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Today, let’s talk about how to become a true entrepreneur and owning it. I spend a little time on Facebook, as I’m sure a lot of you do, and one of my friends posted a graphic. It got my attention. It said, “So, you don’t want to be involved in a pyramid scheme, you would rather stick with the corporate world.” And then basically, it has a pyramid of people, which includes the CEO, and then the president, and the vice president, and management, and employees. At the bottom, it says, “Go ahead and tell me how your pyramid treats you.” I went, “Hmm.”

Pyramid Scheme?

Now, having worked in the corporate world for AT&T, Arthur Anderson, and stuff like that, it kind of rang a bell, and it got me thinking. What is the difference between, let’s say, a pyramid scheme, the “Barry Madoff” type of pyramid scheme, and what happens in the rest of the world? Being the solopreneur, or entrepreneur, I’ve done them both. Right now I’m a solopreneur, but there’s a big difference between owning what it is that you do and owning your audience, and working for somebody else. I’m not necessarily dissing these things because I don’t think that everybody is cut out to be an entrepreneur because it’s a challenge, and it is a topsy-turvy world.

Corporate

You’re going to make a ton of money sometimes and no money other times. It can go on and off like a faucet like nothing, so you have to be very, very aware, and you have to be very, very agile. You have to reinvent yourself over the course of time if you’re going to be an entrepreneur. But along the lines of that graphic and the pyramid scheme, there are some things that I thought of. The first thing is corporate. You have a daily job. You get insurance. You get all those other things, but the corporate mentality of years ago, all these benefits are long gone. My dad worked for AT&T and retired 40 years in with a watch. There is no loyalty anymore. As a matter of fact, the average person stays at a job between three and five years, and that’s it. People are constantly changing businesses, and there’s no loyalty both from the employee side and from the corporate side.

Network Marketing

The next one is network marketing. Now, I don’t have a problem with network marketing, but a lot of people think that they’re running and owning a business when actually they’re working for somebody else’s business. Other people above them and below them are doing the same. They may own their Book of Business and might be able to sell that, but if for some reason the company decides to pull the plug, which I’ve seen happen, your entire stream dries up.

Get Rich Quick

The other one are these get-rich-quick ideas. I posted a graphic on Facebook of what not to do on social media, and it’s a guy standing next to two Ferraris and a mansion. That’s exactly true. If you’re trying to sell other people on how to get-rich-quick on social media, you don’t show them a picture of two Ferraris and this mansion because the chances of anybody achieving that who’s got half a brain is zero, and we all know that. If you think you can get there, then you’re going to buy his program.

Entrepreneur vs Wantrepreneur

What I want to do is kind of define the difference between an entrepreneur and a wantrepreneur. An entrepreneur is somebody that is creating or making a legacy where a wantrepreneur is somebody that is making a living. Now, there’s nothing wrong with making a living, but it’s truly not entrepreneurial. It’s basically working for somebody else growing your business. That’s the biggest difference.

Let’s talk about some traits that a true entrepreneur has. These are ideas that I’ve been gathering from different articles I’ve been reading and other people that I know who are business coaches and things of that nature.

Inventive

The first trait is that they’re inventive. In other words, they come up with unique ways or unique ideas, something different. Now, in the social media space, I mean there are all these people that say, “Here’s how you get rich quick using Instagram and Facebook, and Facebook ads, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and all this other stuff.” That’s not unique. Unique is coming up with a strategy or something that attaches to a niche or a particular product. You have to have something unique, something different than everybody else does.

Create Business Opportunities

The other thing that they do is they create business opportunities. Now, what I mean by business opportunities is they’re building a business based on assets. It could be ideas. It could be programs. It could be products, but it’s something that is, in one way, shape, or form, going to have a growth potential and is transferable to somebody else, either through a sale or handed down through generations.

Growth

Finally, they measure success in growth. Growth doesn’t necessarily always have to be bottom-line dollars. It could be that you’re making the same amount of money but you’re reaching more people. As long as the business is profitable, and sustaining, and growing, they are willing to work harder to make that happen.

Self-Motivated

There are three more traits I’ve noticed about entrepreneurs. Number one, they’re very self-motivated. They’re very active, and they take action on their ideas, but also they take responsibility when things don’t work.

In the light bulb story of Thomas Edison, he says, “I had a thousand failures and one success.” We’re always willing to take responsibility for the failure. They’re not going to blame other people.

Humble

The other thing that I’ve noticed about really successful entrepreneurs is they’re humble. They know how and when to ask for help not only within their business but outside of their business. The more successful entrepreneurs I know will employ some kind of business coach or consultant that’s going to help them see everything from a different perspective, and they’re willing to pay for it. That’s key because, obviously, everybody would like free advice, but often free advice is worth exactly that. Free.

Leadership

Last, they’re into leadership. What I mean by leadership is they are in the business of helping other people be successful, and that other people can include their employees. They hire people smarter than them to do specific tasks that they don’t know how to do. It’s one of the things I often talk about working to your strengths and hiring to your weaknesses.

Own It

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, there are three things that you have to do, and you have to own all three of these things.

Number one, you have to own yourself. That means you have to have a commitment to the long game, that this is just not a get-rich-quick scheme, get-in-get-out and sell it. Now, if you can, that’s great. If you’re in real estate that’s what you want to do and if you can do that over and over, but building a business means that you’re learning and growing, and doing it better every single time. So that can work.

The other thing that you have to own is your employees. Some of the best entrepreneurial stories I’ve ever heard is where the owner actually gives the employees part ownership. Whether it’s stock, or profit-sharing, or something. In other words, everybody wins in the success profile.

The last thing you have to do is you have to own your customers. In other words, you have to be able to get them to understand that they have a stake in your success. When you get people behind you in that way, the way that Apple has feverishly gotten people to become Apple fans and always looking for their latest and greatest things, then you know you’ve got a successful plan.

Final Thoughts

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to own it. You have to own the ideas. You have to own the assets, and you have to own the ability to say, “Growth is on my shoulders.” It’s working with a great team of people both inside and outside your company that’s going to make the biggest difference in your success.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?

Read more: 4 Key Steps to Use when Transitioning to the Role of Full Time Entrepreneur