Fulfilling Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

Every year thousands of people develop aspirations of becoming entrepreneurs and taking control of their own destiny. The lure of making a small fortune, ditching that demanding boss and gaining the freedom to live a more fulfilling life is simply too strong for some people to ignore.
That was my case for the last two decades, so I'd like to share here my thoughts on entrepreneurial path - The fact that I have been successful or not is not the point : I failed more often that not.

The path to realizing entrepreneurial dreams, is paved with many challenges. No two entrepreneurial journeys are the same. There are however, some basic traits that are synonymous with the majority of entrepreneurs who have made the journey to success; determination, a hard-working mentality and the right approach.

1. Forget about passion

There is a common misconception that to become an entrepreneur you can only work on things that you are passionate about. This mistaken belief has held many people back from pushing forward and realizing their dreams. A lot of time is wasted as these individuals search in vain for that one money making idea that they feel passionate about.
To borrow a quote from Jeff Bezos, in the book Shortcut to Prosperity: 10 Entrepreneurial Habits and a Roadmap for an Exceptional Career, "One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don't choose your passions; your passions choose you."
Passion is important in entrepreneurship, but this comes after you have started working on your idea. You will need passion and drive to carry your idea through to success in the face of inevitable challenges. Until you have developed a money making business idea that you can run with, forget about passion.

2. Confidence can be learned

Mark Twain once said that "to succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence." In your mission to bring your entrepreneurial dreams to fruition, confidence will certainly play a major role. However, this does not mean that introverts need not apply. Confidence can be learned.
Just as with most things in life, practice makes perfect and as you develop as an entrepreneur you will naturally find yourself in situations that build your confidence. Bear in mind that many of the most successful entrepreneurs today - Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates - still get moments of unconfidence even with so much experience building businesses.

3. Not every decision has to be correct

Another major fear that holds people back from realizing their entrepreneurial dreams is the fear of making the wrong decision. Many years can pass by as you dither over an idea trying to make sure that it is perfect. Many more years can pass by as you freeze in hesitation over decisions like how to price your product or the best approach to send it to market.
Again we can look towards the most successful entrepreneurs in the world today. Many of whom would be the first to speak of their countless failures on their road to success - failures as a result of bad decisions. These incorrect decisions clearly did not stop them from achieving success. On the contrary, these mistakes were likely a massive contributor to the eventual success of these entrepreneurs.

Dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur can be considered as a step towards taking control of your own destiny. As Gloria Steinem said, "Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." However, there are many more steps to take before those dreams can come to reality. The right approach to entrepreneurship helps make sure that you are at least mentally equipped for the journey ahead.

What's most interesting is that I have not been confident enough myself and I've been freezed several time in decision-making. I suspect this is just because I've only worked on things that I was passionate about !
Hope this helps :)


Opened by Antoine Fournier, Head of ECM, Input and Output management, Zurich Insurance
May 22, 2014.

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