Gone are the days when the only path to success includes going to college, getting a degree, landing a job at a prestigious multinational company, and climbing up the corporate ladder. In these current times, the uncertainty around job security is driving more people to try their hands at starting their own business in hopes of achieving financial freedom. But while everyone is after success entrepreneurship, only a few actually earn it.
There’s a huge difference between an entrepreneur and wantrepreneur, which basically refers to a person who ventures into entrepreneurship but fall short of their goals. Someone who “is going” start a business. Someone who is waiting for the “perfect time” to start. Someone who “will find the right idea some day!” Someone who wants to “act” like an entrepreneur, a “wannabe”. Someone who “thinks about starting a business” all the time. Ha!
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the wannabes and real entrepreneurs. Which one describes you?
1: Wishful Thinking vs. Getting Started
When it comes down to it, you can only bring a business idea to life by taking action. Let’s face it, progress is only made if you roll up your sleeves and actually do something because there’s no getting around hard work. There’s a fine line between wishful thinking, dreaming and having an achievable goal, and that’s what separates real entrepreneurs and the wannabes.
Wantrepreneurs read a lot of books, talk and plan all day, but they never really get started on anything worth noting. On the other hand, real entrepreneurs set clear-cut and attainable goals and then do what they say they’re going to do. So, whether you have to save money to raise capital, research a target market, compile a business plan, lease office space, or ship supplies, entrepreneurs just do it.
2: Wantrepreneurs Complain, Entrepreneurs Get $hit Done
Look, let’s face it, it can get brutal out there in the business world and it’s guaranteed that something’s going to come around to knock you down on your ass and snatch whatever resemblance of serenity you thought had. Wantrepreneurs always complain whenever the going gets tough. They blame the economy or an unfavorable situation for being the reason why their business hasn’t taken off or isn’t going to work. The sad reality for them is that their pessimism and excuses become an impediment to progress.
In contrast, entrepreneurs never let excuses to get in the way of success. These are the people who confront situations head on and find ways to make things work even when the odds are stacked heavily against them. Instead of making excuses, they let setbacks and difficulties become a source of inspiration.
At the end of the day, you cannot always control the cards you are dealt, but you can control how you deal with them. Yes, your situation sucks, but you don’t have to. No pity party here. So when life gives you lemons, you have two choices: you can whine, make excuses and complain or you can get the f–k up, pull yourself up by your bootstrap, try again, revise and get your $hit together.
3: Wantrepreneurs go at it Alone, Entrepreneurs Know the Value of Teamwork
One big misconceptions that wantrepreneurs have is thinking that their business revolves around them. So, they work harder and longer hours to ensure their business runs well. But all too often than not, running a one-man-show leaves them overworked and not enough time to really become innovative and grow the business. In such situations, they end up becoming employees in their own business while working for money.
Smart treps know that they can’t do it all on their own. So, they let money work for them by building a strong team of driven individuals who share similar mindsets. By letting other people do most of the hard work, entrepreneurs are able to leverage their time and spend it on other projects that help the business grow or become better.
4: Entrepreneurs Work Hard to Make the Business a Success, Wantrepreneurs Crave Attention and Recognition
Portraying a good business image is important, especially when trying to win over customers or investors. However, wantrepreneurs play the image of success. They look for shortcuts and spend a great deal of time trying to make people think their business is already successful.
Real entrepreneurs don’t play the image of success. They work hard to live it later on.
Perhaps these wantrepreneurs want to prove to friends, family, and former colleagues that they’re way more successful now that they’ve left their well-paying corporate job. It’s obvious that wantrepreneurs spend too much time worrying about what other people think about them and that becomes their own undoing.
5: Entrepreneurs Never Give Up even after Failing, Wantrepreneurs Call it Quits Easily
As Steve Jobs once said, “…pure perseverance is about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones.”
It’s possible that your business may be a total flop because not all business ventures become an instant hit. Yet, many successful entrepreneurs have had more than their share of downfalls before rising to the top.
Failing means you are trying and not quitting means you are tough.
This just goes to show that failure is a natural part of the path to success. Real entrepreneurs have learned along the way to embrace failures, learn from their mistakes, and keep going. On the other hand, wantrepreneurs get discouraged easily and let failures become their downfall.
6: Wantrepreneurs Chase Riches, Entrepreneurs Believe in Passion Before Profits
With many stories of overnight billionaires these days like Markus Persson who sold Minecraft to Microsoft for 2.5 billion dollars, many budding wantrepreneurs think that they too are going to strike it rich easily. Ha, no harm in dreaming big, of course… you should always dream big. However, this is a dangerous mindset to adopt if you are merely a dreamer because it will lead to failure.
