Weekday Wisdom, Episode 15
One of the traits of successful entrepreneurs is appearing fearless or being courageous. But what does that really mean?
Today I’m going to share with you the first of 10 excerpts from my Facebook Lives — which I talked about in yesterday’s episode — where I talk about traits of successful entrepreneurs. And, how that applies to people who are hobbypreneurs or basically making money from what they love, what they geek out about, what they’re passionate about.
Entrepreneurial Trait #1: Courageousness.
What does that mean? What is courage? Is it an absence of fear? I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding around this term. Here’s what I have to say about the topic.
Entrepreneurs often appear fearless/courageous. The reason they appear this way is because entrepreneurs, in general, are courageous. However, a lot of people think entrepreneurs must be fearless. But, they really aren’t. They’re courageous.
The distinction is that courage requires fear. Courage is facing the fear and doing it anyway.
Let me tell you a story to give you an idea of what I’m about. Several years ago, when I was in my 20s, I had this job that was going away. The owner was dying of cancer and he was closing up shop. During this transition, I was offered a new job, but I had to move to Southern California. (I was living in Northern California with my mother at the time.) So, I took the job and moved.
I didn’t know anybody in Southern California. But it was a good job, and frankly, my options were:
- Stay living with my mom and be jobless. Or
- Accept this really good paying job and live on my own.
Well, which would you choose?
There was no fear there at all. It was just choice. I chose what would make my life better. What struck me was how all of these people kept telling me how courageous I was. But I wasn’t really being courageous in that moment.
Now fast forward to a few months ago. Actually, it was a year and a half ago — if you’ve been following me, you know I was hit by a car while watching on the street. One of the results of that accident was that I became terrified to cross the street. Therefore, I had to push myself, and push myself to cross the street.
To the casual observer, no one would think I was being courageous or fearless by walking across the street. But I was. In that moment, I was being very courageous crossing the street.
So, here’s the distinction: Just because you appear courageous or fearless, doesn’t mean you are. And just because you don’t appear to be courageous or fearless, doesn’t mean you aren’t.
The reason why successful hobbypreneurs are courageous and appear fearless is that being an entrepreneur, whether it’s based on your hobby or not, takes bravery. And, being a hobbypreneur especially takes bravery because you’re taking something that you love, that you’re passionate about, that you geek out on, and you’re putting it out there into the world. You’re really putting yourself out there, on the line. And, sure, people could say, “I don’t buy that.” And that can be really disappointing and depressing. And yet hobbypreneurs do it anyway. They fear the rejection, but they do it anyway.
If you want to become a successful hobbypreneur, you need to cultivate courageousness. You need to understand that you’re going to face your fears, and rather than running the other direction, you’re going to need to push through and do what you need to do.
This is not something that’s necessarily innate, although some people find it easier to be courageous than others. But it is something that you can you can cultivate. You can grow and nurture courageousness in yourself. Therefore, if you want to be a hobbypreneur, start cultivating your courageousness.
Don’t box yourself in.
Spread your wings and fly.
You — yes, you — are capable of more than you know.
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