As I have already mentioned; being an entrepreneur is a state of mind and a way of approaching your life and career. Being an entrepreneur is not about being a billionaire and owning a private jet (although it’s good to have goals). Being an entrepreneur can also be about being very single minded, self sufficient and a bit rebellious. I have found that I didn’t always learn these lessons through choice, I have often found myself in circumstances and situations that have forced me down this road without me even realizing until now when I am finally analyzing it all.
Two days ago I went to visit a great friend of mine Graham Russell who I have known since we were kids. For the last year he has been working on his new career as an entrepreneur and it’s great to see things unfold, give him advice and even get advice back from him when he has come up against things I haven’t seen before. Graham has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and has all of the personality traits of an entrepreneur which is why he has always hated traditional employment. As most entrepreneurs find when they attempt employed work they are often well liked and good at most things they turn their hands to but their rebellious streak and determination to find new ways of doing things put them at odds with management. Eventually the tedium gets to us and we can end up hopping from job to job. So I am glad Graham has started his printing business and he is doing well. Most importantly I can see he is the happiest he has ever been.
One year into his new life Graham has found a great new life but on a personal level some issues with long standing friends and with me spending most of my time abroad has meant that very recently he has found himself with few or no good friends around. When I saw him this week he was a bit down about it and we talked a lot about this. As always I wanted to put a positive spin on it and thinking about my own experiences it didn’t take me long to realize that with my life of relocating to different parts of the country and even different parts of the world has regularly left me in the situation where I only had opportunities for “light socializing”. So with only new acquaintances locally and occasional long distance trips to important friends and family (or the occasional visits from them) left me with a lot more time for working on my next investment, venture or business. In fact I am not sure I would have finished my book this year had it not been for the most isolated part of my life while I was living abroad working on a few projects with almost nobody around that spoke a word of English I had a lot of personal time on my own to write my book. At times it was so lonely it was almost unbearable but it was only for a few months and if you ask me now it was well worth it.
I explained to Graham that without that isolated period I would never have written my book and now I look back there are other great career achievements I have made at times when I had just relocated or found myself with only colleagues or acquaintances around. I encouraged Graham to use this time to do something special, take his business to the next level and/or achieve something important to him. Don’t get me wrong, Graham and I are highly sociable people, we are not loners at all. Limited socializing is only something either of us could torture ourselves with for a limited period but from my experiences it has always been worth it. If you asked me now would I trade evenings out, some weekends away and some other quality time with good friends for six months for finishing my book? No way, I can spend some time with friends any time but I might never write another book. If my friends don’t understand that then they are not my real friends are they? Maybe that’s why I only have a limited number of friends now but the friends I do have now are the best friends a person could have, they would do anything for me and I would do anything for them.
So here’s to being self sufficient, having single minded determination, self discipline and the right friends; some key ingredients to finding success as an entrepreneur.
If you would like some help with marketing your business or just to share your experiences I would really like to hear from you. Get in touch via the form below and I will email you back.