Writer, Advisor + Consultant

Are You Meant to Be an Entrepreneur

I often get asked and hear people talking about: Can anybody be an entrepreneur?
Well here’s the truth: Can anybody be a Neurosurgeon?
Can anybody be a Lawyer?
Can anybody be a Secretary?
Can anybody be a Pilot?
Can anybody be a Geologist?

….I think you get the point.

In one sense, OF COURSE! You can be anything you choose to focus on, dedicate your time and life towards, feel passionate about, and fits with your unique personality.

We all have unique qualities that make us more cut-out for some professions than others. So of course you can be an entrepreneur if you choose to and if you feel like your personality is cut-out for it.
I’ll share with you who is NOT meant for it. If after reading this you still wanna take the plunge—then you are making a terrific, fulfilling choice that will pay off.

1. You Want to Get Paid by the Hour for Your Hard Work

Imagine working an 8-hour day, and at the end of that day your income is 0$. How would you feel? Because, that is the truth about working for yourself. Sometime you will work 24 hours and get paid 0$ and other times you will work for 1 hour and get paid over $1000. Sometimes you will make money while you are sleeping (depending on what kind of product or service you provide) but often you will work without an immediate return. If you want to get paid by the hour or on a salary with certainty, than being an entrepreneur is not for you.

2. You Love Certainty

This basically coincides with the first point. If you need certainty, then being an entrepreneur is not for you. There is no certainty in business. You can bust your butt off creating a new product or talking with a prospect about what you can do for them, but all that hard work may not translate into money. When you work for someone else, whether you close the deal or not, they will pay you for your time. When you work for yourself you get paid based on what works. The reward can be massively rewarding. For example if you work hard to create a great program, then your return on that is lifelong: you do the work once and you get paid for life( for example any online digital program or book would fall under this category). But sometimes you will create something that flops. There is no certainty about what’s gonna work until you send it out. You need to be OK with that if you want to make it.

3. You Hate Risk

If you have an aversion to risk, then you probably shouldn’t be working for yourself. There are different degrees of risk, and you can choose to only take the risks that feel right for you. But investing in your business is a risk, because there is no guarantee that there will be a return on your investment. Sure, statistics may show that there is a high likelihood of a return, but the truth is there are no guarantees. You need to take action (which can feel risky) and then you find out if it was right. Whether you invest in a new piece of software, an assistant, or coaching—any investment is a risk. Personally, I have found that I always learn from the investments I have made, but it was still a risk in my money and time. There have been times where I got a return and times where I did not. I find that no matter what, I always learn and get smarter because of it—even if it means learning what is a total waste of money and something I’ll never do again. It’s the price of business and you need to be OK with taking the risk.

4. You Hate Making Decisions

If you’re gonna be your own boss it means you need to be able to call the shots and you need to be able to make a choice without second guessing it. That doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind tomorrow (that’s the beauty of business, you get to call the shots) but you need to own your decisions. Make a choice, go with it, and be willing to make another decision if you feel called to. If you find yourself unable to make a choice on whether you should start project A or B, call your program C or D, create online or offline advertising—if you can’t be OK with calling the shots and making decisions you shouldn’t be in business. Yes, it is a good practice to get coaching and advice when necessary, but even then, YOU still have to call the final shot and OWN your decision. A Coach or Advisor can help you see outside your perspective, give you ideas and feedback to help you make a more educated decision, but at the end of the day you have to make the final call, and take FULL responsibility for it. If you don’t like taking full ownership and responsibility, and if you like to blame things on other people or the environment—you shouldn’t be in business for yourself.

5. You Take Things Too Personally

To be in business for yourself you need to separate your personal ego from your business. Here is the thing: When you are in business you ARE putting yourself on the line. Whether it’s YOU (Let’s say you create videos or are a speaker) or it’s your product or program, you need to be able to take feedback, slams, and hits with a grace and separation from your ego.

