Could you survive and flourish as an entrepreneur, or should you be satisfied working for someone else? That's a question I get every day in my role as an advisor to business professionals, and it's a good one to ask.
By some projections, the level of unemployment could reach 50 percent by 2050, unless more people adopt the entrepreneurial, freelance, or gig approach, rather than long-term employment.
It really doesn't matter where you are in the racial, social, or economic spectrum. It's time to take a hard look at your alternatives for maintaining financial independence in the years ahead.
I saw some good alternatives detailed in a new book, "The Memo," by John Hope Bryant, who has served as an advisor to the last three U.S. presidents. He has spent years working with people who have "too much month left at the end of their money."
Part of his message is that a great alternative is to be entrepreneurial, if you can relate or adapt to the following principles:
1. Success is learning from failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Real entrepreneurs are so busy chasing the dream and building out ideas to change the world, that they see failure only as a learning experience in more tightly focusing their effort.
Success in business, as in life, is about turning pain into satisfaction and happiness.
2. Rainbows and success only come after a storm has passed.
True entrepreneurs wake up every day assuming that there are going to be problems and disappointments, and relishing the challenge of turning them into rainbows.
An entrepreneur's mind-set sees a silver lining in each and every situation, rather than a series of storms.
3. Real entrepreneurs accept "no" as a healthy vitamin.
For an entrepreneur, there is nothing like an impossible challenge to get you charged up to achieve your dream. Their passion makes them immune to failure.
Following your passion is the secret to overcoming the setbacks all entrepreneurs face, and it builds resistance to naysayers.
4. Competitors will find it hard to hit a moving target.
Entrepreneurs find the courage to overcome their fears. Fear takes over many people who become like deer caught between headlights. They cannot move.
In business, success required dodging competitors and keeping up with and leading the market, It's all about execution.
5. Persistence and resilience are more powerful than intelligence.
Do you throw up your hands and quit at the first sign of market shift, a well-funded competitor, or economic slowdown?
Entrepreneurs with street smarts out-maneuver and out-hustle the ones with high IQs and advanced academic degrees. Hard work and persistence pay big dividends.
6. Life is 10% about what happens to you and 90% about your response.
Business founders decide that while they cannot control what others do, they can absolutely control their response.
They know that any emotional reaction and any snap decision will likely be the wrong one. They take back the personal power over their own life and business.
7. Always look at the glass as half full rather than half empty.
How you see the world absolutely determines your place in it and your ability to either move through problems, get out of them, or remain trapped.
If you see the world as a glass half full, you are an optimist, you see ways through problems, and you will be able to change the world.
8. Work eighteen hours a day to keep from getting a real job.
The best entrepreneurs love what they do, so they would do the job for free, or don't even see it as work. They seek a purpose in and for their lives, and not just a gig or a job to show up to.
They think more intently, are more focused, behave more creatively, and re-imagine everything.
9. If you cannot get a job, then create your own opportunity.
Entrepreneurs take an idea, turn it into a small business, and seek to grow that business into a big one, just like the immigrants of the early twentieth century.
They don't seek offices, power structures, or organizational hierarchies. They do seek a purpose that can change the world.
In fact, these principles will work for you, no matter what you choose to do in life. You can benefit from thinking the way entrepreneurs think, from the way they approach life, solve problems, and even how they see challenges.
I'm convinced that an entrepreneurial mindset is precisely what you need in order to survive and flourish in the twenty-first century. Are you on-board today?