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How Do You Stop Being an Entrepreneur?

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On some level, there are obvious hazards to being an entrepreneur -- going broke, working overly demanding hours, accepting fiscal and legal responsibilities, and the like. But there's another implied meaning to occupational hazard -- things that you carry to your personal life from your work life: A psychiatrist who can't resist analyzing his or her date. An insurance adjustor who sees risk in everything. A nutritionist who can't let his or her kids enjoy a double scoop ice cream cone.

I think entrepreneurs have their own set of hazards that they carry with them. Whether it's from years of conditioning or it's why they are entrepreneurs, they can be quite different. I find myself frequently coaching people on how they can get into business for themselves. What's wrong with that? The reality is most people don't want to be in business for themselves.

I find myself explaining to people how to use financial leverage to get ahead, to borrow money -- not too much, not enough to keep you up at night, just enough to make it hard to go to sleep. But the reality is many people can't handle borrowing money.

I find myself in other people's businesses giving suggestions on how they can improve their business. But the reality is they either don't want to hear it or they will never get around to it. Not too long ago, I went into a small, struggling sandwich shop near my business. The owners asked for advice. I gave it to them. One of my comments was that their sign was missing a letter in the name on the door. That was six months ago and it's still missing. My conclusion: I am not "normal."

Does anyone else share these concerns?

Last updated: Aug 11, 2008




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