I enjoyed working with Michelle on this challenging project. The biggest challenge for me was boiling down 35+ years as an entrepreneur into five hundred words. To meet this tight limit, I created five bullets that summed up my entrepreneurial philosophy. I then discussed using those five ideas as guidelines in your business life.
Another challenge was freedom. It may seem like a strange thing to say but I am not used to having that much freedom when I write articles. Novels, yes. Articles, no. “Write anything you like about your entrepreneurial experiences” is a tough assignment, at least for me.
I also had difficulty deciding on the tone of the article. Should I use a businesslike tone or an informal one? How much detail could I attempt in 500 words? And on which of the five points should I concentrate? In the end, I decided to go with a very informal, chatty tone, and to give all five points equal weight.
I have written elsewhere in this blog about my five personal life goals: 1. Become a scientist, 2. Find a job/career that does not require getting up early, 3. Make lots of money, 4. Love what you do, and 5. Write novels. I had wanted to talk these personal goals in my article but the word limit did not allow it.
You must make sure that your personal goals align with your business goals. This won’t mean that you will never have to sacrifice. You will. (And that is where discipline is helpful. Keeping your eye on the prize is part of that discipline and so is having an exit strategy. See the article.) But what it will mean is your personal life and your business life will be harmonized. Certainly if you’re a vegan, for example, you should not start a factory farm that raises chickens. Perhaps it would be better to create a company that makes organic, all natural jellies and jams. Your personal goals should never be in conflict with your business goals or visa verse.
But in the end, it is discipline that keeps an entrepreneur going. You will, over the course of founding your company, come up with your own tips, rules and guidelines, but among them will certainly be one about discipline. Discipline yourself.
Interestingly enough, “discipline yourself and write regularly” is usually the first tip you hear from seasoned writers and authors. (And if it’s not the first tip, it is usually in the top five.) Because authors are entrepreneurs. “You must be disciplined” is also the first tip you hear from experienced stocks brokers and traders. Discipline is one of the cornerstones to being a successful entrepreneur no matter the business.