My job, and truly one of my life’s passions, is to introduce people to the world of entrepreneurship and help them succeed. Throughout the course of my work as a mentor and coach, I’ve encountered a surprising array of misinformation and apprehension about becoming a business owner. Almost daily, I witness the wall of doubt and fear keeping people from stepping forward into their hopes and dreams. Honestly, it frustrates me. Because I was once on the other side of that wall.
Three years ago, after nearly a year of being offered an opportunity to become my own boss for the first time, I took the plunge into entrepreneurship and joined a direct sales company as an independent distributor. I had virtually no experience, no education and no network. I was a new mom, desperate to be at home with my child, with little hope of ever being able to do that without sacrificing financial stability for our growing family. But something inside of me kept telling me that maybe I could. Maybe there was a way.
From the day I got started, my only regret has been that I hadn’t done it sooner. I’ve learned over these years that anyone, even a stay-at-home-mom with no time, energy or clue what she was doing, can be an entrepreneur. I keep using the term “entrepreneur” as if it’s some fancy job. I assure, it’s not. I work from home in sweatpants, hair un-brushed, covered in dog slobber and half- watching Star Wars with my son. It’s not a glamorous job. But it allows me the freedom to focus my life on what truly matters to me: my family, my health and my mission. And it CAN do the same for you.
I want to address some fears and misconceptions about entrepreneurship. But first, allow me to state that my goal is not to convince you to do anything. My intent here is simply to help you break down that wall of self-defeat that’s keeping you from living the life you truly want, and to offer you a way to create that life.
Who? I think the biggest challenge I face in helping people start their own businesses is helping them BELIEVE that they are capable of doing it. Before I became my own boss, I really struggled to see myself as a successful “business” person. I looked at the people who were living that life and felt disconnected and inadequate. I allowed my inexperience and excuses to keep me from following my heart for nearly an entire year. I’ve realized two things since then. First, almost everyone feels this way before they get started. It’s normal to experience fear and doubt when considering a big change. The second thing I’ve learned is that while fear and hesitation may be normal, thinking that you CANNOT do something is wrong. You can do anything you want. The only catch is that you have to believe that it’s possible.
When people ask me if entrepreneurship is right for them, my answer is always “yes.” I believe wholeheartedly that it’s for anyone who wants to create a life with more time, purpose and freedom. There are no prerequisites. There are no disqualifications. Anyone can do this.
Why? There is no question more relevant than that of why someone would want to become an entrepreneur. In fact, this question is so vital that I would’ve started the post with it had I not found so many people counting themselves out of the opportunity on the basis that entrepreneurship is “not for them.” But now that we’ve established that it is, in fact, for everyone, let’s dig into the why.
If I met with you or spoke with you on the phone to discuss becoming an entrepreneur, one of the first things I’d ask you is “WHY do you want to do this?” And by why, I mean what do you hope to gain from it. What are you looking for that you think this opportunity can provide? Why is critical because it’s what will motivate you. It’s what will push you out of your comfort zone, beyond your self-doubt and into success. It’s your fuel AND your fire.
How? There are endless ways to become your own boss, but not all are equal. So bare with me.
Starting a company can be expensive, time consuming and risky. The cost of a storefront or warehouse alone can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Factor in equipment, furniture, inventory, labor, advertising, insurance and any other expenses and the majority of Americans are looking at an unattainable goal. Even if you have the capital to invest that much of your money, you’re taking a huge risk.
Then there’s the issue of time. Starting a brick & mortar business takes a tremendous amount of time. Time is your most valuable resource because it can never be replenished. Time you spend investing into a business is time away from every other area of your life. How much time are you willing to devote to creating a life of freedom? 40 hours a week? 50? 60? More?
The good news is that you can become an entrepreneur without having to invest a ton of time or money. That’s how I did it. And that’s why I’m such a huge advocate of network marketing. Bill Gates once said “If I would be given a chance to start over again, I’d choose network marketing.” Dave Ramsey has stated that “The worst thing we can do is get a second job. the best thing we can do is start a home-based business.” Why are these guys such proponents of network marketing? Because it works. I’m living proof.
I went from being a stay-at-home mom living paycheck to paycheck, buying groceries and diapers with credit cards to earning a six figure income, paying off debt and buying my dream car. And I did it from home, working about 10-15 hours a week in my pajamas. It works. It works for anyone.
Where? The answer to this is simple: literally anywhere. Network marketing is a mobile business. My entire business is run through the internet, so I can work from home. Or from the park. Or on vacation. Or wherever I decide to live.
Like I said before, the only regret I have since getting started in network marketing is that I didn’t start sooner. For years I allowed myself to believe that a life of financial freedom or of success was only possible for others, not me. I struggled financially. I thought I’d never get ahead. I felt I’d never be able to provide a good life to my son, to take him on vacations and give him great experiences. I was overwhelmed with debt, fear and hopelessness. I allowed my fear of failure to keep me from having the life I wanted. I settled. Until I realized that there was a better way. Life had more to offer, even for me, if I believed in it.
Besides the fear of taking that first step, I know a lot of people think they don’t have the time to invest into growing a business. I know that time is invaluable. I get it. But one of the greatest things about network marketing is that it doesn’t take a lot of time. It really only takes a few small actions, consistently, day after day. If you can spare an hour a day, you can do this. And isn’t an hour a day worth a lifetime of freedom?
The toughest part of my job is seeing people on the verge of freedom afraid to take that step forward. I want to push them. Pull them. Drag them. Because I know how close they are to breaking through that wall between settling and succeeding. I understand their fear but I know that freedom lies on the other side.
When one of my mentors asked me what my goal was for the year, my reply was this….”I want to help as many people as possible create freedom in their lives by becoming their own bosses.” I’m deeply and sincerely committed to that.
The Nitty Gritty. Okay, okay. So having your own business isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. If’ I’m being totally honest. I need to let you in on a few secrets.
- Taxes. Taxes can be a tiny bit of a pain, but not really. It’s as simple as putting part of your income away and saving all of your receipts. And getting to write off dinner at your favorite restaurant, talking about how much you love your job!
- Websites and Inventory. Unlike starting a business from the ground up, network marketing eliminates so much of the work. You get your own website(s) and don’t need to stock inventory. Friends and family members can order goods and services through you and pay directly through your site, and the company ships right to them! So you can focus your time on sharing what you’re doing and helping others!
- Social Media. Let’s be real. We are living in a social media world. Even our president uses social media to communicate. Social media sites are an incredible tool for business owners because they allow you to reach millions of people from your phone or computer! To be successful in network marketing, you have to learn to leverage the power of social media. Sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone. But trust me, even for introverts, it’s a game changer and it’s well worth it!
So there you have it. I hope I’ve given you a little bit of insight into what it takes to be an entrepreneur in today’s modern world. Even more so, I hope I’ve given you some hope that entrepreneurship is right for you! If you have even the slightest notion of taking that step into entrepreneurship, let’s chat!