Self-Sufficiency Is The Hallmark Of Successful Entrepreneurship
Self-sufficiency is the ability to supply your own needs without the aid, comfort, or support of others. It is the hallmark of self-mastery. You cannot master what you do not control. This means that entrepreneurship will be lonely at times. You will face obstacles that are unique to entrepreneurs that your friends and family won’t understand. While they may care deeply for you, they will not have the ability to provide the comfort or insight that you will need to continue in your business.
Every day of your life as an entrepreneur is filled with challenges and barriers (perceived or otherwise) that will test your resolve. Each setback, delay, or detour creates just enough space for doubt to set in. That is why it is paramount that entrepreneurs develop a level of confidence in their abilities without requiring the assistance, affirmation, or authority of others. It is necessary for successful entrepreneurs to have autonomy in where and how the resources for their businesses are acquired and maintained. Because no one will fight harder for your business than you, the survival of your business should never be dependent on anyone else but you.
Authentic self-sufficiency requires entrepreneurs to have the capacity to develop and execute ideas and plans without advice or resources (capital) from others. If you cannot honestly say that you could still build and launch your business despite living in a rural area, or your co-founding partner quitting, or your angel investor deserting you, or not knowing any influencers in your industry, then you need to get to work becoming self-sufficient. Bad things happen in life. People leave you, money gets tight, and moving to a new location is not always an option. Luckily for you, we live in a time where technology has made becoming self-sufficient easier than it has ever been. Now its time to get started.
1. Change Your Focus
Too often, people interested in becoming entrepreneurs unnecessarily delay themselves because they focus on what they do not have. They compare their resources to the resources of companies that have been established for years. Lost in all of their comparative analysis is the fact that most of those companies started in basements, garages, or dorm rooms by people with little to no capital. A better and more productive way for you to spend your time is to take stock of what you have and think of ways to expand it. It can be as simple as taking an online course, watching youtube tutorials, researching influencers in your industry, or honing your current skills. Self-sufficiency is about your ability to build your business with what you already have, not the resulting growth. If you focus on what you have and ways to improve upon it, you will gain momentum and more resources along the way. Being lean and agile at the launch of your business should not be seen as an impediment. However, focusing on the wrong things will result in a failure to launch.
2. A Confidant Is Not A Crutch
Before your eyes roll out of your head, I am not contradicting myself by saying that entrepreneurs should have trusted confidants. Let me explain. While it is very true that entrepreneurship is a lonely road to travel, it is a road that has been traveled by many others before you. Having a trusted confidant who has been in the trenches to help keep you grounded and focused is an asset. Where the trouble comes is when you lean so heavily on the advice and support of the confidant that you become paralyzed in your ability to move your business forward without them.
For example, when someone breaks their leg, they may use a crutch for a time to help them get around while their leg heals. However, sometimes after the cast is removed the person is afraid to put their full weight on the leg and continue to rely on the crutch. Their continued reliance on the crutch begins to cause them issues in other areas. They start to develop a limp because of the way they stand and walk using the crutch. The shoulder and arm they use for the crutch may begin to have circulation issues. The leg that was broken may not regain full strength and the muscles may atrophy from not being used. The reason for this is because the crutch was never meant for extended use. A confidant is there to give you that extra boost or a shot of motivation, not to run your business. Use them wisely.
3. Encourage Yourself
You have to be your number one encourager. If you cannot motivate yourself to get up and grind it out in your business, you need to find another career path. There will be days when you see other entrepreneurs celebrating their big wins while your account receivables are empty. There will be times where you aren’t sure how or if you will land another client that will allow you to keep your doors open. It is at that moment that the intestinal fortitude that got you to that point must carry you until your next big break. Have a plan for how you will deal with those lean months in your business so that you can ride the wave without going under. As a self-sufficient entrepreneur, you must have a way to get your head back into the game when you’ve fallen behind. If you cant get yourself out of the inevitable funk in your business, no one can. Your business is relying on you, don’t let it down.