If making lots of money is the only reason behind why you’re now suddenly creating apps, launching new computer games, launching your new apparel line or trying to start the next biggest social media platform, then you should seriously rethink your priorities. Real entrepreneurs believe that being passionate about a business is more important than making money. So, they strive to be the best at what they do to leave a mark in their industry. They choose to become passionate about a business idea and implement it in a way that no one else has. And the truth is if you build a quality product or service that brings value to the target market, the money inevitably follows. Sadly, wantrepreneurs don’t realize that.
7: Entrepreneurs Plan and Implement While Wantrepreneurs Over-plan and Procrastinate
It’s never wise to pour a lot of time and money into a project without really thinking it through. But neither is it a good idea to obsess over perfection. Wantrepreneurs fall into the common pitfall of obsessing over ideas or re-evaluating plans all the time and so they never get the ball rolling. Wantrepreneurs are always waiting for the “perfect time” to launch a product, and are constantly fussing over “useless” details like what color should a product be, how a mission statement should sound, whether the company’s logo looks good on paper, and all those irrelevant stuff.
If you find yourself putting off doing what counts, keep in mind that procrastination is the natural bane of opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs understand that even the grandest of plans are worthless on paper. To them, taking action is what really counts.
So, they validate a business concept with a working prototype or working model and then implement their plans.
8: Wantrepreneurs Learn and Stick to a Few Good Business Practices, Entrepreneurs Keep Learning
Some wannabe tycoons believe that getting that business degree or attending a few entrepreneurship seminars is going to help them become successful. They keep planning for a “later” that never comes. This is because classroom lessons can’t prepare you for every scenario.
Real entrepreneurs accept the fact that learning is a continuous process. Always be a student of your industry. After all, the business environment keeps evolving. That’s why visionary entrepreneurs keep an open mind and are willing to learn something new every day, even if it’s not directly related to their businesses. Learning helps them to become more innovative, make informed decisions, take risks, adapt to change, and so much more.
9: Entrepreneurs Take Risks While Wantrepreneurs Play it Safe
It’s a messy world out there that is chuck full of uncertainty. It’s tough and super duper competitive, so only a handful can succeed in this cut throat game. You can invest tons of money and time in what seems to be a promising venture and still fail to succeed. I’m not trying to be a douche bag or a debbie downer, quite the opposite actually. Risk taking is almost synonymous with entrepreneurship.
To start a business, you may have to put your personal finances and career on the line. Wantrepreneurs are put off by these risks. Instead of avoiding risks, successful entrepreneurs face them and find ways to mitigate them. They understand that risks are necessary obstacles toward a greater future. Remember: high risk, high reward.
10: Wantrepreneurs Overthink While Entrepreneurs Emulate and Innovate
Often times, entrepreneurship is based on the need to create and innovate. As a result, many people who want to venture into this field obsess over finding the perfect idea or the next big trend that will catapult them to fame and fortune.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, don’t wait to come up with the next big thing or big idea. They know that their business idea doesn’t have to be unique or original to make it successful.
I say this over and over, 1% idea and 99% execution.
All that matters is creating a business model that satisfies the demand for a certain product or service. In other words, entrepreneurs look for gaps or the need to improve what already exists and come up with ways to beat the competition.
11: Entrepreneurs Sacrifice to Get Ahead, Wantrepreneurs Don’t Go the Extra Mile
Many wantrepreneurs starting out have this idealistic vision of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. Owning a business to them might seem like the quickest way to get rich or the ability to work their own hours and be their own boss. It does look like a glamorous life and while these are some of the perks of being an entrepreneur, they don’t always come right away. Sometimes, it might take someone an entire lifetime to reap the rewards – but true-blue entrepreneurs would agree in a heartbeat that the journey is the reward itself.
Successful entrepreneurs know they have to make sacrifices in order to live the life. This means pumping more money into the business or other investments rather than using profits on luxuries and liabilities.
So are you an entrepreneur or wantrepreneur? The choice is yours!
Some people say that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur and I tend to agree. While there’s certainly some truth to this, research shows that individuals who adopt certain attitudes and behaviors have a better chance of succeeding as entrepreneurs.
At the end of the day, the difference between wantrepreneurs and entrepreneurs boils down to having the right mindset on what it takes to be successful and being relentless when it comes to taking action. You can also be the next big success story by making a commitment to learn, develop, practice, and hone the skills and knowledge of other successful entrepreneurs who have gone before you.
What do you think? Do you agree with my points listed above? Tell me below in the comment section 🙂