If You Act Like an Amateur, You are an Amateur!
One thing I have learned during my time as an entrepreneur, there are a lot of amateurs out there. Of course we all have to start somewhere, so what do I mean by this?
Being an amateur, is a natural process when starting your own business, or pursuing any new venture in life. We learn the ropes in the beginning, and then perfect our skills or trade and then become a true professional in our field.
But what I’m talking about in this section is the entrepreneur mindset that separates success from failure. It estimated 8 to 9 out of ten start up businesses fail within the first three years, so why is this? Is it a lack of funds, lack of knowledge, poor planning, well it could be any of these, but what I primarily see is the mindset of the entrepreneur. If you are a “dabbler” and not fully committed about what you are doing, I can almost guarantee you will fail.
The professional goes into their new venture or pursuit full-bore, they don’t consider it a hobby. It is their passion, it is their life, they can see themselves doing nothing else. They already have a plan for the next 5-10 years for their business. The consummate amateur pursues their newfound business, not for passion, but for money or just to fill their time, or something to do. That is exactly what it sounds like – a hobby.
Can you imagine an aspiring Olympian dabbling in their sport? It flat out doesn’t happen. They love what they do, they know there time is now they have to give everything they have in order to be successful. Now just being dedicated or passionate about what you do does not guarantee success, but it sure helps. We will discuss some of the other factors you need to be successful later.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is why are you pursing your new business venture? Is it for money? Is it because you have a true passion for this type of business? Well, if you are doing it for money, you need to come up with another business idea, period. I can smell these people a mile away. As soon as they open their mouth they are trying to sell me something instead of listening to me and understanding what my needs are. I have turned away hundred’s of potential clients because they simply didn’t need my products, or they did not fit into my model at that time. Did it hurt my bottom line and my earning potential? Yes, but it is the right thing to do. Many of these people referred me on to their friends and family, because I gave it to them straight.
Honesty goes a long way, having a lot of money and being a dirt-bag is not the road to happiness. I know this first hand from the white-collar criminals I used to investigate. Yes, they had money, but they were always looking over their shoulder and had no true friends. When you do things the right way, you never have to look over your shoulder and your friends, well are your friends, not because they look at you as a money source.
So simply, you need to be passionate about your business, without this element you are nothing, but another rubber turd salesman! Ok, I need to clarify, this is it important in anything you do, to be passionate about it. We have all worked for someone else doing something we were really not passionate about. That is a job, not a business.
Here are some books that I think every aspiring entrepreneur should read:
We all know how that dreaded Monday morning feels after the weekend doing something we are not passionate about; it sucks! I have never dreaded a Monday, while running my own business. Matter of fact there are no Mondays when you own your business, because you really don’t work a conventional schedule while running your own business. Everyday is different with different challenges.
I see a lot of people start a business and never fully commit. Now in the beginning it is smart to continue with your job to pay the bills until you get going, that is what I call the gap job. But where most fail is they never leave the gap job, and pursue their new business or passion fully. Again this is the amateur mindset…never fully committing to anything in life, waiting for something to happen instead of making it happen! How many people have you met who’s retirement plan is playing the lottery.
When I first started out, and was in the genre of holistic/natural health, it was and still is filled with dabblers. Most have no background in health or wellness, and they do it on the side. It used to drive me nuts because all they tend to do is crowed the space and confuse most of the people following them who are buying their crappy cookbooks or e-books. These are usually the people who are into network marketing, and live and die by social media. Sure, some of them have large followings, but they are complete amateurs. It shows in their websites, blogs, and products they produce (some have no products of their own). There is never anything original or creative, they simply grab others information and repackage it, thinking that is the way of the get rich quick scheme. There are a ton of “get rich books” perpetuating this type of business model. For them it is purely about numbers, the more people they get into their funnel the more sales they will make. These are the people who want to cross-promote with you, but fail to promote you, just themselves through you. They simply want to grab your list of customers and move on.
Many have tried this with me, and found that I don’t play nice when they use this slick “get my followers scheme.” All who have tried this have been permanently black listed from anything I do or are involved in. Worse for them, if anyone asks me about them or what I think, I tell them exactly what this individual tried to pull and do not recommend them to anyone for anything.
Don’t get me wrong all of us need customers and a following in order sell products and make a living. What I’m talking about is having a connection with your customers and understanding their needs. I have seen people with a tenth of the following or even less, than one of these popular amateurs and outsell them big time. You want to know why this is? Because they have a direct connection with their customers, it is not just about the numbers.
The amateur can get the first sale, but without out a connection they will not get the second sale. They are one hit wonders surviving on the next best thing. They prey upon the uneducated consumer. I call it the Dr. Oz affect. If Dr. Oz was truly interested in changing peoples lives his show would last about 3 weeks and that would be it. Instead he is constantly peddling a new wonder product guaranteed to make you burn fat and be sexy, all you have to do is take this magic pill. Then next week he has a new magic pill, proclaiming the same miracles as the last one that didn’t work.
When I began writing my The Simple Life transformation series, I wrote it for longevity. I made sure that when someone picks up one of my books 20 years from now it will be just as relevant then, as it is today. That is the professionals mindset right there. The amateur produces a product for today and today only, because they are not vested in the future or you. They are spending all their time trying to gather their following, not the products they produce or develop, if any.
I’ll leave you with two of my favorite sayings when it comes to being a true entrepreneur:
“Professionals dream big in a small world, amateurs dream small in a big world”
“Professionals hunt to help feed the village, hacks hunt for the pleasure of the kill only”
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