I believe I was born with the entrepreneurial mindset. I see opportunity in everything I look at. Sometimes it drives me crazy. I can’t have hobbies because I always turn them into businesses. After I had my first son I tried to be a full time stay-at-home mom. I thought it would be nice to start a hobby so I pulled out my childhood dollhouse and started working on it. Soon, I had a stack of wholesale catalogs. Then I started placing small orders. 1 item for myself, 2 to sell on eBay to pay for the one I kept. Counter space started filling up with miniature dollhouse items. I had to step back and think “Is this really what I want to do?” I just wanted a hobby but it turned into a business. I wanted to do scrapbooking or stamping like friends but I knew it would be dangerous. I have already attended trade shows in Las Vegas pursuing craft vendors. I have finally succumbed to the idea that my hobby is selling books. This confuses some people. “Isn’t that your business?” they ask. Yes, but it is also my passion and my hobby.
It is easy to spot people who don’t have Entrepreneurial Eyes. They have beliefs that hold them back:
Us vs. Them
When I first met Steve we butted heads about jobs and business, because he did not have entrepreneurial eyes. He had an Us vs. Them mentality. He considered “Us” as people who he thought worked hard for their paycheck. “Them” were managers and business owners. I would get angry. I never saw an Us or a Them, we were all Us. We are all capable of doing great things. It’s all a matter of how hard you want to try and what you are willing to let go of in the process.
Worker Bees have this idea of retirement – it’s the day you quit your job and everything changes. It’s something they dream about for 20+ years. You hear comments like “When I Retire I Will ______” (fill in the blank) Play Golf? Travel? Volunteer? Hang Out with the Grandkids? It’s a well documented fact that depression can hit hard after retirement. It’s rarely the freewheelin’ lifestyle they thought it would be.
Someone once asked me “When will your dad retire?” I was surprised by the question. My dad is a serial entrepreneur. In his twenties, he started a highly successful driving school which he sold and then later bought a small bookstore to run during his retirement years. His small bookstore turned into 7 bookstores and 6 Christmastime calendar kiosks. Today, he’s back to one bookstore which he plans to close because he’s tired of dealing with the public. He will continue selling books online and try to grow his business in different directions. Isn’t he already retired? Isn’t retirement when you don’t have a boss anymore and are free to do as you please whether it’s running your own business or knitting sweaters? He told me, when his largest business, his driving school was at its peak, he worked the fewest hours of his life.
Don’t listen to naysayers. They will tell you all the negatives about every idea you have. How much work it will be, how much money it’s going to cost, how much time it will take. Those are all legitimate things to think about, but not at the idea stage. Entrepreneurs love talking about ideas, nothing kills forward motion like a naysayer.
I used to take my son to a toddler group and we would have “mommy time” to talk about our concerns and issues. I said I had an opportunity to open a bookstore but I was concerned about putting my kids in full time daycare. The negative feedback was instantaneous, “Do you think you could really run something like that?” “Have you done your research?” “Do you know that bookstores are failing everywhere?” But there was one woman with a big smile on her face who said “Wow! What a great opportunity, how exciting.” I knew she was the only one in the room with an entrepreneurial mindset.
Money and Jobs
Everyone has different ideas about what money is and what it can do. Most people believe you need a job to get a paycheck so you have money to pay bills and maybe buy yourself something nice. They believe the harder you work the more money you will have.
Someone very wise once told me a great piece of advice– the only reason to have a job is to learn something that you can take with you. Once you stop learning it’s time to move on and learn something else. You should never work for the money. What a great piece of advice, especially for young people before they get caught up in the paycheck merry-go-round. Make more, spend more, keep up with the Joneses.
Entrepreneurs don’t start businesses for the money. Money is the result of the game. The game is creating businesses. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but the fun is seeing what works.
Once you have Entrepreneurial Eyes they never go away. You think about how to make everything you see better. When you see a weakness with a gadget you think about how to produce a better one. When you see people struggling, you think about how to help them. You listen to others ideas you become inspired and excited about their opportunities. You encourage them and give them positive feedback. Once you have Entrepreneurial Eyes, you’ll never see the world the same… you’ll see a world filled with endless opportunity.
To find out more about how you can start your own internet based business check out Skip McGrath’s site.