This is a guest post by Helen Green
Onibalusi’s “Ten Reasons You Should Be an Entrepreneur” brought up many great points about the wonders of being an entrepreneur. Those great points, in fact, for the unfortunate entrepreneur can be ten great pitfalls. Let me demonstrate:
1. Be Your Own Boss. This everybody’s dream, but it can be everybody’s nightmare. If you are your own boss, there’s no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you’ve done any work at all. A good friend of mine began his own printing business and website. Although he was diligent in college, being his own boss allowed him to say, “Ah, take a break,” whenever he wanted. On some days, he found that he had done no work at all.
2. Work at Your Own Schedule. This is the same thing. You can wake up at noon and work until three PM if you wanted. That’s the danger of it. You just may do that and get little to no work done. You’ll find that you suffer financially, but we are often our own worst enemies.
3. No Limit to Your Progress. Neither is there a pit to your progress. If you don’t work or overspend, you can go into debt.
4. Determine Your Location. You can work at a desk or you can work in bed. One problem: you’re more likely to fall asleep in bed. Also, working in your own office can be, in fact, quite lonesome if you do work diligently. My printing friend finds that sometimes, when business is busy, he is thankful for the cash flow but does not see his friends for days.
I won’t go on, because the counterpart to every perk is essentially the same: if you have ultimate freedom in your business or blog, so, too, do you have the ultimate potential to fail yourself. This is morose, I know, but I didn’t write this post to rain on everyone’s parade. Here comes the silver lining.
An entrepreneur must grow for his business to grow. Your business, no matter what it is, is ultimately people. People change for whatever reason, at varying times, at varying cycles, in varying ways. You must grow and accommodate your audience to grow with the audience and thereby find some growth in your wallet.
Growth in and of itself, however, is stagnant in its own right and rather incomplete in the world of entrepreneurs and blogging. When I think of the word growth, I think of a chart. Not everything—especially not audiences—grow in straight lines or lines at all. Take, for example, the trend of information moving from radio to television to the Internet. Once, people only listened for the news on a radio; the next decade, they could see and listen to it via a television set; and decades later, they can watch and listen to it outside of their living rooms through the Internet. Information output literally moved into three dimensions. In this manner, an entrepreneur must continuously reinvent oneself to keep pace with the world and to keep the world interested in one’s business. There is no limit to the ways one can reinvent oneself, just as Onibalusi said that there is no limit to one’s progress.
Neither growth nor reinvention is an easy task; this is why we need motivation. It has many faces to many people, but it exists for everyone. My printing friend finds motivation by scheduling his day almost hour by hour so he is constantly stimulated by work- and play-related goals. In this way, motivation can be achieved by surrounding yourself with reminders of your short- and long-term goals as well as refreshing yourself now and again by non-work-related activities. You can’t build a bridge if you can’t cut down a tree, and you can’t cut a tree if your saw is dull. Your mind is the saw, and the business the bridge. The tree represents all the challenges you’ll face daily by being an entrepreneur—tiredness, laziness, poor scheduling, loneliness, distractions, and the like. These challenges are opportunities inside—all you must do it seize them.