So you want to become an entrepreneur, right? It’s understandable, startups are the hottest thing since the Beatles. Everyone wants to get their startup on. Even large companies want to start again and you know something is hot when HBO runs a TV series about Silicon Valley and people can name the CEO’s of top tech companies. I can guarantee you no one knew the name of the General Motors or Procter and Gamble CEO in 1992. I didn’t then and I still don’t now.
So how do you become an entrepreneur by the end of this blog post as promised in the title? Easy – you already are one. Yep, you’re an entrepreneur right now. Even if you are reading this from a dull cubicle in corporate land. You’re an entrepreneur but just haven’t realised it yet.
We are all entrepreneurs. We all work for ourselves. We all work for [insert your name here] corporation. You’re the CEO of your own personal corporation, who is 100% in charge of your own revenue streams, brand positioning and distribution in the market. It’s just that instead of having an infrastructure and multiple customers we have our mind and body and as our infrastructure, and most likely an employer as a single customer. But, you are and will always be an entrepreneur. You just need to flip your thinking, and once you do, the world around you rapidly changes. I know, because when I learned this the world changed for me.
Once we think this, that we are entrepreneurs, we can start to ask ourselves some interesting questions? Potentially revealing questions of ourselves:
- How are you currently treating your biggest customer?
- Would you pay yourself what you earn from your biggest customer?
- Are you creating more value than your extract from your current customer?
- Is your ‘brand’ indispensible and unique to you customer?
- What value proposition does your brand hold in the market and could you find a new customer immediately if the existing one (your employer) went elsewhere?
These are the questions customers ask when they invest their dollars in a product or service. So we should ask it of ourselves given we are a product. It will reveal the truth and get us on a path where our values and mindset is externally focused, not just focused on ourselves. What this does is shift our mindset to creating value for others, rather than wondering what is in it for us. In many ways it can become an important mental preparation for an entrepreneurial journey.
Here’s something we should all do: We ought work harder on ourselves than we do on our job. If we want to create value in perpetuity, then we have no choice but to be self learning algorithms. We need to adapt and benefit the eco system around us, more than we benefit ourselves. This sounds like the opposite of what I just said above, but when we do this, with our new enlightened mindset, the major beneficiaries are the people around us. Our customers and our employers. We’ve then become something bigger and more important than ourselves. This is what entrepreneurship is really about. Creating value that didn’t exist before you arrived. Creating value that lives on once you leave the building. Creating value where you benefit from your behaviour by multiples.
Yes, the art the being an entrepreneur is to realise that it’s a choice, right now. A choice we can make and start on today with a new approach and philosophy. A philosophy which may lead us to a point where we begin to create systems, and have multiple customers. But first, it must start with us – the single entity.