Life’s Decision Scale: Time to Chase Your Entrepreneurial Dreams?

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Is there anything that personifies America & Capitalism more than owning your own business?

It is the epitome of the American Dream.  Yet so many people dream of it, so few will pursue it.  I bet the % of people that become entrepreneurs dwindle as people get more established in their careers.  Here’s a few reasons that could drive the in-action:

  1. Lifestyle is really OK!:  Paycheck, benefits & perks that may be growing and there are plenty of future demands on the way (college for kids, retirement).
  2. I like my job!: Great people, a culture that’s strong, rewarding results that you help drive.  It’s comfortable by golly and I love what I do!
  3. Overall state of predictability.  You know in 6 months, if you continue to work hard and generate results, your job will likely be there and things will be a bit better overall.  Nice steady improvement.  

I’ve focused on 1-3 myself, and they are all nice benefits.

Stay put, and do NOT pursue your Entrepreneurial dreams IF:

  1. Not doing so will produce the future you desire

  2. Not doing so will not yield one of life’s biggest regrets:

Never Taking That One Big Shot 

People can have a “dream” to own their own business all they want.  But until they envision conflict with #1 & #2 and if their current job will yield what they want, they probably won’t take action to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

There comes a time when regret or wanting a brighter future won’t be attained by “doing nothing.”  When that happens, inertia gets agitated and massive action begins.*

*Warning Sign:  I’ve witnessed people “lower the bar” on a future that is desired, dialing back expectations that can be met with the classic 9-5.  Chances are, if you follow a blog called “Hustle or Bust.” that is not an option, but I have witnessed this.  Let’s call it a “Hustle cheat.” 

What’s instructive is asking WHY those reasons for IN-action exist?  Force yourself to give 1 word that explains why you won’t take that leap:

  • Risk?
  • Uncertainty?
  • Un-knowns?
  • Insecurities?
  • Capabilities?

All valid concerns, fear-based adjectives.  They are real and powerful motivators for in-action that can’t be denied.

If you’ve gone through your acid test test and your scales have tipped towards PURSUING your entrepreneurial dreams, CONGRATS!  Now you’ve entered the stage where you need to figure out the how’s…..and build a roadmap against a solid understanding of the process.

What’s first needed to create action is often just a recognition that the scales have tipped in one direction.  Once you recognize they’ve tipped, the rest becomes about learning, planning and execution.  But the scales need to tip first.  Be honest with yourself and start weighing the scales. 

Stay tuned for what that the entrepreneurial process looks like in months ahead.  Make sure you subscribe to HustleOrBust (top right box) so you get those posts delivered to your inbox. 

Make it a great day & I look forward to your comments on “Life’s Decision Scale!”

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Comments

  1. Mr. Hustle,

    I’ve been self employed on and off over the years, with little stints here and there working for larger companies. I’ve always been happier working for myself. Much like in school, I find it hard to stay focused on the goals of my peers and I feel like I’m moving a bit faster than many of them. When I see opportunity I usually evaluate and move with little hesitation. Most of the time that works well.

    Being self employed with my spouse works beautifully for me because we both have very clear, defined positions that fit our strong suits naturally. We discuss goals, divide the work, and work rather independently. It’s nice to have a motivated partner. He inspires me rather than pushes me.

    With our lifestyle and our lifestyle goals I can’t imagine working for “The Man” ever again, but I would never rule it out. I’ve often felt shame for not being a better team player, but I’ve accepted myself now and I’ve found a niche that works well for me. Being self employed is a necessity for me because I just don’t perform as well in a structured, corporate environment and I’m not ashamed to admit that now.

    I love reading your blog. You help me look at the “Whys” in a better light.

    Smooches,
    Sash

    • Sash,
      So many people fight what is “natural” to try and conform or just simply make a living. You have certainly found your niche and I’m glad your not falling into that trap! Thanks so much for your kind words and participating on HustleOrBust! MO

  2. “What’s first needed to create action is often just a recognition that the scales have tipped in one direction. Once you recognize they’ve tipped, the rest becomes about learning, planning and execution. But the scales need to tip first. Be honest with yourself and start weighing the scales.”

    Quoting you to say that, this is my singular lesson today. In my quest for a place to be – I find myself toying with “maybe I do need to go back to work for ‘someone’ until I can afford not to” but it is painfully daunting because I KNOW that I know how to run a business and above that, I know that I will very quickly feel unfulfilled when the flaws of the workplace which are beyond my control show their ugly colors.

    Sadly though, like many others I have a weakness that allows me to stall (even when I very well know what is the right thing to do ) and allow the voice of negativity to persuade me to do nothing.

    Using you as a sounding board – but this is where it’s at!

    Your piece is well written, well stated ..and so it the bit on Consumer Packaged Goods.

    Thank you and press on!

    Janet

    • Janet,
      Sounds like financial considerations may be weighing into your thought process, and they should! I wrote a piece a while back on “emergency funds” and they serve a purpose that goes well beyond basic emergencies. I like to think of them as “freedom funds!” Saving purposefully to provide excess months of living expenses provides the added security and courage to make the leap. Procrastination is a problem for many, but it’s more of a “sin” when people actual CAN afford to take the risk, but chose not too for other reasons.

  3. Won Sub Yun says:

    Hi Mark,

    It’s actually a coincidence that I caught this article on Linkedin as I know this blog is about a year old. It’s been a secret dream of mine to eventually become a entrepreneur. However, I wanted to get your opinion on whether was a wrong reasons in becoming a entrepreneur.

    Is it wrong to want to be a entrepreneur so I can accelerate my personal growth as a business man? Is it wrong that I want to do this so I can make my own decisions and be my own boss? Do I have to have a financial reasoning or a particular conviction for a product or service to become a entrepreneur? I know there are many other factors but I was curious on what you thought.

    Anyway, Hope things are going great at LMF and it was great seeing you in Boston.

    Won.

    • Won,
      Fantastic questions. The short is answer is NO to each one of them!
      Autonomy/being your own boss I’m sure ranks as #1 on the list why people jump into their own business. However, a “classic boss” simply gets replaced by the market you will serve or various other stakeholders, but most get that. In terms of having to have a particular product or financial conviction: A couple of of thoughts. I WOULD advise you if you do NOT have a niche defined is to figure out your bare minimum living expenses and the possibility of covering them before your start up funds deplete. Having a supportive spouse can’t be minimized either as the worlds will tend to blur and having a partner that is 100% behind you is critical. Also, having a peer/networking group is advisable as well, and there are usually a bunch of meetups in metro areas with people thinking through the same things you are. That’s built in confidence building right there too. Best of luck and great hearing from you as always! MO

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