by Dr. Cindy Briggs
As entrepreneurs, we are often looking at others who have walked before us. They now own multi-million dollar corporations and we think.. “one day that could be me!”
I love reading the stories of how people started out with almost nothing and then became huge successes. For example, a couple of my favorites are Sara Blakley (SPANX) and Jamie Lima (IT Cosmetics). I have followed their journey’s, read their books, taken their Masterclass…. and it is all so inspiring.. and then it hits me….
I AM NOT THERE YET!
I get down. I get frustrated. I am still working out of my home office (although this is big upgrade from working on my dining room table). I think… why haven’t I hit it yet? Why don’t I have a million followers, and a brand known worldwide?
You know what– we all start somewhere. No big businesses stared out big. Think about Apple and Microsoft. Those guys were computer nerds who started in their garages. Think about Channel or any other big clothing name. They all started somewhere… with a dream… with a vision, and then a passion to see it through.
You have probably heard the phrase, “Determine your Why” more than once. I tell all of my clients this is a first step. We have to determine why we are doing something. Why do we want to do this business. Why now? Here is the thing friends, if your WHY is to only make money…. it will probably not work. Is is wrong for us to make money? No! It is perfectly ok in a healthy context. I know I have gone off the rails on this one.
It is so easy to look at someone’s mile 10,000 and think, “I am not there… I am on mile 20!” and get mad or start to give up. Trust me– I know– I have been there (more than once). I have looked at my lack of progress and thought…WHY?
I am not sure I know all of the answers, but I have started to glean some thoughts on the subject. First, as a business professor, I taught people the mechanics of running a business. I taught them how to file their state paperwork, open a bank account, writing a business plan, and plan some marketing. These are all needed, but they are not the most important parts of being an entrepreneur.
Yes, you need to determine your why. What problem are you solving? What is the need out there that you are trying to fill with your business and/or service? Write those down– think about them for a bit and then I want you to answer this one….
Are you passionate about this idea? Without the promise of money. Without the promise of fame. Are you truly passionate about what you are doing? Back to my BFF Sara Blakley (no she doesn’t know we are BFF’s yet), when you read about her starting SPANX she was beyond passionate about her product and getting into this market. She was willing to give it her all… because she fully believed in it. That passion is something we can’t teach. I can’t coach you into having this drive. This has to come from you.
Let me let you in on a little secret– I struggle in this area. I have some parts of my business I am doing ONLY because it seemed like the right thing to do. I thought it might make me more money. I thought I should do it because others were doing the same. I have no passion for it. I am not driven for it. Given the opportunity to take a nap or work on these things– I am so going for the nap!
Why in the world would I share this? Because we all need to face our entrepreneurial journey with truth. We need to determine what works for us, and what we want to pursue. This all comes back to the point of this article and a post I made on Instagram today. If we are passionate about what we are doing— it won’t matter if we are sitting on our bed with a laptop working, or in a plush high-rise office space— the point is we will be so committed to seeing this dream through to the end… that it won’t matter what our success looks like right now.
Dr. Cindy Briggs is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, college professor, wife and mom. Her mission is to provide programs that can help entrepreneurs and communities thrive. To find out more, visit www.cindybriggsphd.com.