There seems to be a lot of frustration in new entrepreneurs as they struggle to understand why no one shares their enthusiasm, supports their projects, or cares that they are attempting to innovate the world. I’ve said many times before that the world doesn’t give a shit about you, so it is wise to stop expecting handouts or support but rather stay laser focused on what you do best. I figured I would take a second to clarify this a bit, as I did in Third Circle Theory.
The main reason why no one really understands entrepreneurship is also why they say entrepreneurship can be a lonely profession. Part of that is because entrepreneurship has lost its value and now shares lines with self-employment which seems to be one of the same to the general public. My own family doesn’t understand this on any level, so believe me when I say you are not alone.
Many people dream of becoming entrepreneurs but very few actually do, and that is partly because most people take a shot at being self employed and often believe that is the same thing. So their first failures are often their last.
Becoming an entrepreneur is so much more than being self-employed, as it involves a personal aspect of you evolving just as much as your business and skills. Being in business, however, is about turning profit and doing it well. This differentiation must be made early on so that your path and intentions are clear as possible early on so you, yourself, don’t get lost in doubt and fear of failure along the way.
You always hear me say: “Business is about money, entrepreneurship is about value creation.”
Many will agree with that statement, but many also email me and say that it doesn’t make sense because being effective in business is about creating value for your customers, and therefore business owners are entrepreneurs.
Business and entrepreneurship also share common ground as many businesses evolve into entrepreneurship and many entrepreneurs become business owners. The line is very fine and the transition is almost unavoidable 9/10 times.
Most ventures, even if not focused on profits, eventually become businesses that are, and Facebook is a perfect example of that.
On the other hand, many business owners who simply are in business to make a profit suddenly see opportunities that may force them away from profits as a bigger picture starts unfolding in front of them. Stu McLaren in our Secret Academy shares this on how he built Wishlist Member (an 8 figure company). They share much commonality and regardless of which side of the fence you are on, you are likely to be exposed to the other at some point or another if you succeed.
I said earlier that the biggest difference in entrepreneurship and business was what happens within yourself and there lies where my original quote about value creation comes in play. It is a personal and inner choice you must make before you start, or you are likely to fail.
If you choose to be in business, you are choosing to make a profit and ensure that profits are the core reason you will be in business. There is nothing wrong with that, the reality is that most people become self-employed to support themselves and when they realize how to create value for their customers, they are compensated even more for their time. While you are creating value, you are doing so in order to make a profit and to continue prospering.
A great example of that are banks. No matter how innovative or how valuable their services are, the reason behind EVERY decision is to make a profit. That is clear and the reality of a bank, which is why they are very good at making money even when the economy sucks. Their goal is to make money and even the ones who care for their customers tend to make more, but in the end they are still a business.
In entrepreneurship, the primary goal is not to make a profit but rather to create value, to change how people do business, perceive things, understand things, or to even change how they live. That and that alone remains the goal from the beginning all the way to the point where the change has began to occur and the venture becomes a business. While at some point the goal will be to monetize the venture or sell it to a larger organization that will simply implement and monetize it for you, the original and only goal in your mind should be to create the change you seek.
The real difference here is not in the execution but rather in yourself. The clear decision you need to make is to why you have decided to become an entrepreneur or to be in business. There is a difference and without knowing where you stand, you might find yourself conflicted and changing your direction in many more ways than you think, keeping you from reaching your ultimate goal, whichever one it might be.
Be Honest…with the only one that matters, yourself. You might even start getting more supporters once you are.