A lot of people want to win the lottery. They want to be the next reality star, the next American Idol winner, they wish to be the next person chosen to be "rich and famous." This used to be all about reality TV, but most recently I have seen it a lot in the entrepreneurial space. There are so many amazing ideas, but a lot of dreamers plan their life around creating the "next Instagram" vying towards accomplishing creating an app that is going to be acquired almost as if they are chancing at getting the lucky lottery ticket or being told by Simon Cowell they are the next big star.
I have been to so many networking events where I meet people all night who tell me about their next new big idea, with no monetization plan or any real sustainable way of functioning besides the wishful thinking of, "oh well we will probably get acquired in the next few months."
As someone who is lucky to be surrounded by a lot of experienced and successful business men and women, I have asked a lot of questions about what success looks like for entrepreneurs who have made it. I have read countless books from those who are wisest in their industries. Anyone can quit their job and be an "entrepreneur," but what type of title is this? In this new economy where entrepreneurs are the new celebrities, it is not about creating something just to create something. It is about coming up with an idea and then matching this idea with a systematic game plan focused around purpose, intention, and hard work. In our fast track, instant gratification, technology obsessed society, there are times where we are so quick to want to take the fast route to success without necessarily having to put in all of the work to get there.
I am a new entrepreneur so I cannot say I am an expert in this space, but I can say I am an expert in hard work. I have always been a hard worker. I have been driven by the work ethic to work around the clock, on weekends, at night and have been taught nothing comes easy. I have worked since I was 14, I would be working three internships and a job at times, being a camp counselor during the week, waitress at night, throwing events in NYC on the side, with two internships at a time, (one at school and one at home/online) during the year while going to school.
I don't recommend this to anyone, because if you focus entirely on work, I can tell you from experience, you will burn out. I recently recognized, however, my addiction to working, to thriving in a new job is never about the money, but is about the tangible feeling of being able to put yourself into something and see your impact. I love working in different industries and pushing my limits. If I could teach, could I plan events? If I could plan events, could I start a business? If I could start a business, could I venture into tech? And yet, going back to my point about hard work and mastering skills, I felt quite like a hypocrite.
I analyzed, (overanalyzed if you will), and recently came to the conclusion that I am able to venture off into new worlds of thought and work with all different people because I support the experts in each field and work extremely hard to make dreams into reality. I execute, I research, I read, I ask questions, I do not assume I know anything when entering a new job, even if I know a little.
Entrepreneurship is a little bit like entering kindergarten. If you think about it, we really are just kids on a playground, playing with different tools, supporting each other, with our teachers and mentors, (advisors and investors) in the classroom looking out the window watching us making sure we are doing the right thing and we don't get hurt. There is always more to learn, there is always more work to do, and I believe there is no quick fix to any problem. Entrepreneur or not, we are here to give our gifts to the world and be validated for them; in an economy where we didn't find the answers, we created solutions. The potential is in front of us, but before you start your company, perhaps think about all of the people you could learn from and support who may just have the next big genius idea but need you to make it into a reality.