Mile 5 is the one that gets you. In the Kentucky Derby mini marathon, that's where the big uphill climb begins. Last year, the hill got the best of me – probably because I didn't train hard enough. It's so much more fun to run downhill. Like when we were kids. No one ever said "race you up that hill." It was always the other way around. I think that is what happened to the blogosphere sometimes. It's a race to the bottom.
You are reading this post because I followed the "formula" for a good post. I tricked you into thinking it was an easy list, and that is what you want – entrepreneurship by easy checklist. I know. I've written some of those posts – the ones that are popular because they tell people what they want to hear and present it in an easy way. Of course you can't make people work for it. You can't make them think. Most don't know how.
"The world is a great mirror. It reflects back what you are." – Thomas Dreier
Bloggers aren't telling you the truth. They are telling you what you want to hear. You want to hear that entrepreneurship is easy, that the time is now, that you should drop out of college to do it, that you should launch your web 2.0 idea that already has 100 copycats. You want to be rich, and you are more than happy to play the entrepreneurial lottery. It's like technology entrepreneurship has been invaded by the types of people that used to go after multi-level marketing opportunities. You no longer need substance. You just need hype.
Five easy ways to make a six figure income with Google adsense. The top three reasons to start a business now, today. The top ten reasons to never work for anyone but yourself. The top four things you need to know to be a successful entrepreneur. Well let me add one to the list – the one thing you need to know is that if you fall for this cookie cutter approach to business then you are doomed to fail. What you like says a lot about you, and when the popular business posts on del.icio.us read like the list above, that tells me there are lots of people that are falling for the formula that we bloggers use to get you to read our garbage.
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. –Henry David Thoreau
The good thing is that there is hope. You have your castles in the sky, and that is where you have to start to be an entrepreneur. But don't be afraid of the work. Who needs accounting? Entrepreneurs do. That tells you how money flows through your business. It's an important thing to know. Who needs sales training? Entrepreneurs. You are always selling. Selling your product, selling your business to job candidates, selling your future to investors or creditors. It's something you should know. Who needs business law? Entrepreneurs do. You should understand the basic principles, so you don't make a critical mistake. Who needs self-reflection? Entrepreneurs do. You are going to have to make decisions without much information sometimes, and you need to look back and see if you have done a good job. Who needs ethics? Entrepreneurs do. It's easy to be ethical when business is booming, but it's hard to refund customer money when you need it more than they do.
The lazy way is usually a path to failure. It doesn't build the foundations that enable your dreams. It doesn't give you an advantage because, anybody can be lazy. Foundations take a long time to build. I'm not saying you have to wait until they are finished, because they will never be quite done. But don't believe the hype and rush into something that doesn't suit your skills or your dreams. Running downhill is easy, but if you want to see the top of the mountain, you have to run the hard way. Don't be afraid of running up.