What do I mean? If somebody hates your book and writes a negative review you can’t take that too personally and allow that to get to you to the point where you throw in the towel and convince yourself you are a loser. You need to be able to look at the feedback objectively. Was the feedback true? Was your book terrible? Can you learn from that feedback? Or was it nonsense? If it was nonsense you need to forget the nasty comment and move on and keep working. If the feedback was true, then take it as a learning experience and get back to work to improve the second edition. If somebody says your speech was a total waste of time, are you going to let that kill your speaking career? Or are you going to see what you can learn from it, and decide if there is anything you can do to improve.

If you can separate your ego from your business—you will be able to see more objectively and know the difference between helpful and harmful (nonsense) feedback.

It’s hard to know the difference if you are too personally involved. You need to take an objective stance on things—and the only way to do this is to separate YOU from your business.

You need to have a separation between YOU and YOUR Business.

You are not your business. I know. You may be passionate about your business, you may feel like you put all of YOU into it, and you likely play a huge role in it. But you are two separate entities. You need to be willing to be a little fiercer in your business than you may be in your personal life if you don’t want people walking over you, and if you don’t want to give up at the slightest failure. If you can separate your work from your personal life, you will make better decisions, have more confidence, and be happier.

But if you allow every failure and hit to tear you down (to the point you lose out on several work days and sabotage yourself) that is not healthy. Sure, we’re all human and hearing mean or negative things about ourselves or our products, never feels good. Yeah it might take you off track as you have a good cry. But then you gotta’ get back up, get back to work and stay committed and connected to why you chose to be an entrepreneur in the first place. If you’ve got that ability—you’ll be golden.

So there you have it. The real deal.

Another truth is—this is a soulful journey. You gotta have a lot of faith and perseverance, and if you do—you will more than succeed, often beyond your wildest dreams. But you need to be willing to do what it takes (like the above 5 are super important qualities to own or consciously cultivate) and it’s kinda’ important to know what you’re in for.

One more thing. Just like ANYTHING in life, often you won’t know until you try it.

If being your own boss, making your own decisions, designing your own creations, and deciding how you get paid is something that lights you up inside—you should go for it. It never hurts to give something a try if there is a part of you that feels like YES! I am called to this! Give yourself permission to give it a try if deep inside it feels like a YES! (even if there is a little fear, that’s normal—if you feel like you want this, you need to go for it)

After all we only have 1 life, and following-through on the inner-call is the BEST call you can ever make.

p.s you can start your entrepreneurial journey on the side. If you feel called to start  a project like writing your first book, creating a program, or going full-on in your own business, you’re better off to start than to wait for the “perfect time.”

Every action matters, every action adds up, and if right now you only have a few hours a week to dedicate to your passion-project, that’s better than sitting on the couch dreaming about it.

If you WANT something GO FOR IT no matter how much time you have.

Now I want to hear from YOU—is this a journey you want to embark upon? Are you already on it? Share with us some of your lessons and insights in the comments below

Also, stay tuned because I have reached out to some INCREDIBLE soulful entrepreneurs who are making it in business. They are dedicated and are succeeding in living their dreams and feeling free through running their own biz. This interview series will air in the Spring and it is FULL of inspiration and valuable tips.

9 comments… add one
  • Krystal Bernier March 8, 2014,

    You are so right. I was worried when I saw the title of this post, as in am I meant to be an entrepreneur. When I read your points though I realized I passed with flying colours. Except for the part about “Separation Between Me and My Biz”, I totally fail there. I’m constantly working, mostly because I can do a lot of work from my phone. I need to work on that.

    • Tova Payne March 8, 2014,

      Hi Krystal! I know, the title was a little scary 😉 And separation from your business doesn’t mean you can’t work hard, or be working a lot of hours, especially in the start-up phase, and during big projects, and launches, most entrepreneurs do work extra hours. It’s more about the mentality you bring to your work. It’s about whether you receive positive or negative feedback you take it all in with an objective CEO mindset. Hope that makes sense 🙂

  • Ellie McMillan March 5, 2014,

    I love this, Tova! You really can’t take things personally when you are in business and it would blow me away with fellow entrepreneurs would. I didn’t realize it until RIGHT NOW why you can’t.

    Great blog post. I love reading them.

    • Tova Payne March 5, 2014,

      Thanks Ellie! So happy to hear you received a new understanding, that’s awesome 🙂


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