By John Hovey, North Metro SBDC Special Projects Coordinator
If you’ve ever felt discouraged by others, like maybe your business doesn’t somehow qualify you as an entrepreneur because it isn’t an earth-shattering “disruptive” new idea, or maybe because it’s not based on a new technology or aimed at some new emerging trend, we at the North Metro SBDC think it’s time that you revamped your mindset. (Jeff Haden does, too!) To start your own business requires courage, initiative, know-how, and some boldness. And these are all attributes of the entrepreneur. In fact, we think that the hype and obsession around novel businesses and high-tech startups can sometimes become an unwelcome distraction from people who are following their more commonplace businesses, but just as fervently and with just as much passion as anyone. And you deserve just as much respect. We’re here to tell you that you ARE an entrepreneur.
“Entrepreneur: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” — Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Embrace this idea. Live it! Tell your family, friends, and network that you are an entrepreneur and wear the title proudly. Hold your head high! Not only is it the truth, but the more you own this concept and believe in it, the more you will act like a successful entrepreneur to lead your business and inspire others. And if you are willing to take the plunge and put in the hard work to build your business and to follow your dreams, wouldn’t you want to enjoy the small rewards, like acknowledging and taking pride in yourself for doing that?
“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” — Howard Stevenson
And what should you do if someone doesn’t share your opinion? Our advice is to just carry on growing your business and building your dreams, and to gently ignore the naysayers. In fact, the more you succeed you may find that you meet more objection, more resistance. We don’t understand why this happens, but it does seem to be a common situation, that there is always someone who wants to say, “Yes, but…” and tear you down just a little bit. It is important that you ignore belittling comments and stay true to your course.
“Everyone starts somewhere–and everyone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise, and who dreams of opportunities without regard to resources currently controlled, is an entrepreneur.” — Jeff Haden
Another thing that we would suggest is that you surround yourself with like-minded people who are doing something similar to what you are doing with your business, and who can appreciate the difficulties of what you are trying to do and offer positive advice and encouragement. People who can also give you the support and guidance you’ll need to carry on during the inevitable tough times. That’s the whole idea behind a new series of Mastermind Groups we are unveiling here at North Metro SBDC. Please stay tuned for more information as we grow this program, and maybe even apply to join one if you think it could be helpful to you.
Our Mastermind Groups are comprised of people who are entrepreneurs, who love entrepreneurship, and who want to support other entrepreneurs. And if that’s you, you might just have your new social group. Welcome!
About the Author:
John Hovey, North Metro SBDC Special Projects Coordinator
John Hovey is the North Metro SBDC Special Projects Coordinator. With 12 years’ experience as a leadership coach and educator, he specializes in building effective teams quickly and creating a winning leadership style based in authenticity, bold action, and healthy risk management. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the National Outdoor Leadership School, he has worked with clients including the U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Naval Academy, Wharton School of Business, and the Harvard-Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency.