According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the median income for individuals self-employed at their own incorporated businesses is $51,419. For individuals self-employed at their own unincorporated business is only $25,240.
When you deduct taxes and business expenses, a typical entrepreneur’s income is significantly less than it would be if they had a job.
Approximately 81 percent of the 30 million small business owners in the United States are solopreneurs with zero paid employees. While the rest of the small businesses say finding qualified workers is their number one business challenge.
As a serial entrepreneur who has experienced the financial freedom that comes from being an entrepreneur, these dismal statistics frustrate me.
For many of us with a professional calling of entrepreneurship, there is no better feeling, especially if you’re a conscious entrepreneur. Although being an entrepreneur is not easy, it can be incredibly impactful… UNLESS you’re not able to earn a decent living from your business.
I now dedicate my life and business to improving those statistics – helping entrepreneurs grow, make money, and make an impact.
So, what does it take to be successful as an entrepreneur? Well, it’s not the type of business, nor a great idea, and it’s definitely not the amount of start-up money. I’ve seen great ideas fail, and I’ve seen businesses with significant cash and investments fail.
What it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur is two things: Focus and Fortitude.
Let’s start with Focus – being focused and knowing what to focus on. Although it feels like there are a million things to learn, there are actually only a handful of things you need to master at each business phase to get your business from where it is, to where you want it to be.
I’ve designed and tested a methodology called the Conscious Business GrowthPlatform™ and recently licensed that methodology to Shift/Co, a community specifically designed by and for conscious entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses.
In the Conscious Business Growth Platform™ – there are six distinct growth phases of business. At each phase there are a few strategic imperatives to master in order to grow from that phase to the next.
Focusing on just a handful of things is not easy when there are hundreds of tasks to do, and tons of stress along the way, but focus you MUST.
For example: Most entrepreneurs whose businesses are earning less than $30K/month need to focus on Demand Generation to grow revenue. What that means is that they must dedicate time each day to doing an activity to grow revenue.
Sounds simple, right?
Well, what if you’re really busy that day? Or, what if you have clients or staff members that need your time? Regardless, you still need to focus on doing the demand generation activities, even if it means staying up later, getting up earlier, or doing twice the activities the next day.
But, what if you don’t know what activities you need to do? Or, what if you don’t like the activities you are doing? In that case, use focus to learn what you need to learn, or find demand generation activities you do enjoy.
Which brings me to the second aspect of entrepreneurial success – Fortitude.
Too often, we look at successful entrepreneurs and assume that it was easy for them, or that they didn’t make mistakes. But, if you ask any truly successful entrepreneur, they will tell you stories about their failures, more so than their successes. The truth is… every good entrepreneur knows that you fail your way to success. You’ll find hundreds of things that won’t work until you find what does work, and you need the fortitude to move through the downs until you find the ups.
This type of fortitude – the type that brings entrepreneurial success – isn’t for everyone and often misunderstood. Too often, we chase success and power as if it’s something external – the title, the recognition, the money. Success and power are internal. NOT something we get. Success is about who we BECOME on our way to what we want.
You see, we don’t achieve success. We BECOME successful.
We don’t get power. We BECOME powerful.
Both of these are inside jobs, and they are at the heart of fortitude.
So, if you want to be more successful as an entrepreneur, tap into FOCUS and FORTITUDE.
Do not think for a second that you can’t make great money AND be an entrepreneur. You can have both, if you can focus, and if you can tap into the natural, unending source of fortitude that is available in each one of us.
And, if you’re ready to join our community of conscious entrepreneurs and grow your business, come learn more about Shift/Co at any of these events.