I used to call myself an ‘Aspiring Entrepreneur’ and by definition, I still am.
I still want to start a business, to create something that solves a problem in the world. But I recently realized that I should not necessarily be embracing this title. It’s not nearly as glamorous as it seems.
Anyone and everyone can be an entrepreneur.
It’s been said a million times that the best way to learn in business is to simply start something. So really, if you want to be an entrepreneur, what’s stopping you? First, let’s explore some common excuses…
I’m a Student
There’s some merit to this. Traditionally, students have been expected to make learning and developing skills their first priority. This hasn’t changed to date, but I believe we are seeing more flexibility in how students go about learning.
You see plenty of students take on projects and side-businesses both small and large during their time at university. This allows them to gain valuable hands-on experience, even if the venture doesn’t turn into the next Facebook.
Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves — Cesar Chavez
I Haven’t Found My Passion
What if you’re still figuring things out and haven’t necessarily found something that you’re passionate enough to go all in on?
The most successful businesses are centered around a problem that someone is passionate about solving, so maybe there’s something to this.
To be fair though, we all have things we’re passionate about, whether we know it or not. Instead of asking yourself, ‘What am I passionate about?’, try asking, ‘What excites me most?’.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” — Oprah Winfrey
I’m Not Ready
This is probably the most dangerous excuse out there. A seemingly infinite amount of people are stuck thinking that they don’t have the technical or business chops to start something.
However, as we mentioned before, the best way to develop this entrepreneurial skillset is by getting hands-on experience. This creates a crossroads that leads to paralysis by analysis and inaction.
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready.” — Hugh Laurie
Back to the Point
So with all this in mind, there really isn’t any great reason why you, me, or anyone else should still be ‘aspiring’ to be an entrepreneur right now.
The barrier for entry isn’t overwhelming by any means. It’s actually quite low. If you really want to be an entrepreneur, start something. If you don’t want to right now, then don’t.
However, by using the commonly adapted title, ‘Aspiring Entrepreneur’, it alludes to the fact that you want to start something right now and aren’t doing it for some defensible reason (as shown earlier, generally, there are none).
At the end of the day, I’m still talking about a fairly trivial word choice right now. However, I believe it holds a bit more weight than that though.
I think this can be applied to a number of things:
First and foremost, if you want to present yourself in a certain way, make sure you’re being honest with yourself.
Second, if you want something, don’t slap an ‘Aspiring’ label on it and call it a work in progress, especially if you’re not actively taking steps to accomplish that goal.
Don’t be one of the many wannabe-entrepreneurs out there.
The harsh reality is that if you want to start a business and you aren’t doing it right now on some scale, then you’re missing out on a valuable experience.
So I advise you to do one of two things:
Begin to take steps to start that business you’ve been pondering or solve that problem you’re passionate about.
Be honest with yourself about if you really want this right now.