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Years ago, my uncle bought a good-sized sailboat. When I congratulated him, he said: “Mike, you wanna know if you’d like sailing too? Go into the shower still wearing your clothes. Turn the cold water on and stand there tearing $100 bills in half. If you like that feeling, you’ll love sailing.”
Although my uncle was smiling, the pain in his eyes told me he wasn’t kidding. At that moment, I decided to forego my lust for the open sea.
In the spirit of my uncle’s sage and amusing advice—and after an extremely long and trying day—I offer some (tongue-in-cheek) musings about whether you would enjoy being an entrepreneur.
Please note that these observations are born out of nearly three decades of telling myself—and anyone who would listen—that “I am living the dream!” (A cathartic phrase I utter when something in my entrepreneurial life goes right OR wrong.)
Who knows, maybe you are cut out to live the dream too! (Wink-Wink!)
You were born to be an entrepreneur if:
- Your mind occasionally drifts to payables and receivables during lovemaking. #sosexy
- You think grey hair is the new black and worry lines are as sexy as thinking about payables and receivables during lovemaking.
- You’re often too tired to think about payables and receivables.
- You don’t mind using your house like a poker chip.
- You believe the saying “the fish stinks from the head down” and, thankfully, your sense of smell isn’t all that great.
- You think roller coasters are fun — so fun, in fact, that you are ready for them to become a metaphor for your very existence.
- You can take the phrase “What the hell were you thinking?” as encouragement and use it as a building block for even more outrageous ideas.
- You can get used to everyone saying, “you can write that off” whenever a bill arrives at a restaurant. You can also get used to not having a clue what this means and why it is a good thing.
- You love, LOVE staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m. as your pulse tries to set a land speed record while a never-ending loop of what could go wrong in your business plays in your head.
- You’re ready to scream “CASH FLOW!” instead of swear words, should you ever be stricken with Tourette’s syndrome.
- You are engaged in a 24/7, psychic battle with your 7th grade English teacher who said you would never amount to anything.
- Your first instinct under pressure is to try harder. Your second is to change everything.
- You believe that an ego can actually develop calluses.
- You’re OK that your kids, Branson, Turner and Winfrey, say you’re not home enough.
- You’re willing to accept time, freedom or hope as currencies.
- You have the memory of an elephant when it comes to wins and a 97-year-old drunk’s when it comes to losses.
- You believe that God is not finished with you yet.
My entrepreneurial buddies also saw early signs that they might be destined to “live the dream.” Clint Greenleaf got the $65-a-day candy business shut down that he was running out of his locker in high school. Darin Westhoff had a similar experience in grade school with his gum business. Robert Farr had to explain to his pastor how his youth group budget turned a $4,000 profit over the course of a year when he was the acting treasurer. As a kid, Amish Shaw paid his lemonade stand “franchisees” with Atari cartridges. Dena Hirschberg elected to make and sell clothing for Barbie and Ken dolls rather than play with them. While others were partying, Marissa Levin spent her time at college bars collecting and turning in pitchers, netting her $100 bucks a night in crisp $1 bills. Bert Jacobs likely stopped by Marissa’s college to sell Life is Good T-shirts out of a van. Yanik Silver had already trademarked his company logo in junior high. And then there was Jeff Hart, who was selling beer for a buck a can at high school parties at the ripe old age of 14.
For many entrepreneurs, the dream starts early as does the realization that they are utterly and brilliantly unemployable. #lifeisgood
What else? What did I miss? I know that you entrepreneurs out there can add to this list. Send me a note.
Here’s the most important reason of all: I was smiling as I typed this. Even though there is some truth to every single line in this article, I simply wouldn’t have it any other way.
After all, I am living the dream! I hope you are too.
April 6, 2019 at 07:38AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs