I have people come up to me all the time that are “acting” like they want to start a business.
They are saying the same things. They’d like to go out on their own.
But the actions don’t totally match.
Wantrepreneur Versus Entrepreneur
So in this blog post, I am going to talk about what is it that actually separates a wantrepreneur from an entrepreneur, and there are just a few main pieces that we’re going to dive into.
The first difference is excuses.
The excuses of an entrepreneur tend to be things like, “I don’t have the money to start my own business.”
This is oftentimes because the business they want to start requires millions of dollars to start up!
Well, that is an unfeasible business for you if you don’t have access to that kind of capital!
Therefore, you’re basically setting an intentional dream that is too far out of reach.
So you should scale that back and say, “Well, what COULD I start with the resources I have?”
Start there, use that to earn yourself more money and you can then fund your dream idea later.
The lack of funds isn’t really a valid excuse. It just means that what you’re dreaming of is not a match for the givens of your current reality.
Information On Setting Up A Business
The second one I hear is that they lack some sort of insider information on what to actually do.
This information isn’t super hard to find with a handful of dedicated hours of work.
You can even hire it out from someone like me to set up an LLC, a tax ID number operating agreement, bank accounts, and basic business accounting.
That stuff is an obstacle but it should be a very minor road bump if you’ve actually made the determination to get started.
The Underlying Lack Of True Motivation
So the biggest thing that I actually see is a lack of true motivation.
A lot of wantrepreneurs have the desire to be “viewed as an entrepreneur.”
They want to have that identity and have the benefits as far as
- what shows up on social media.
- They like the idea of riches and of passive income.
They have those ideals as a desire, but they’re not truly deeply motivated to move forward.
The Power Of Pain
What I see as the big difference in motivation is that an entrepreneur has extreme pain which makes it they have no choice but to move forward.
It’s not a decision that they’re making and thinking like, “Oh, I guess I want to do this.”
It is more like “If I keep on my current trajectory, I am destined to a life of unfulfilled happiness and regrets. Therefore, I have NO CHOICE but to take action right now.”
And this pain is a wonderful motivator.
I see it over and over again. Entrepreneurs make that jump because the pain of not making that jump is too severe. Then they’re on the path of being an entrepreneur and trying to make a business work.
If the business is not really going well, the pain of “If I don’t make my next sale in the next few days, I don’t pay rent” motivates enormous success.
So, that pain is really really key.
The Danger Of Comfort
What the wantrepreneur misses is that they are keeping themselves too sheltered and safe.
They want to have too big of a safety net before making that leap.
Now I’m all for not taking risks that don’t pay off.
But you have to recognize when you’re willing to bet on yourself and when you’re not willing to do that.
- Doing basic business math can help.
- Having a good idea about what you’re trying to do can help
- Having a certain amount of safety net can help
But there’s no risk-free way to go from working for someone else to having your own business.
And that’s the biggest thing I see separating a wantrepreneur from an entrepreneur is the level of pain, the level of motivation, and dedication.
Why Does Motivation Fail In The Face Of Entrepreneurship Without Pain?
What people talk about is if you’re an entrepreneur going to “make more money, have more freedom.” Those are all basically lies.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to work more hours for less money. Period. The end.
If you’re working at a business every hour you work you’re paid for.
As an entrepreneur, you have unbillable hours.
You have the hours you’re doing where you’re actually doing the work for a customer and getting paid.
And then all the other hours it takes to run a business to get it going to do marketing to even acquire that customer. You aren’t paid for these hours.
So it’s way more hours for way less pay. Every. Single. Time.
And if you don’t have a deep drive and motivation to make that work, then you’re not going to last.
The good news is if you can make that work, keep building something and build a machine where that reduces and you do have freedom of hours.
You can choose to work at midnight as opposed to 8 am If you’re not a morning person.
But it’s not an easy path so if you don’t have a deep-driven motivation, it’s really hard to make it far enough to see success.
Harness Your Pain
In my experience, pain is one of the greatest motivators, especially the pain of regret and the pain of discomfort in your current position where you’re getting burnt out. The pain of “if I didn’t try this in my life, I’d feel like I didn’t hit my potential.” Those types of pains tend to work as powerful motivators.
In contrast, the desire for “I wish I was wealthy and had a yacht”. That usually isn’t enough to actually drive someone to take those chances to become an entrepreneur. (Unless it’s tied in with the pain of not doing which means that “I’m a failure and didn’t hit my true potential,” then sometimes that money goal or the desire to be rich could be a motivator.)
So anyways, if you’re in this wantrepreneur phase, I just want to say that maybe you need to experience some more pain to stress test, to be able to toughen up your resolve.
Maybe you’d take a hard look at how unhappy you actually are and what the alternative could be if you were to drive forward and actually do it – actually become an entrepreneur.
Hope this helps get some people off of that middle of the fence and pulls the tug of war a bit more towards one side or the other.
And hey, if you’re not feeling that pain and motivation it can be fun to dream and just think about stuff too. Not everyone has to be an entrepreneur.
So have a wonderful rest of your day.
Make your dreams become a reality.