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5 Realities of Being an Entrepreneur

No matter how successful your business is, if you don't come to terms with these five truths about being an entrepreneur then you're doomed to be disappointed.

Deep down, every entrepreneur is the same. No matter how old or young, no matter what kind of business they're in, no matter how much experience they have. There are five realities about being an entrepreneur that no one can escape.

This is based around the fact that every single person-at their core-is an inventor, and possesses the ability to invent an extraordinary business. This business does not simply exist to make a profit, but exists to solve a problem in our world-the exact problem that the inventor is most passionate about solving.

Reality No. 1: An Entrepreneur is an Inventor

An entrepreneur invents new businesses. To the business owner, the business he or she invents is a product. This unique product stands out in a world of ordinary business products and, through its uniqueness, captures the attention and imagination of the people for whom it was invented: its customer, its employees, its suppliers, and its lenders and investors.

Reality No. 2: Entrepreneurs Do Not Buy Business Opportunities; They Create Them

While business opportunities such as franchises are more likely to guarantee the success of the person who buys them, they are only successful to the degree the buyer suppresses his or her inclination to invent-suppresses his or her entrepreneurial passion. Therefore, entrepreneurs who buy business opportunities are doomed to disappointment, no matter how successful the business is. The passion of the entrepreneur is not to run a successful business-not to run a business someone else invented-but to invent a unique business that becomes successful.

Reality No. 3: Invention is Contagious

People love to experience an original business idea that has been successfully manifested in the world. So, the entrepreneur's passion comes not only from inventing a new business but also from basking in the delight of other people as they gladly experience his or her invention. The entrepreneur, in this sense, is no different from a performer whose love for what he or she does is dramatically increased by the enthusiastic response from the audience.

Reality No. 4: To an Entrepreneur, the Success of the Invention-the Business-is Measured by Growth

The faster the business grows, the more successful the invention. The slower the business grows, the less successful the invention. To an entrepreneur, slow growth or no growth is death. To be caught up in a slow or no-growth business is to be doomed to show up every day to perform in a show nobody enjoys.

Businesses that nobody enjoys should close quickly so that everyone can go out looking for an experience they love.

Unfortunately, most businesses don't close soon enough. Entrepreneurs should never create a business simply because it can survive, they need to create businesses that thrive.

Reality No. 5: Everyone Possesses the Ability to Be an Entrepreneur 

Everyone is an inventor, who can conceive of a great idea for a new business and create an original business based upon a simple but explosive idea. For some of us, it may take longer to develop that ability, and it may take more work. For others it may take less work. In either case, however, it is necessary for each of us to know that learning to invent, to create, to conceive of an original business is both a process of discovery and the development of the patience necessary to sustain one's interest while developing one's skill.

Entrepreneurs are made, not born. There is no corner on creativity. There is simply the desire to express it. Once that desire appears, you can be assured that you have awakened the Entrepreneur within. The very presence of that desire means that the entrepreneur is up and dreaming. Your invention is coming soon.

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Last updated: Jun 15, 2012

MICHAEL E. GERBER | Columnist | Author of The E-Myth

Michael E. Gerber is a true legend in entrepreneurship, helping transform 70,000+ businesses in 145 countries over the past 25 years. Michael?s New York Times best-selling book, The E-Myth Revisited, has sold over 5,000,000 copies.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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