Being in control of your own personal destiny is one of life's greatest challenges and also rewards. Being an entrepreneur you need to absolutely realize that it is YOU and only YOU who can transform your vision into a reality. While most people choose to seek structure and security in their careers, entrepreneurs trade structure and security for the chance to live the true “American Dream”.
As a twenty something year old who is the founder and CEO of Spin My Ad, a mobile (literally) advertising company based in Saratoga Springs, NY, I have learned invaluable lessons first hand for business and life while working with local business to the worlds top Fortune 500 companies and beyond. Here are nine things that I never learned in college or as a marketing
director for Sonja Dee International, that I have been forced to understand in the real world as an entrepreneur.
Know the difference between optimism and delusion: When running a business, having a positive attitude and outlook is both necessary and helpful. Delusion on the other hand is a dangerous thing that can easily throw you off track. You always need to be honest with yourself. Not everything you envision or want to do is possible. People often say, “If it's meant to be, it will be”. STOP it! Destiny doesn't happen by chance but rather by choice. You always have to ask yourself, can this truly happen and function in today's market
, or am I day dreaming? Misinterpreting your true reality can eat up tons of time.
2. You can't blame anyone but yourself when you're your own boss. No more shoveling your troubles onto someone else's lap. If it's not right, it's up to you to fix it. If things aren't going in the right direction, it's up to you to turn it around. No one is coming down the hall to tell you how to handle the situation or to come rescue you.
3. Progress and potential. Don't mix them up when the time comes to re-invest. If you're not where you want to be and always say “if only this or that happens, then this will work” you're making an investment on potential rather than progress. Future investments should be based and seeded on measurable progress. Potential will tell you where you could be, but it is progress alone that tells you where you actually are. Having said that, you can't get to where you want to be until you start where you are. You always have to be in touch and aware of your true progress so you can offer a remedy and solution that actually fits your challenges which in return will propel you forward.
4. “It's different this time” are the four most expensive words in the world. Repeating the same implementations and strategies over and over in the same way hoping for different results is a huge waste of time and money.
You can't change the way the wave breaks but you can change how you surf it. You have to adapt to the market
…Period. No matter how great you think your product and service is, it's ultimately the market, not yourself, who sets your value and demand. You have to except that.
6. Not everyone will get it. And, you cant let that reality discourage you. Some people are conventional and conservative or may simply just disagree with your products viability in the market in general. You have to face it and move forward.
7. The best way to predict your businesses future is to create it. You need to stop wishing and start doing. You don't need to be great to start, but you need to start in order to be great. You need to take full responsibility of your choices and actions in order to navigate you to your goal and where you want to be.
Make practical goals
. It's ok to shoot for the moon, but don't be hard on yourself if you don't get there right away. All good things worth while take time. Case and point; It takes 12 hours to build a Toyota and 6 months to build a Rolls Royce. Often times not reaching your big goal can be looked at as failure as we concentrate on how far we have left to go opposed to how far we have actually come. This can be emotionally crushing and discouraging. We have succeeded and progressed but it may be camouflaged if the goal was too lofty to begin with. You have to set realistic and attainable goals
9. The only place in the world where success comes before work is in the dictionary. What you put in, you get out. You need to put in the work to succeed. You are solely and totally responsible for your own effort and success.
At the end of the day you will only have significant success when you're borderline obsessed with your goals. Remember that every big shot was once a small shot that kept shooting!
This guest post comes courtesy of Kenny Goodwin Jr., Founder and CEO of Spin My Ad