People who are not in the know can sometimes imagine that entrepreneurship translates into business owners relaxing poolside, sipping Mai Tais and only occasionally answering their phones.
The reality is quite different for most, involving a mountain of stress, long hours, and virtually no holidays for at least the first two years. There is incredible risk involved – so much so that many would-be entrepreneurs are lulled into giving up, finding the stability and paid vacations of the corporate world to be far too tempting.
But some brave souls do make the leap – and have the gumption to do so even as the world surfaces from a global pandemic.
Some interesting statistics compiled by embroker include: that 58% of entrepreneurs worked in the corporate world before launching their own businesses and a staggering 96% of those who are self-employed have “no desire” to go back to a regular job.
“I worked for other people for years, developing the skills and confidence to start my own company. You have to really want it. The way I knew that I needed to take the leap was that the thought of it just wouldn’t go away. I started to see the potential to create something and assessed my skill set, education, and willingness to continually learn,” entrepreneur Saint Jovite Youngblood said. “It doesn’t surprise me, though, that despite all the stress and challenges an overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs would not go back to regular jobs.”
So why take the leap? What are the keys to success?
As serial entrepreneur Damian Michael told Entrepreneur Magazine, that while there is no easy formula, he believes there are three essential mindsets that are necessary for entrepreneurship success: understand that responsibility is the price of greatness; shape a positive mindset; and make sure you find your passion.
“To be successful and do great things with your life, entrepreneurs need to take responsibility for every facet of their decisions or business,” he wrote. “As an entrepreneur, there is only one person responsible for the outcome of your life and the quality of your life and that person in you.”
So what do you do when times get tough?
When conducting business becomes difficult due to, say, market fluctuations caused by a worldwide pandemic?
According to a Success.com article featuring quotes from successful entrepreneurs, there are nine ways to increase your perseverance to prepare for tough times: Don’t be afraid of failure, aim to be 1% better everyday, understand resistance (i.e. what are you allowing to hold you back?), exercise regularly, build your network of support, establish clear benchmarks, and never forget your ‘why.’
Aiming for continual improvement is something that Saint Jovite Youngblood says he learned in his studies of both business and martial arts.
“We can always improve upon every single thing we do – from the little things to the big things in both life and in business. We adapt, we grow, we make things better – that is how it should be,” Youngblood noted.
But perhaps nothing defines an entrepreneur as well as resilience.
The last year has been more difficult than most people have experienced in their entire lives. The pandemic caused millions of people to lose their jobs and led many businesses to shut down.
Despite all that hardship, 2020 was one of the best years on record for entrepreneurship. The number of new business applications tracked by the U.S. Census increased by 38 percent compared to the year before.
Why is this?
Entrepreneurs seek out opportunities where most people only see problems. While most of us certainly see nothing but problems in the pandemic, entrepreneurs saw the rise of remote work and new technology as a means of embracing self-employment. The opportunity was already there, but there wasn’t a big visible shift in the economy yet.
The pandemic finally kicked that into gear.
According to Bloomberg, “the number of business applications continued to rise this spring, even as the economy opened and wages increased.” More new business applications in the states that reopened quickly could mean that a reopening economy may result in greater levels of entrepreneurship.
“Resilience is often considered a way of enduring difficulty,” Youngblood said. “I view it differently. Resilience is about seeing past the difficulty to the opportunity that lies on the other side. It’s easy to say, ‘I can’t do this right now because of all the obstacles.’ Successful entrepreneurs say, ‘How can I leverage this situation to my advantage?’ There’s always a way.”
Written by Spencer Calvert