I’ve gotta get this stuff off my chest. But first, a disclaimer:
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT OF THE FAINT OF HEART. YOU'RE ABOUT TO LEARN SOME TRUTHS BASED FROM MY EXPERIENCE THAT MAY OR DEFINITELY WILL MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE. I PULLED NO PUNCHES HERE. SO IF YOU'RE SOFT, BACK OUT AND READ ANOTHER ONE OF MY ARTICLES. DON'T GET YOUR FEELINGS HURT. BUT YOU'LL BE PROVING THE POINT AHEAD.
Now that's out of the way, I love all the opportunity that is out there today. It has NEVER been a better time to start a business, to go out on your own, to pave your own path. Never!
But to the majority of you running around here calling yourself an entrepreneur, while you have a full-time job, collecting a paycheck from someone else, stop! You’re not.
Anyone can start a business in seconds. They can throw up a website. They can create a Twitter account. They can open up an eBay store. They can sell shit on Etsy. Anyone can call themselves an expert, a thought leader, or a kingpin and start selling something.
But just because you have business cards, or slick website, or 1,000,000 Instagram followers, a million Facebook fans, or a savage Twitter account, it doesn’t make you an entrepreneur.
You’re an entrepreneur when your company is your job. When the only way you feed your family is when your company says you can. You’re an entrepreneur when the only time you go on vacation, is when your company says you can. You’re an entrepreneur when the only time you buy a new car, a new couch, a new house, go to a dope ass, dry aged steak dinner with a ’75 Chateau Lafite Rothschild is when YOUR COMPANY says you can.
Then and only then are you an entrepreneur.
In today’s world, everyone has a hustle. It’s easy to sell something to someone today. It’s easy to make money. The Internet has virtually removed all barriers to starting a business and it’s super dope.
But the truth is just because you can make a few hundred or even a few thousand bucks a month selling something, it doesn’t make you an entrepreneur — it’s a side gig.
An entrepreneur is in full tilt. An entrepreneur has bet everything on their company. They are all in. There is no safety net of a full-time job. If you have a full-time job, you’re not all in. You’re not 100% committed to the business. It’s a side gig or you're dabbling.
Until you’ve felt the fear of missing your rent or mortgage, you’re not an entrepreneur.
Until you’ve walked to the mailbox 4 times a day desperate for a check to come or you miss payroll, you’re not an entrepreneur. Until you’ve not been able to go grocery shopping, buy a new shirt, or had to skip a haircut, cause you couldn’t afford to spend the money, you’re not an entrepreneur. Until you’ve woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat terrified your biggest client is about to switch, you’re not an entrepreneur. If you go to work every day for someone else and collect a paycheck. You’re not an entrepreneur.
With this said, there are two types of entrepreneurs: successful ones, and failures. Being an entrepreneur is hard enough, but being a successful one, that’s an entirely different level of difficulty.
Guess who gets to decide if you’re a successful entrepreneur or not?
The market – not you!
And this is why 99% of most people are not entrepreneurs or are failed entrepreneurs and don’t quit their real job. It’s REALLY hard. This isn't to say you're not successful in your own right due to your accomplishments. You can feel successful all day long. But you need the market to actually buy what you're selling in great quantity to be a successful entrepreneur.
When you’re at home working on your business, in between and after your full-time job, that’s the market telling you that your business doesn’t offer enough value to enough people. It’s the market saying to you, "hey, not enough people (buyers) give care enough about your product, your service, your whatever so don’t quit your full-time job....yet." That’s the real voice you need to listen to. If your offering provided enough value, and enough people knew about it, you wouldn’t have to work for the man. But, you do, because it doesn’t and you’ve yet to change that.
The market crowns successful entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs don’t crown themselves.
Now before you get triggered, I’m not saying those [entrepreneurs] that are successful didn’t do it themselves. You better believe they did. What they did was get the market to see the value in what they had to offer in a manner that got us to spend tons of money for their products. And they didn’t do that working on it “part-time” the whole time.
You can’t win over a huge market working for someone else and doing your thing on the “side.” You just can’t. Eventually you have to jump in, all in, or it’s just a side gig.
Now that I’ve got most of you all worked up because I called your part-time hustle a side gig, take a deep breath.
You’re a good person. You hustle. You’ve got grit. You grind it out. You are worthy. . . you’re just not an entrepreneur.
You’re an entre-employee : Someone who has started a business but still works for someone else full-time collecting a paycheck.
If you’re an entre-employee be proud, but have a goal, have a launching point, know when you are going to jump and commit your entire being to your business. In many ways, that should be more important than actually running the business. ‘Cause if you don’t pick a date, a moment, a milestone to go all in, you never will.
To all those hustling, grinding, passionate, entre-employee, I salute you. But please, stop calling yourself an entrepreneur — ’cause you’re not....yet.