Being an Entrepreneur isn’t about being your Own Boss

mocha momentsWhy do you want to get into business for yourself/own a business?

This question is usually met with the F answer: FREEDOM!

The freedom to do WHAT you want, WHEN you want, with WHOM you want and work on WHATEVER you like WHENEVER you like.

Many envisage being free as being able to spend more time with family and friends, doing what they love doing for a living – day in and day out.

Freedom to others means being available to hop on a plane and work wherever you CHOOSE to, and thanks to the virtual way of doing business, you can work from just about anywhere in the world.

Steve Tobak of CBS MoneyWatch says

…being an entrepreneur isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, if you’re cut out for it, maybe you’ll survive the pressure and overcome the many challenges. But if you’re not, and most of us aren’t, I wouldn’t quit my day job just yet.

There are far too many articles encouraging people to leave their jobs, fueling this FREEDOM BS by promoting the “you can be your own boss” crap. The thing is that much of what is shared is myth and most individuals who DO get into business for themselves, find that it is a constant uphill battle. The freedom they sought doesn’t exist.

Quit focusing on being your own boss.

Being an entrepreneur is about being able to make decisions that are BEST for you!

being your own boss

This starts with knowing WHO YOU ARE and then figuring out WHAT YOU WANT. This seems so simple that many of us…no scratch that…most of us just gloss right over it, assuming that we DO know.

Most people think they know themselves but let me ask you this: Do you know what is distinctive about you? What’s your edge? What is your highest point of contribution?

Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less says “Being able to do many things is important in many jobs today but developing a greater discernment about what is distinctive about us can be a great advantage. Instead of simply doing MORE things, we need to find at EVERY phase in our lives, our highest point of contribution.”

This highest form of contribution is the intersection point of our motivational patterns, talent, passions, behaviors and market.

In that list above, again, many know their talents and passions but where we often fall short is in understanding what we’re naturally motivated to do and being completely unaware of the behaviors that will break our business . Arthur F. Miller Jr. asks us to consider this fact inherent in our two foundational institutions of education and work: “A person is educated for fifteen or so years….hired in a job…and then for half a century is rewarded, punished, utilized, directed, coached, managed, trained, appraised, developed, reinforced, promoted, transferred, harnessed to objectives, subjected to job enrichment and enlargement activities…sent to business school, assessment centers, sensitivity training …promoted, etc…and finally retired – WITHOUT ANBODY – AT ANY TIME – FINDING OUT WHAT THAT PERSON IS REALLY GOOD AT AND MOTIVATED TO DO.”

When you understand WHO YOU ARE you will be able to say “no” to the wrong opportunities and “yes” to the right ones. This will instantly boost your chance at success. You will minimize many of the risks that you face as an entrepreneur and give yourself the absolute biggest edge to achieving your dreams!

Entrepreneur Rich Schefren reminds us: “An opportunity is only good if it fits with your appropriate goals. If it fits with the objectives you have set for your business. Anything else will dramatically add to your work load and decrease your effectiveness at running your business. Any opportunity that takes you OFF the path to your stated business goals, no matter how attractive the opportunity appears, is bad for business”

When you are confronted with an opportunity, your decision has to be all about you. If it’s not in alignment with who you are at core, you’re not going to succeed.

Rich provides us with a list of questions to ask ourselves when an opportunity presents itself:

  1. Do I completely understand what I will have to give up doing now in order to pursue this new opportunity?
  2. Will this opportunity leverage what I’m already doing?
  3. Will it get me to my goals faster by satisfying objectives I already have in place?
  4. How much more work or how many more steps will it add to what I’m doing now?
  5. What other efforts might I have to sacrifice to implement this opportunity?
  6. Do I have enough time to take a new project on without significantly taking away from my current workload?
  7. Is it just a replication of something I’m already doing right now?
  8. Will implementing it send an inconsistent message to my employees?
  9. What will the bottom line financial cost of this particular opportunity be?
  10. What other efforts might I have to sacrifice to implement this opportunity?

When you take a moment to answer these questions, you will substantially increase your ability to sort the beneficial opportunities from the destructive ones.

One of the worst mistakes entrepreneurs make is convincing themselves that an opportunity will be good for them.

Start off by saying “No”, no matter how good an opportunity looks on the surface. Even if you think you want to take advantage of it.

Rich suggests assuming that it’s a losing deal. Assume it will cost you valuable time and money. Assume it could potentially put you out of business. And then make it PROVE to you that it can be beneficial once it aligns with WHO YOU ARE and WHERE YOU’RE GOING!

Once you understand yourself, that’s when TRUE freedom kicks in. You will now have the freedom to map out and follow your own course in business and in life and take control and live your life the way you want to!


I help people learn how to unlock and leverage their true potential and the potential of others to get better results in their businesses, careers and lives. If you’re ready to get better results, schedule a FREE strategy session with me by first sending an email to  If you own a business put “business owner” in the subject line. If you are an employee put “employee” in the subject line.

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