Whenever I’m asked about what entrepreneurship is to me, two quotes instantly come to mind: “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” from a brilliant but anonymous source and “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” by Winston Churchill. These quotes show the juxtaposition between the “People Are Talking” Oprah and the “Oprah Winfrey Network” Oprah. Or, Amazon selling only used textbooks to struggling college students in the states to internationally selling any and everything except for human beings.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a foundational formula to success in entrepreneurship but everyone has their own unique journey, failures, successes, setbacks and glow ups. The real question is not whether or not you want to be an entrepreneur but can you handle being an entrepreneur. Social media paints a glorious picture of entrepreneurship; founders being featured in Forbes, highlighted in The Mogul Millennial, awarded Top 30 Under 30 and 40 Under 40 and even being thrust into the Hollywood spotlight. You see all of this glory and start becoming more and more irritated by the minute at your 9-5 or corporate job and say to yourself, “There is no way I was born just to pay bills and die!”
At this point, I’m going to assume you believe with ever fiber of your being you are meant to be an entrepreneur and have what it takes to thrive in that lifestyle. If you have a job, don’t quit just yet. Financial stability and a disciplined, set work schedule will work in your favor before you launch that new venture that’s going to change the course of the world or at least allow you to live your best life. Enjoy that regularly scheduled pay check and those regulated work hours because for at least a year or two they will be long lost memories such as when King Barack and Queen Michelle Obama reigned over the most powerful kingdom in the land. We truly miss them. Now, back to present day reality. Make sure you have everything on this list before you quit your job:
- A unique business idea, venture, or service
- Confirmed market and competition research to support the idea
- Start-up capital and/or locked in investors
- An innovative and driven team to help with ideas, strategies and the launch
- A network of supporters, business contacts and potential clients
- Deadline to get everything done
- Draft of your letter of resignation
When all seven items are checked off your list, you have created the momentum to start living the life you have always wanted. Understand it is not easy. Beyoncé was not built in a day. Success takes time. Don’t allow this seemingly microwaved era of success fool you. There is no such thing as an overnight success..
This is all the advice I wish I had given my younger, fearless and driven self. Having an MBA in entrepreneurship, being an entrepreneur for ten years and an entrepreneurship professor for five years, one could say I know a little bit about the subject matter. Be innovative but strategic, optimistic but driven and focused but happy. I gave up my life of solely being an entrepreneur for five years to teach what I had learned and how to avoid the common mistakes I made as well as many other budding entrepreneurs.
A month ago, I turned in my letter of resignation to enter back into the world that I knew was my calling for years. My latest venture is called Mindset Mgmt Group (MMG), a Los Angeles-based consulting firm specializing in entertainment and entrepreneurship for the 21st Century. MMG provides growth strategy development, smart, disruptive brand awareness campaigns and industry placements for businesses, brands and creatives.
Let’s create generational wealth, opportunities never before available and lifestyles that allow us to thrive and give back at the same time.