Building the entrepreneurial muscle

While I applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of millennials, it is not just a mindset that makes you an entrepreneur—nor is it a book-smart education. Instead, it is the hard-fought lessons of going out in the world, trying, and yes, sometimes failing that helps you hone your entrepreneurial skill set. What I would call building the entrepreneurial muscle.

I always find it amusing when I hear people say, “Oh, she was lucky.” Or “They’re an overnight success.” Few know or appreciate the real story behind entrepreneurial successes. The reason they succeeded is they learned the secret. The secret to leadership.

The primary reason why most new entrepreneurs fail is simply because they lack the core training, the core strengths they need to withstand the rigors of being an entrepreneur. Some people call it guts. Others call it perseverance. In the military, it might be put this way: “Stand up, get off your butt, stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop pouting, stop sucking your thumb, and get going again. Your mama is ashamed of you—because your mama is tougher than you are.” I think you get the point here.

Another important reason why most entrepreneurs fail is because our educational system trains people to be employees, not entrepreneurs. The world of an employee is very different from the world of an entrepreneur. One big difference is the concept of paychecks.

If you think about it, you’ll realize that the person who signs your paycheck controls your life. Shouldn’t that person be you? It probably should be, if you are strong enough.

If an employee does not receive his or her “paycheck” they quit and go looking for a new job”. Most entrepreneurs must be tough enough to operate, sometimes for years, without a “paycheck.”

It should go without saying, but in order to build your entrepreneurial muscle, you have to stop working out your employee one. A side hustle is a good way to ease in, but you need to actually cut the cord at some point and go all in.

Who can be an entrepreneur?

So, does all this mean that millennials can’t be entrepreneurs? Of course not! A success story like Mark Zuckerberg is testament enough to that. But it does mean that simply having the mindset or calling yourself and entrepreneur is not enough.

You have to actually do the thing.

The good news is anyone can be an entrepreneur—from millennials to baby boomers—if they’re willing to put in the work. Each have their own strengths to bring to the table, and each have their own things to learn along the way.

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