As entrepreneurs sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.
The very thing that can make us, can also break us.
I’m talking about your ability to start new things. To take initiative. To experiment and to defy the odds.
Yes, you’re a pioneer, a visionary and a basket case all at the same time!
This “gift” if you will, can be used to make millions. It can impact society in profound ways. You could even help influence culture.
…but it can also destroy you if you don’t understand it.
One of the most destructive forces I believe entrepreneurs wrestle with is the same force that empowers them to do great things.
It’s this “force” that makes us ask:
“Why can’t I just stay focused?”
I know I’ve asked myself this a million times. Every time I start a new blog, a new online venture or decide on a new “direction” for my business.
I feel like such an idiot at times. I look at people who have stuck to the same thing for 10, 15 and 20 years and think, Man, if I could just be like them and focus on ONE thing, then I could succeed.
But that’s an unhealthy thought. It’s unwise to compare ourselves to others. And even more foolish to wish we were like someone else.
“This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man/Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”
Yes, we must be true to ourselves… our crazy, ADD, entrepreneurial selves!
When we embrace who we are then, and only then, are we able to operate in our unique ability.
But, here’s the catch, we can’t do it alone. Believe me, I know. For the last 6 years I’ve tried to work as a freelancer. A one-man show who did it all! I studied the craft of copywriting until I became good enough to make over $125/hr.
I thought that was cool, considering that was much more than I ever made as an employee.
But yet, I’ve driven myself bonkers over the last 6 years too if I’m honest! I’m constantly starting new things. Like the time I started my city’s first hyperlocal media website “on the side” during my first year freelancing.
During this time I was trying to learn the ropes of freelance copywriting and for some reason I thought it was a good idea to also launch a hyperlocal site! It was cool. I had fun. The first week after I launched I got an email from the mayor inviting me for coffee. I then sat down with every city council member after that. I met all the mayor players in town (political, business and spiritual leaders).
But it was not profitable and it was distracting me from making money as a copywriter. So I gave the website away to a friend (I also had moved away for a time so it didn’t make sense to continue it).
The reason I share that story is just to give you one example (of many) of my compulsion to start new things.
And after years of going back and forth as I ask myself, “Am I a freelancer or an entrepreneur?” I’m finally convinced I’m more of an entrepreneur than a freelancer.
So now I have to figure out how to make the transition from making money as a freelancer to making money as an entrepreneur.
If I don’t, I fear I’ll destroy myself in the process by not being true to myself.
What about you? Are you an entrepreneur stuck in a freelance job? Did you leave the “employee quadrant” only to wind up in the “self-employed quadrant?”
If so, stick with me. I’m on a journey out of that quadrant and into the business owner (aka entrepreneur quadrant). I plan to share lessons learned along the way here. And I hope to learn from you too!