In an email conversation, one of my “interns” was commiserating with me… because the refrigerator died again, and this time there is no excuse: it needs to be replaced.
But… in order to bring in a new one, I have to push stuff aside, clean the old one from now rotting stuff… and I feel very weak to even contemplate doing it.
So she says (my intern): “and everything feels heavy when you’re weak.”
Lucky formulation of a sentence… because it woke me up. This, what she says, is true across the board. It is true in the physical realm, and it is even more true in the “psychological” realm: if you feel weak you’ll do little.
And most people feel weak all the time. Their intellectual and physical exercise is from the car to the grocery store, or from the couch to the refrigerator.
It doesn’t include reading. It doesn’t include learning a skill. It doesn’t include having hard conversations about who you are being. They are “too heavy” for a weakling.
It is time for me to suck it up and bring my high TLB to this area of life: to test how much energy is hidden and unused in this weakened state of mine. I bet there is a lot there… a lot of reserves… sissy girl.
Guidance comes when you are ready to hear it… which is not always. But when you hear it: act on it…
Here is an article that is a guidance:
How To Stay Broke Forever
Real entrepreneurs vs. those who are fooling everyone (including themselves).
I’ve noticed a pattern (in myself and other people). Most people who aspire (aspiring: directing one’s hopes or ambitions toward becoming a specified type of person) to be entrepreneurs are not actually doing what entrepreneurs need to do.
They are acting like entrepreneurs.
But they are not putting in the work to build a real business.
- Instead of solving a real problem, live in a dreamland.
- Instead of building a real product, they are building a pretty website and business cards.
- Instead of trying to get real clients, they are establishing their LinkedIn profile while making sure that there is “CEO” written everywhere.
- Instead of providing value to people, they focus on building pointless social media accounts.
In short, they do lots of things that ‘look like’ the kinds of things we imagine entrepreneurs to be doing. But they are really just pointless busy-work.
Other people might actually believe that they are running this awesome business. In reality, however, this person is only losing money, not making it.
Because of their great acting skills, the most fitting name for people like that is “actor-preneur”.
Here are some typical behaviors of actor-preneurs:
- Learn how to code
- Build a website
- “Research” and compare better technology solutions to problem X
- Print business cards
- Hire a designer to create … [insert anything here: logo, business card, flyer, website etc.]
- Write fantastic copy for the LinkedIn Profile
- Give themselves the title: “CEO” and make sure it’s written on any marketing material you get your hands on
- Going to all sorts of ‘hot’ networking events
- Hire an accountant (despite having zero revenue)
pitch hundreds of different ideas to different investors and send out business proposals
- Buy all different kinds of online courses for hundreds/thousands of dollars
While most of these activities are a part of what businesses do, in themselves they actually don’t constitute a business.
An ‘incorporated entity’ with a pretty website isn’t a business.
- If it is not making any money.
- If it doesn’t have any customers.
- If it doesn’t have a product to sell.
You see, all of these activities are just ‘consumption’ if they don’t contribute to the generation of cash-flow.
One could say that you are an incorporated consumer of services and other stuff.
You’re giving plenty of business to other people. So yeah, in a way you’re doing some good in the world. But you yourself have no business at all. You’re just losing money.
* For how long can you keep this up?
* What’s the point of doing so? To impress other people? To be proud of yourself for being such a great “CEO”?
* Is this really the most effective use of your time?
What is an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a person who is building a business. A business is an automated system that generates cash profit for its owner.
So, what is the task of an entrepreneur?
The task of an entrepreneur is to envision a working system that generates cash flow and turn it into reality. A system grounded in reality.
* market realities (i.e. do customers really want this? Are they really willing to pay for this? Am I solving a real problem? Can I realistically compete with existing competitors?)
* feasibility realities (i.e. Is this scalable? Can this make enough money to be a viable business? Does the infrastructure exist to turn this into reality?)
* personal realities (i.e. can I really build this considering my budget? Do I have the skills, energy and the time to execute on this business? Can I build this before going broke?)
