Everyday we meet business owners, talk about their businesses and find ways to grow and better manage their business. Looking into the ins and outs of each business, I can’t help but get excited about the potential that each business owner possesses, even when they don’t see it.
Employing almost 50% of the labour force in Canada, and making up over 98% of employer businesses, small businesses fill the majority of the economic landscape. Small business owners are responsible for operating and managing over 1.1 million businesses across the nation. (source)
Over the years, I have realized there are three types of business owners:
1. Comfortable & Content — The Average Business Owner
These business owners run a good business and are often established in products, services and business practices. They run a business that is like a finely tuned machine. Often these business owners have been at it a while and are content with what they have grown. When they think of growing their business, fear creeps in and their heart becomes heavy. They know growth means potential risk which threatens their lifestyle. They understand the headaches that growing a business brings and have weighed their options. They make a comfortable living and enjoy the life they have created. They don’t want to risk their financial stability for potential gain.
2. Ready & Willing — The Wantrepreneur
These business owners take low, calculated risks in growing their business. They have a great purpose, big dreams and vision for growth with innovative ideas. They often possess ideas that may change the world around them and greatly improve their own lifestyle. They are unsure where to start and feel as if the world doesn’t need what they have to offer. They are running, but their legs have yet to hit the ground. The focus tends to drift to other projects in hopes of a better idea or product. They deeply desire to grow their business, and though it has grown at a steady rate, it has a bottleneck that slows growth. They need a nudge of inspiration and motivation to take the step, move past the barriers and into their dreams.
3. Risk Taker – The Entrepreneur
These are the men and women who have determined to let nothing stop them. They are focused, determined and fired up to change the world. They are precise in their goals and are constantly aligning their path. They find and feed on what inspires and motivates them to reach the finish line. They have innovative ideas in abundance, but understand that timing is everything and only certain ideas are worth pursuing. They have surrounded themselves with individuals who have a similar mindset and are accountable to them. Though they are on a journey, they know that they do not have all the answers and are aware that knowledge is key, continually seeking to grow.
Looking at the cross-section of business owners I have met over the years, there has been a good mix of those who fit the first two definitions of a business owner, but very few who fit the definition of an entrepreneur.
I have much respect for those who have created a stable business and are content earning a comfortable living in their established business. Established businesses have longevity, excel in strong management, and have a team of loyal individuals responsible for it’s customer service. They know the value of “Word of Mouth” advertising and much can be learned from their steady growth.
The true Entrepreneur is a risk taker who hasn’t let excuses hold them back. The know what they want and are willing to fight for it. I look to these individuals as peers who inspire others to a higher level in business. They are trend setters and are continually making an impact on lives regardless of where they are. They have found something great and continue to seek to better themselves and their product, never believing that they have “arrived”.
My purpose in business, and the vision of InspireCast, is to inspire and motivate the Ready & Willing business owner and nudge them to take the next step. Ready & Willing must never be a camping spot, but rather a rest area. The average business owner will stop here without knowing how to move forward. They are stuck. They need actionable steps to get their product out there, regardless of what it is.
If you are the Ready & Willing business owner, unsure of where to start, but want to take it to the next level, here are a few actionable steps to help launch you forward.
From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur
- Find a mentor. We were not meant to walk alone. Someone who has been down the road a time or two has much to offer in the way of experience and advice. Glean on their knowledge, learning from their failures and victories.
- Continually consume. No one has it all figured out, but we can definitely learn from others. Read books and articles, and listen to audio books and podcasts. Whatever you need to do to increase your knowledge.
- Stay fired up! Find what inspires you and feed on it. Constantly keep yourself inspired and motivated, EVERYDAY. It’s as important as eating food!
- Set goals. You can’t get to a destination without a map. Be precise and set dates. Review your goals daily.
- Take steps. Obviously the most important thing of all is DOING. We cannot achieve anything without action. This means taking calculated risks and acting in a timely matter. DO NOT LET anything stand in your way. Be focused and determined! Everything will come against you and try to get you off track. Don’t accept failure. Don’t listen to the lies and naysayers. Press on! Stick to the plan and make steps in the right direction. FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Success