“Entrepreneurs: The only people who work 80-hour weeks to avoid working 40-hour weeks.” – Lori Greiner

But somehow, the life of an entrepreneur seems so glamorous that people want to be one…possibly because of the whole “highlight reel” social media sharing phenomenon (but that’s another blog).

And while entrepreneurship is awesome for the right person with the right gift set, it’s truly not for everyone. I can guarantee you one thing: if you try to build a business without the right mindset, you will be miserable.

So are you a true entrepreneur or just a wantrepreneur? Evaluate yourself honestly with these five statements.

Wantrepreneurs talk. Entrepreneurs do.

Having a plan is great. But having a plan without actually doing anything to execute the plan is worthless. Plans require knowledge, but the execution of our plans is what contributes to wisdom. Why? Because real faith leads us to action, and faith is the source of our wisdom. So if everything you’ve planned stays in your head, but never moves to your heart or your hands, you might not be ready for entrepreneurship.

Wantrepreneurs seek shortcuts. Entrepreneurs are patient for success.

Thomas Edison put it this way: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” I can use myself as an example as a former wantrepreneur. When I launched my first business, I had all of these grandiose ideas to put me on the map. All of my ideas circled around putting me in front of large groups of people, which I ignorantly thought would help me bypass some of the grunt work.

Guess what? I didn’t have the funds to pay for any of those grandiose ideas, so I had to build my business the old fashioned way: one day at a time and one person at a time. And you know what else?

That’s the only reason that business is still thriving today… because it has a firm foundation. Overnight success stories typically crumble in a day too. You don’t want to be a wantrepreneur one-hit wonder.

Shortcuts to success typically don’t help you long-term. And they typically rob you of the joy in seeing your dream come to fruition. Be patient in the process, and you’ll have long-term results you can be truly proud of. (Plus, if you ever need to get there again, you’ll know the correct steps to take instead of tossing the coin for another shortcut.)

Wantrepreneur thoughts revolve around self. Entrepreneur thoughts revolve around others.

I meet a lot of new entrepreneurs in my line of work. After one conversation, I can usually identify the ones who will make it vs. the ones who will not–with at least 75% accuracy based on this one statement.

Those who spend the majority of our conversation talking about themselves, their skills, their talents, their accomplishments, etc. have a lid on their cap for impact: themselves. But those who monopolize our conversation with words about their cause, their team and their customer/client base? They will go far because they aren’t limited by themselves.

If you want to be an entrepreneur because it sounds glamorous and the title is your favorite part, save yourself some blood, sweat, and tears, and buy yourself a fancy dress instead. Be an entrepreneur because you believe in your work so much that inconveniencing yourself often is worth the reward in your endeavor for others.

Wantrepreneurs need outside motivation. Entrepreneurs motivate themselves.

Those who require constant motivation to show up to work exhaust real entrepreneurs. There’s nothing wrong with needing an occasional pep talk. But if on the regular, you won’t show up to work until your ideal motivational conditions are satisfied, you’re going to spend a whole lot of time getting inspired and not have any time left to implement. I’m not saying inspiration isn’t important.  However, as an entrepreneur, the better part of your day should revolve around execution if you want to keep the lights on; especially if you want your business to grow.

For me, on the days when I am lacking motivation, I need about 15 minutes in prayer, and I’m good to go. Yes, it would be great if before I got to work every day, I had an encouragement note on my desk, was able to listen to a sermon and a podcast, and there was applause every time I checked a task off my to-do list. But that’s not realistic.

If you can create your own motivation, you can create your own momentum.  You won’t have to wait for the next conference, burning bush, or unexpected promotion to propel yourself to the next step.

Wantrepreneurs give up if it’s not fun or quickly rewarding. Entrepreneurs dig their heels in and work harder in tough seasons.  

I remember meeting a man who became a millionaire in a network marketing opportunity that exploded in the 1980s. He said every time he speaks, he meets people who would tell him that they used to work for the same company.

“Really?” he asks. “What happened?”

“Oh,” they would say. Insert story/excuse/antidote here….followed by… “So, I quit.”

“Oh,” he would say, every time. “I didn’t.”

Hard times are going to come. The market is going to shift. A new product is going to launch. The social media algorithms are going to change, or a new platform is going to explode overnight.

The question is simply this: Will you adjust and adapt? Or will you burn out and quit? If you’re only committed to success on your terms, entrepreneurship is probably not the best route to take. You can’t have the highs unless you’re willing to withstand the lows.

The reason why wantrepreneurs aren’t satisfied is because half-hearted effort yields half-hearted results. If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, don’t stop at wantrepreneur. Go all in and hang on tight. We’re rooting for you!

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