You can come up with great ideas all you want, you can dream up all you want, if it is not possible to turn this idea into a business that generates a reliable (and sufficient) amount of profit, then it’s worthless. Worse than worthless.
After all, there is only one logical reason to be in business:
To set up a system that automatically generates cash-flow for you without you necessarily having to be involved in it very much. To free up your time so that you can use it in the most useful way possible.
If you then want to use that time to do more work on your business and scale it, then that’s fine.
A business is not a business unless it is:
* scale-able (i.e. has the potential to either serve a lot of customers or provide extremely deep value for a selected few)
* automated (i.e. doesn’t require substantial amounts of time from the owner’s side and can sustain itself in the owners absence)
* profitable (i.e. makes more money than it costs to maintain AND is financially worthwhile for the owner)
What to do to make the shift from actor-preneur to real entrepreneur?
Again, the real work of an entrepreneur is to envision a business and to take the necessary steps in order to turn that vision into reality. So, the first step is the vision itself.
Not some dream-like la la land kind of vision.
But one that can be scaled, automated and made profitable.
So, the first thing to do is to come up with a proper business model. Not some 150-page long theoretical business plan, but an actual working model (can be shared in a sentence or on bar-napkin) that is grounded in reality.
You have a working business model only AFTER you’ve already tested your assumptions in the market and made your first profitable sale. Until then, you only have an idea.
Your first priorities in this stage should be:
* discovering a feasible target market
* discovering a real problem for which your target market is willing to pay if solved
* coming up with a product idea that can be automated, scaled and made profitable (the product doesn’t necessarily need to be actually created just yet — a landing page will suffice)
* testing your assumptions about the target market by making test offers to your customers
* make iterations of your product until people respond to it
* making your first profitable sale (that you know is realistically replicatable and can be sold to enough people)
For most of these things you won’t need a business card, a website, a social media channel, coding skills, beautifully designed fliers or even landing pages, and especially no accountant.
Oh, and you probably don’t even need a corporate entity (just yet).
The second stage begins once you have validated your assumptions, come up with a product idea that people are actually willing to pay for and made your first few sales.
It is at this stage that you go all-in on the process.
But STILL, you might not need a website, business cards or whatever.
What you need to do is to invest your time into developing an awesome product, slowly building up your customer base and trying to make your existing customers happy.
Only build ‘unnecessary stuff’ when you really need it.
Only build ‘unnecessary stuff’ when your business makes you money to pay for that stuff.
Only build ‘unnecessary stuff’ when it makes your life much easier.
For example, a functioning website and a great sales funnel are fantastic ways to automate part of your business processes. But do you urgently need them if you have zero- or even a handful of sales?
Using a free e-mail autoresponder account to build a landing page might suffice at this stage. It is probably enough for your customers to see what you are offering, make a decision about whether they want it or not, and make a purchase.
Now, if you know me, you already know that how you do anything is how you do everything… meaning: you can learn from the path of the entrepreneur even if you have no intention to become an entrepreneur.
You could be doing the same “actor-preneur” moves in the area of self-actualization: watching videos, doing aimless practices, reading books that don’t give you anything, come to all my webinars pretending that you are in the business of growing… but who you are kidding is yourself.
How to grow anything, yourself, a business, a skill, money have the same rules…
The universe is based on fractals: as above as below, as in the big as in the small… In my experience, 99.99% of people are pretenders…
- Actor-preneurs are deeply offended when their starting point measurements show their pretense.
- Deeply offended when they find out that they didn’t fool me… lol.
And then there are some who got the message, and are now growing…
They will certainly reach their sissy-girl stage, and they will need my help or some guidance to get them unstuck. Who said that at any point it is smooth sailing… I haven’t.
PS: I have been planning to coach people through the Certain Way of thinking and doing… and planning: the part Wallace D. Wattles didn’t think to teach. Once you learn the Certain Way… it will be operational in every area of your life, including your health and your relationships. Or in falling asleep. Or getting things done even when you are sick. Or too weak… lol… to get anything done.
PPS: the how to stay broke forever article is from https://medium.com/swlh/how-to-stay-broke-forever-e7b8a48c6219