life. This is not a job title; it’s not a role. It’s literally a lifestyle. Today, we’re going to be covering everything that goes into it, some of the steps that you’re going to have to make, and how to make it successful. So with that being said, let’s get into it!
The first thing is to learn what it means. At the end of the day, you need to understand and familiarize yourself with what it’s going to take to make this thing happen. This is going to be five to seven years that you are allocating in your life to going after this, sweat, tears, you name it. You need to understand not only what it’s going to take, but then also really know what kind of transformation the business is going to have to go through, and also what kind of transformation you are going to have to go through, too, on a personal note, because you are going to have to grow those leadership skills to grow at the same speed at which the company is growing at. Once you’re clear with that, then you’re going to have a little bit more visibility, and for that, this point is going to be critical.
The next thing is picking a business idea. Business ideas are just 5% of it; 95% of the success is for the execution, but you want to grab an idea that is big enough that it’s going to justify all the sacrifices that you’re going to be putting out on this like, missing out on birthdays, not being with your family as much. In the end, you want to go for markets that are big enough so that they can provide a great opportunity for you, and then also for potential investors that you may want to bring in.
Those investors typically are interested in markets where the opportunities are at least 1 billion dollars or more. If you are looking at building a hypergrowth business, a billion-dollar business, you cannot go for markets that are under a billion dollars.
Then, you want to build your network. The network is your network. You want to build the network on, as early as literally having an idea on a napkin. Here, you want to build different types of networks.
- You want to build a network for the money with those investors.
- You want to build a network for potential employees.
- You want to build a network for the distribution, like potential partners.
Here’s the thing. You don’t want to build the network when you need it. You need to build it in advance so that whenever you need it, you already know who to call. In many instances, you see this when doing recruiting and hiring. People, when they’re ready to get that rolling and delegate to that personnel, like “Wow! Now, who can I call? Who’s going to help me?” Then they start doing the research, and at that point, it’s too late.
You want to build that network with potential candidates that you’re going to need later down the line, and with that being said, you want to have that person ready and available for you to call them whenever you need them. And for that, you need that network built, and you need to build it early, as early as possible.
The next thing is, you want to organize your business. You’re going to need legal advice to help you with incorporating your business, to help you with structuring that partnership with your partner, and here it’s not going to be a civil or a family lawyer, or maybe your cousin Vinney that studied law in law school. Here, you need corporate lawyers that can provide that guidance that you’re going to need to make sure that you’re doing things well from day one.
What I see a lot of people making as a mistake is grabbing either the wrong lawyer or perhaps not structuring things the right way from day one, and ultimately, that ends up being a complete catastrophe that is going to lead to something really bad. So, make sure that from day one, things are clean, and things are organized from a legal perspective.
The next thing is, you want to test your idea. Before you even go to market, don’t think that “Oh, my gosh, this is going to be amazing. My assumptions are fantastic,” because never are you going to get it right with the assumptions. The way you want to go about it is you want to go where your potential customers are going to be and ask them, test them, get the service, get the product in front of them, try to get some data points, try to get some feedback. Maybe it’s getting on the phone, maybe it’s doing some surveys, but get as many data points as possible because that is going to help you in polishing your product and your service farther so that when you get it to market, you already know that you’re bringing to market something that people want to use, something that people have been craving for, and something that people are telling you, “This is going to address my problem, my frustrations.” That way, you’re playing it safe rather than going and throwing yourself into a pool that may have no water whatsoever.
The next thing is you want to turn your early adopters into raving fans. At the beginning, the last thing that you want is crickets. You launch something, and then you’re waiting for people to come. You want to get those early adopters; you want to give those early adopters fantastic discounts, incentives to come, and to tell their friends. At this point, maybe it’s influences that have great networks, and those are great people that you can bring to help you because those networks just get bigger, bigger, and bigger. So, it makes sense for those early adopters or fans to fall in love with what you’re doing and essentially turning those into raving fans that are going to spread the word around the world of what you’re doing and how fantastic is your product and your service.
The next thing is, you need to ask yourself – obviously, it’s raising money, but you need to ask yourself, “Do I want to build a billion-dollar business, or do I want to build a lifestyle business that is just going to be paying for my bills?” If it’s a billion-dollar business, you’re going to need to raise money.
Basically, this means that you need to have the right packaging, the right positioning for their story, and also that you’re mastering storytelling. Storytelling also starts with having a pitch deck, a pitch deck that you can actually grab the template below. A 15-20 slides presentation type of thing that you can showcase to investors so that they get a good idea and understanding of what your company is about.
Again, I’m mentioning that this is storytelling because, at an early stage, those investors are really betting on your future. They’re getting excited with the possibility, and they want to jump in to build the business with you. That’s essentially what raising money and how you go about it if you want to build a billion-dollar business. Obviously, if you want to build a lifestyle business, that’s completely fine, and perhaps at that point, you don’t need money, but again, you need to ask yourself that question.
Next, you really want to scale the business. If it’s something that is working that you have product/market fit, meaning that people love it, that it’s flying off the shelves, then you need to understand how are you going to be able to expand this? How can you take it to other geographic locations? How can you get more employees to help you, and you can delegate on them? What kind of investors are you going to be bringing in? What kind of business development deals are you going to do to help with distribution? So, it’s all about scaling.
I would love to hear what your business is about, what your idea’s about. Leave a comment below so that I know what it is about. I’m going to review it in detail, I promise. Then, also, make sure that you hit the Like button and subscribe to this channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every week.
Also, don’t forget to check out the fundraising training, which is the program where we help founders from A to Z with everything related to fundraising, live Q&As, agreements, templates, a community of founders all over the world helping each other. And I think that you will find tremendous value in it. Thank you so much for watching.