Want to go from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur? You’ve got your work cut out for you. But it is by all means doable, and can happen quicker than you imagine.
First we have to single out the wantrepreneur fanboys who spend all their free time idolizing others but not putting in any work in to build something for themselves.
Let me ask you. Do any of these descriptions represent you?
- You’ve seen almost every episode of Shark Tank
- You’ve read hundreds of blog posts on entrepreneur.com
- You’ve watched 25 Tony Robbins motivational YouTube videos
- You’ve been listening to entrepreneur podcasts daily on your work commutes
- You’ve consumed more TED Talks than you can give an accurate estimate
- You’ve gone to 4 conferences for entrepreneurs in the last year
If any single one of these depicts you, you’re a hardcore wantrepreneur who is watching life go by from the sidelines.
And many of you not only consume every piece of content from your favorite entrepreneurs, but you have the audacity to criticize other entrepreneurs in the arena when you’re a bystander.
That’s just plain wrong! Read this for me.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
The point is, fulfillment comes from doing—even if you do fail, you’re better off. You won’t be satisfied spending all your time preparing or consuming knowledge like a machine but ending up with zero output.
Stop doing that. And start following the 5 steps below. If you stick to it, I guarantee you’ll be a successful entrepreneur with results to show for your labor.
5 Step Process To Entrepreneurship
1. Pick what you’re going to do.
You could say that this selection process is the most important step. Or I could argue that it’s not that important since your business and you as an entrepreneur are going to evolve a million times over the next few years.
For example, I’ve personally developed and changed titles multiple titles in just two and a half years. I started out as a blogger, then became an author, then a YouTuber, and now I own a digital marketing company.
The beauty of it is that I’ve taken lessons from each role and used them to excel in the next. And I’m sure I’ll have many new titles and responsibilities down the road as well.
Let’s go back to talking about you now.
Maybe you have some business idea in mind? If it’s work you’re truly passionate about, have the skills to be good at it, and would enjoy spending 80 hours a week doing, that’s probably your thing.
Don’t lose sight of the main qualifier, can you make money doing it? If you’re passionate and good at describing the shapes of clouds, no one is going to pay you for your ridiculous skill.
You’ll win when you find something that will make you money on top of your passion. That’s an unbeatable combination.
And if you have a lot of different passions, pick your favorite one right now and save the others for later. They’ll still be waiting for you if you decide to pick them up in the future.
The point is you’ll never know what’s right for you unless you experiment now by getting started. If you hate working on this type of business, then you’ll know really soon and can move on to something else.
But ideally you pick an industry you’re going to be in for the long haul since the less you start over the quicker you build momentum and profit.
2. Pursue it as a side hustle after work.
You’ve determined your entrepreneurial path, now all that’s left is the hard work.
Push it to the limit by squeezing all the extra time before work, during your lunch break, and after your day job and dinner to grow your business to the next level.
And if you work the third shift or late at night, work on your business before work. Hustle is the key to success in this industry.
Assuming you picked the right side hustle, this work is going to be fun amidst the challenge of growing a business from nothing to a success.
Your goal in this step is to confirm that people are willing to buy your services.
How do you do that? Start interviewing potential prospects as well as digging yourself to see if other people in your space are making money.
You’ll find key insights from these interviews that you’d find nowhere online. And you’ll see holes in your business plan that you can quickly fix.
The only warning is that you don’t spend too much time researching—that’s what wantrepreneurs excel at. It’s best to attempt selling and pick up data there than behind a computer reading article after article.
Plus, you can do all the customer interviews and market research possible. But you’ll never know if you’re onto something until you experiment to put yourself out there consistently and see if people are willing to pay for your product or services.
You get out the effort you put into your business, so hustle even when there’s no immediate return and you’re tired after a long work day at your day job.
Your future self will thank you for the effort.
3. Make enough money from your business to live on.
It’s not a good mindset to be an entrepreneur just for the money. Though the reality is that you do need to make money to support yourself and maybe a family.
If you can’t produce income it’s a red flag you’re just not that good, or selling an offering people don’t want or need.
