Whether you clean houses, mow lawns, have your own law practice, or write a blog, you are an entrepreneur. If you’re looking for innovative ways to make money besides being someone’s employee, then you’re an entrepreneur.
While it’s definitely not the easy way out, creating your own enterprise has some serious benefits. For some, the main draw is being your own boss. Others crave the limitless earning and creative potential of following their dreams rather than the limiting obstacles of the corporate world. If you are willing to risk a steady paycheck and good benefits, the payoff can be financial freedom and the satisfaction of success doing something you’re passionate about.
I just finished reading 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs, Robert T. Kiyosaki’s brand new book. Kiyosaki, who you’ll recognize as the author of the international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad, shares how military education and training prepared him for being an entrepreneur. His wisdom is perfect for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. Plus, for those with a military background, it’s a call to action to put your military experience into practice in the world of business.
I’ve always had lots of business ideas and felt the pull to be an entrepreneur, though I’ve only seriously acted on a handful of my ideas. As I read through Kiyosaki’s advice and experience, I could see why some of my ideas have worked and some haven’t. I also could see areas where I am lacking and need to improve.
Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur
I want to share with you some of the gems of wisdom I took away from my reading so that you can be a successful entrepreneur.
Always Be Learning
Before starting your business do lots of research! Talk to people who are experienced with the type of business you want to start. Better yet, work (even if it’s for free) for the type of business you want to create. Ask lots of questions.
Make learning a priority. If you think you already know it all, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Having the culture of constant education and constant training is different than just going to school. You will have to do more studying and active, ambitious learning as an entrepreneur than you would do as someone else’s employee.
Get a mentor
“Most entrepreneurs fail due to lack of experience, not a lack of money.” Robert T. Kiyosaki
What can you do about your lack of experience? Get a mentor. Find someone who has been where you are who can coach you through and help you find solutions to the problems you are likely to face. Having the support and guidance of a mentor give you a better chance of success.
Don’t be afraid of mistakes and failure
“Making mistakes makes you smarter, if you learn from your mistakes.” Robert T. Kiyosaki
In our society we feel like making mistakes means we’re dumb. Most entrepreneurs go through lots of failures before achieving success. Kiyosaki shares a post-military experience where he was feeling very unsuccessful as a salesman. When he told his rich dad that he made at most five sales calls a day, his dad said “Your problem is your failure rate is too slow. If you want to learn to sell, fail faster.” Getting over our fear of rejection and failure opens the door for success because we’ll be willing to try.
“At first I thought discipline was what someone did to me… I can to realize that discipline was what I did or did not do to myself.” Robert T. Kiyosaki
Being successful at anything– from getting up early in the morning to building a business– requires discipline. We can easily look at our lives and see where we need to change, but making changes requires discipline. Sometimes we just become comfortable with our problems.
To use a debt example (because this is Six Figures Under, after all), we can become comfortable with debt because living frugally on a budget and working hard to increase our income makes us uncomfortable. It take self-discipline to make changes and progress toward our goals.
Have a Mission
“Mission is more important than money… [your mission] should drive you and sustain you as an entrepreneur.” Robert T. Kiyosaki
Being an entrepreneur is hard. Having a mission that comes from the heart is what will carry you through the rough times. In the military your mission is your first priority (team is second and self is third). You’ll be more successful as an entrepreneur if you have an underlying mission that motivates you.
As I read, I couldn’t help but apply the military leadership insights to my role as a mother. While I don’t hold any titles that makes society consider me a leader, my role as a leader is paramount. After all, isn’t leading what parenting is all about?
I loved Robb LeCount’s story of learning what a leader is (his story is woven throughout the book). As a young Navy recruit he was reprimanded by his commander for goofing off. He expected to be yelled at and belittled, but instead his commander was stern but caring. The commander taught LeCount that a leader leads by example. A leader stands out because he gives 110% all of the time. He still got a punishment– running 10 miles before dinner, but the commander ran it with him.
Do we give our kids punishments that we are willing to do ourselves? What if we stayed with our kids side-by-side during their punishments and used it as an opportunity to teach?
After the first few laps, the commander said that for each member of his company who LeCount got to run a lap with him, he would have one less to do. Thinking it would be easy, he tried to bribe his fellow recruits to run with him. No one would. After another lap with the commander and a short lesson in effective leadership, he tried again. This time he admitted and apologized for his mistake, then instead of begging for help, offered his unconditional support to his comrades and fostered a sense of team and unity. All of them ran with him.
Do we admit our mistakes and apologize? Isn’t it the ideal that our children follow us and obey not our of bribery but because they love us and feel united as family?
This is only the beginning! There are many more stories and experiences that will help you be a successful leader and entrepreneur.
I am giving away a copy of 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs! The giveaway is open until Tuesday, June 16th.
- First, take a peek at 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs (will open in a new tab/window).
- Then come back and leave a comment about the topic that interests you most about being an entrepreneur and leader.
I will randomly choose a winner who will get a copy of the book sent straight to them from Amazon!
****UPDATE: Our randomly chosen winner is #11- Katie!****