Entrepreneurs Change The World

Quote of the Week:

“There are a lot of bad reasons to start a company but there is only one good legitimate reason and I think you know what that is. To change the world.” -Phil Libin

Owning a franchise or small business does not make you an entrepreneur.

I am going to say some controversial things that will sound harsh to many of you. I do not necessarily believe that a franchise owner is an entrepreneur. I think franchises can be a good investment because they are very safe and run off of systems. Entrepreneurs rarely want to own a franchise because they like to create the systems and they don’t want to be constrained by them.

If you own a franchise you are what I call a business owner and/or an investor but you are not necessarily an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is someone who starts businesses, who creates employment and keeps doing it. It is a part of their DNA. They can’t stop themselves.

Sometimes what happens is that you have an individual who owns a business and it is a great business. He or she may not be an entrepreneur but instead had an entrepreneurial hiccup. Years ago they had a good idea and somehow they had a touch of risk tolerance and moved forward with the business. As the saying goes, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.” They moved forward on something because there was a big opening in the marketplace. That’s great. I’m not taking anything away from that person but they had a brief spark of entrepreneurship and became a business owner.

So, are you an entrepreneur?

Richard Branson starts one business after another. So does Mark Cuban. Maybe you watch Shark Tank and you listen to these people who are entrepreneurs. What they have in common is that they can’t stop themselves from getting into the ground floor of a startup business. It is like candy waved in front of them.

Again, other people started one business that they are holding on to for dear life. There are the people who have very little risk tolerance so they purchase to franchise. They are protected in the same way that your child is protected when you go the bowling alley and they put up the bowling rails so that they can’t roll a gutter ball.

Entrepreneurs don’t have any of those rails because we want to create the system and we want to test the system that we think we have. If we want to own a franchise we want to create our own. That is how an entrepreneur thinks.

Entrepreneurs take action.

When is the last time you had a startup idea? When did you have an idea to create a business? When was the last time you had an idea for a large-scale expansion for your existing business that would add at least twenty percent more revenue? When is the last time you took action on that? Taking action on your ideas is what makes you an entrepreneur. Ideas in and of themselves are great, but they are nothing without action. The idea is the gasoline and the action is the lighting of the match.

Entrepreneurs have ideas constantly. They are getting ideas out and finding out which idea is the best. However, they don’t stop there. They can’t help themselves but act on them. You are an entrepreneur if within two years you regularly take action on an idea that creates a business. I want you to be an entrepreneur and if you are a small business owner you better continue to be an entrepreneur. That is my plea to you.

Challenging Yourself as an Entrepreneur

Every year I challenge myself to start a new twenty percent profit stream to one of my companies. Throughout the first six months of the year I am constantly vetting my idea and then I start narrowing down my business plan so that in the last three months of the year I can start implementing my plan in order to launch early in the new year. I have done this for the past twelve years. I define success as being able to create twenty percent of new revenue.

I force myself to be an entrepreneur. I am always honing my entrepreneurial skills and reading books on how to be an entrepreneur. Every single week I read a book on how to start and grow a business or what it takes to be a successful business owner because I know every year I am going to start another business. I can’t help myself.

The Upside of Being an Entrepreneur

If you can generate twenty percent new revenue every year, every five years your company turns itself over. This gives you the freedom to get rid of things that are not working as well and that is what being an entrepreneur has allowed me to do. I have been able to look back at my business and see where I have grown twenty to thirty percent over a two year period and where I have not grown as well. It gives you a great luxury. It also builds confidence in yourself and makes your partners, investors, and customers respect you and treat you differently because they know at the end of the day, you are a great entrepreneur.

Test yourself: Are you an entrepreneur?

1. Do you constantly see opportunities to grow and expand your current business?

2. Are you always considering how to franchise your existing business?

3. Are you open to partnering in other non-related businesses? Simply put, everyone knows we have an addiction so they bring ideas to us that they want us to be involved in, and we are always looking for a great business opportunity.

4. Do you crave the thrill of building something from scratch? Buying a franchise or starting a business may not make you an entrepreneur because we have the desire to take something from nothing and build it up from scratch.

5. Do you give great business ideas away? I have given away business ideas that I did not have the time to take action on. We don’t horde ideas because we know that ideas constantly come to us.

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