Money represents value and oxygen for a business. A business without a steady stream of sales isn’t going to be in business for long.
So, how are you going to make some bank for your company?
Consider how you’re going to ramp up your marketing efforts. Are there free, organic options to meet new customers? Is paying for Google or Facebook ads the best option? Those are business decisions for you to decide.
Are you going to interview potential customers and see if it’s something they’d pay for before you create the service? Maybe you build a list of 50 people who pay you in advance before you do any work and confirm your service has some legs to it.
Quick business tip: Friendly people will say they’d buy it, but when you ask them for their money then they tightly hold onto their wallets. But only truly interested customers will dish out their money right away.
At this stage, your ultimate goal needs to be to make enough money to replace your job income so you can become a full-time entrepreneur.
P.S. If you’ve tried everything and still can’t make money, then odds are you need to watch this and go back to Step 1. Determine what you’re going to do—so you can find a better business idea people will actually pay you to do.
4. Leave your job to work on your business full time.
This is what separates the men and women hustlers from the boys and girls: leaving your job to work on your business full time. That’s what makes a true entrepreneur in my opinion.
Because how can your business thrive if the top man is sidetracked spending 45 hours a week at another gig?
Just imagine how much more could be done for your business if you were to invest 45 hours a week of your own time. That’s 2,340 extra hours a year to grow your business!
Now, is it easy to say goodbye to a fair company, nice co-workers, and a comfortable salaried job? No.
Is it worth it to fulfill your potential and give everything you’ve got to grow your business? I say, heck yes!
That’s what dreams are made of for pure entrepreneurs who love the hustle.
Plus, if you hate your job then this step is the easiest on this list, “See ya suckers, I’m on to better things. Oh yeah, I won’t be needing any referrals for a new job because I’m my own boss now.”
Be warned: The first week or two working 100% for yourself will feel strange. You’ll have unlimited freedom and your willpower will be tested to get the best performance out of yourself.
This takes an adjusting period. However, soon you and your business will be off to the races!
5. Scale your business to as big as you want it.
Since you’re making as much money as you need to on your business now, technically the process is complete once you leave your job.
Congrats, you’re officially an entrepreneur!
However, entrepreneurs are some of the most ambitious people I know. And many of them wouldn’t find it acceptable to just replace their full-time job income with their business income.
They want something more, bigger, and better. The only next logical step is to scale your business so that it doubles in impact. Maybe it triples it and eventually becomes 10 times greater (if that’s your goal).
Maybe you’re a lifestyle entrepreneur who says the whole reason I left my corporate job was to work less and have fun more time to enjoy myself or hang out with my family. To you, I say that’s an even better reason to grow your business since it will give you the cash to hire a virtual assistant, personal assistant, or team to get more done while you work less.
Once you scale the business to your desired growth, you have plenty of positive options down the road too.
For example, you could keep the business steady and take on no new clients, commit to growing the business past your comfort zone, or sell the business to do something (or nothing) else for the rest of your life.
Only in entrepreneurship do you have these kinds of career options so you may as well take advantage of them to maximize your happiness and freedom, right?
Scaling your business is the cherry on top during the process of hustling from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur.
There is no perfect time to make the leap and quit your 9 to 5 job. No prophet is going to run into you on the street giving you the nod to do it. And no dream will give you the courage to enter the unknown and leave your comfort zone.
That’s all ridiculous. This isn’t the movies, it’s the real world.
You need to take control of your future by making the tough choice to pursue what you love doing.
There will be some bumps and bruises along the way, of course. You’ll often struggle in the beginning to create a service or product people are willing to pay for, market it, and keep clients happy.
But the secret is that the process is actually all of the fun. The reward is making progress and getting better—not retiring on a beach saying, “I’ve made it.” (Those lazy days in the sand will get boring quick, trust me.)
So go do your thing to go from wantrepreneur to official entrepreneur.
Take care of your business until your business one day takes care of you, your family, and freedom you desire for the rest of your life.
I’ll be practicing what I preach right alongside you.
Since no one is going to hand it to you—go take your success!