Monday, March 16, 2015

Be a Baby, the 4 P's of an Entrepreneur

Almost a year ago, I took on a new role as an Uncle and have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with my niece since I have been back here in the states. As I write this, she will be turning 11-months, boy times fly!

Being the (favorite) uncle, I have taken the night shift, fed her, and even changed a couple of dirty diapers. The best parts have been just spending time with her and watching her grow, laugh, and develop. In pure curiosity, I have been analyzing her behaviors and reactions and I realized that being an entrepreneur is not so different from being a baby.

If you have read my past post “4 P’s of a Professional,” the 4 P’s here are the same but it has a different interpretation as an entrepreneur.  When you were born, you were born with the entrepreneurial spirit but it has been long forgotten… until now.

Passion. What drives you to do what you do? If you said success, wealth, or fame, you are in the wrong business. These items are just the side effects of what you want to do. Think about it, what keeps you moving forward this path, a path that is filled with stress, not knowing what tomorrow is going to be like, and meeting people who, quite frankly, will disappoint you. It is a steep hill that requires sacrifices and risks as stepping stones to move up. It is not an easy road, so what gets you up from a restless night to continue on this path every day? For me, it is doing something with my life that impacts others. From creating a family business to employing people, in general, I am motivated to empower others to push their limits, to grow, and to be their own success story. My passion is to create a better life for those that have supported my dream. Find out what matters to you, use it to lead you as everything else like success, wealth, and fame will follow.

Like a Baby: A baby will do what they want and follow no one’s schedule but their own. If they want to play, then they will laugh. If they are hungry, they will cry. If they want to use the bathroom, they will right then and there. Their passion is simply to live, on their own terms.

Pain. Do you embrace failures? The biggest thing that entrepreneurs need to do, is to embrace failure, change, and learn to let things go. When we hear the word “failure,” there is a negative connotation to it. If you treat it right, it is actually a positive thing. Entrepreneurs should treat failures as lessons learned and move forward with it. When I decided to close down my first office and product, after putting nearly $50,000 and a years’ worth of time, it was devastating emotionally and mentally. Yes, I failed my first product and my team but that’s ok. The lessons, decision making skills, and management tools that were forged from that, allowed me to move forward on to my next idea. The great thing about failure is that it’s in the past, so make the necessary changes now so that you can continue forward tomorrow. You have to learn to let things, people, and ideas go. Why hold onto dead weight that will slow down your progress?

Like a Baby: From learning to hold a bottle to falling down while trying to sit for the first time, a baby will continue to test their motor skills, learning and adapting to the current situation. Do you ever see a baby just give up? They will continue to try to do new things until they learn and move to the next thing, no matter how many times they bump their head or fall down.

Persistent. Do you keep going despite everything else? If you can endure the pain and lead with your passion, you will continue to progress. Some days, I wonder to myself why do I keep on doing what I am doing. Despite not having a paycheck for almost 2 years, constant stress of company operations and finances, and the deliberating if my next idea will go anywhere, I am ok with it. I can tell you that real entrepreneurs are survivors. They will take the risks, make the sacrifices, and fight until they cannot fight any more. Recently, I took a part-time job going door-to-door (yes, people still do that) to help ends meet, financially. Since it was consuming more time than expected, I left it but hey, I was able to pay my bills for that month. I am not ready to quit with my app looking to launch in a couple of weeks and I am willing to do anything to see this through. As an entrepreneur, do not let excuses or reasons why not to be used as crutches, instead put everything into what you believe in and do what is necessary. To give a start-up the chance to succeed, you have to throw all your time and energy into it, otherwise, it is just a hobby.

Like a Baby: When a baby wants something, they will release all of their emotions/cry until they get it. They could be hungry, not feeling well, or even dirtied their diaper. Regardless, they have a relentless amount of energy to fight for what they want until they are satisfied. If you have ever held a crying baby or been there when they are teething for the first time, you know what I am talking about.

Progress. Are you listening to your gut? In whatever industry your start-up is in, it is continuously changing. You can either stay where you are at or continue to innovate. There will always be some sort of competitor that will have a better product/service so keep that fear inside of you. Sometimes it requires you to let your idea go or even make the changes to something you thought you perfected, either way your gut will let you know. When I created my first website product, I knew there were similar competitors out there but I wanted to keep going until my original idea came into fruition. Instead of shutting it down early and move to an app version of it, I kept putting more time and money into it even when I had people tell me they will wait for the app to come out instead. My gut even told me that it was time to make that change and yet, I did not listen and that lesson became a pricey one. Progress requires you to continue to grow yourself, through chatting with your mentor, reading about industry trends, and collaborating with your target audience about ways to better their experience. Through that data and understanding, it transforms into information and knowledge to be used, a built-in adviser I call your gut.

Like a Baby: Watch a baby play with their toys. Noticed how easily they move on from one toy to another because they got bored of it or something else sparked their interest? They are always curious, wanting to learn about the environment they are in and to better understand it.

Letting your Passion lead you, enduring the Pain from getting kicked down over and over again, being tirelessly Persistent, and adapting to your environment to Progress forward makes an Entrepreneur a survivor, a warrior, and a baby. These 4 P’s cannot stand alone, they rely on each other and blend together to make what an Entrepreneur is today. Igniting that fire in you is just a start. It’s the what, when, why, who, and how to keep the fire going is the most important quality you need to have as an Entrepreneur.

Would love to hear your feedback and your story!

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