#COSIGNHustle: Five Tips for the Overeager Entrepreneur
Words By: Chris P. | @cplocalceleb
I guess I just created a new term, the “Overeager Entrepreneur.” It’s a label that I’ve fit into for a long time, as I wanted to get involved with any business venture (or hustle) that I thought could generate some revenue. Having built a clientele for each business based on the clientele of past businesses, it seemed to work well for me. I’m not some rags to riches story or some business mogul, I’m just a regular Joe with the thirst for self-employment and financial security, that has run his hands through a variety of ventures. In the process, I learned a few lessons that I will pass along here.
1. Focus your efforts into one venture.
I was the king of too many irons in the fire, thus the “overeager entrepreneur” title. I realized that while I see these successful people delving into a wide variety of different businesses, they got to that point by being successful in one thing first, and those additional opportunities were derived from that. You can’t run several businesses on your own because something will get neglected. I know they say millionaires average seven streams of income, but all of those aren’t going to begin simultaneously. You likely won’t get ahead by not giving something your all, and you can’t give multiple ventures each 100% of your time and effort. So focus on the best one, build that first, then you can expand.
2. You must be okay with failure.
Don’t let failure discourage you. Not every venture is going to work, and there will be L’s in the process. If you try something and fall flat on your face, you may find yourself having lost money and suffering from “entrepreuneurial hangover” (another term I’m coining), where the sting from that failure keeps you from jumping into the next venture for a period of time. I’ve taken those L’s, but each time I figured out what not to do. Yeah, it’s cliché af, but experience is the best teacher, because not many people are going to give a shit enough to help you avoid the unforeseen issues you may face based on your decision making. You can (and I’d recommend that you do) get yourself a mentor, as they may be that person who is able to prevent some of those tough lessons.
3. Don’t stay in longer than is financially prudent.
Don’t fall in love with a particular business/venture. You have to be able to let go when it’s time to let go, otherwise it’s like staying in a bad relationship just because you’ve put so much into it. If you are losing, fuck it, get out. No need in sinking with the ship. That money you continue to throw at the problem probably isn’t going to come back to you. Of course don’t jump out before you should, and all of this is subjective, based on your tolerance for loss, but sometimes folding is your best move. Small L’s are better than huge L’s.
4. Follow your dream/passion, not anyone else’s.
So an idea sounds like it could make you money, and that’s what really matters, right? Yes and no. Money isn’t exactly fulfilling. Yes, earning money for financial security is the ultimate goal, but if you find yourself assisting someone in their dream to make a few bucks, you’re taking time away from doing what you are passionate about. While the money may come in, the fulfillment probably won’t. I’ve learned that in life, there is something more important than money, and that’s peace. There will be turmoil in not following your path, and while that may sound like some sensitive bullshit, it’s the truth. Hopefully it’s not cheesy to quote rappers, but Killer Mike once said, “If you live your life fulfilling that [your] dream, you’re gonna glow man. Because there’s a magnificence and a moment that comes with fulfilling your dream that you can’t achieve being a part of someone else’s.” I’ve been there, he’s right. You can’t give something your all when you don’t give a fuck about the field you’ve found yourself in.
5. Let the nickel and dime hustles go.
I took a vacation a while back (a real vacation filled with nothing but down time), and I had time to think about where I was in the grand scheme of things, and whether I was headed in the right direction. I decided that I was nickel and dime hustling, spending way more time than it was worth, to make “right now money.” Selling a few things on the web, buying stuff for cheap and selling out of my trunk, etc. wasn’t getting me where I needed to go. Sure supplemental income is great, and having money in your pocket keeps you from spending your regular income, but I decided that I had to focus on the venture that was going to pay the most dividends in the long term. Yes, this meant less money in the short term, but I had to focus on the big picture, because these small time hustles dry up, and I didn’t want to be old still trying to sell random stuff and not getting anywhere, not to mention that the way I was doing it, I was stretched so thin, that all of the ventures were suffering. There comes a time where you have to pick that entrepreneurial career rather than that entrepreneurial job.
So this is just advice from someone that has been an entrepreneur his whole adult life, but I’m not a self-made millionaire, so take it for what it’s worth. These are lessons I have learned on my own, and I hope they will help you succeed in your future endeavors.