- John Cornelius McCaskill Contributor.
Is entrepreneurship difficult?
It seems that no matter where you look, one of the many adages floating around about entrepreneurship is that it’s very difficult. Starting a business from scratch, you have to be a certain kind of person while having passion for what you’re doing. There is no way around it.
You will hear statements like the ones stated above several times throughout your entrepreneurial journey. While most of what you hear about entrepreneurship can be true, the statements listed above are subjective. With the right determination and will, indeed, anyone can become an entrepreneur.
No matter how many selling techniques you know, how much psychology you have studied, how many books you have read, the amount of hours you have prepared your pitch, it can never—ever—penetrae a narrow mind.
Dive into the history of entrepreneurship and you’ll witness a litany of entrepreneurs who were rejected several times over the course of their journeys. Was rejection on them? Did they not have all their rows aligned?
- Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, was rejected by 26 publishers
- Reed Hastings, of Netflix, was rejected and mocked at the idea of a partnership with Blockbuster
- Stephen Schwarzman, of Blackstone Group, was rejected by Harvard
- Nick Hungerford, of Nutmeg, was rejected a whopping 45 times by investors
- John Johnson of Ebony and Jet Magazine, was seeking funding at a time when this was difficult for African Americans. He was rejected 100% and contemptuously referred to as a ‘boy.’
Did you notice a familiar pattern? Each of these men were from different generations, yet they all came up against narrow-mindedness. No matter the industry, walk of life, or where you’re from, inevitably you will have to encounter an individual with a narrow mind.
Ask yourself, is it really that difficult to study books, listen to a podcasts, learn a new skill, attend seminars, study marketing, how to sell, and habits of entrepreneurs? No? Then what is it that you speak of that makes entrepreneurship difficult?
The answer? People! Specifically, people with narrow-mindedness. Don’t let the success of individuals deceive you. They’re in their position for a reason. But they are not always right. Sometimes, rejection occurs due to limiting beliefs and lack of understanding—an inability to see through your lens.
One unfortunate habit that humanity practices is dictating their entire worth through the lens of another individual. Humanity tends to believe if Individual A rejects me, and doesn’t believe in me or my idea, then he or she must be right. This occurs even when dealing with strangers.
Here’s a quick test to validate any individual on whether or not you should consent to their belief. Ask Individual A if they have ever been wrong. Oh, they have? Perfect! This means it’s a level playing field. Everyone has an opinion; opinions are free. That’s why most of them are worthless.
“Start where you are, with what you have. Knowing that what you have is plenty enough.” – Booker T. Washington
Be prepared for your entrepreneur journey.
- Understand you will get rejected. No matter how amazing your idea is, it’s likely to happen. Develop fortitude with the right medicine—habits, people, books. Stand firm! Every little ‘no’ should not dishearten you. Irksome? Of course!
- You will encounter narrow-mindedness. This one you have absolutely no control over, but you do have control of how you handle the matter. The goal is to keep pressing until you find another like-minded individual. Do not believe you are crazy—okay, you are a little—but certainly, never feel sorry for yourself.
- Look at life through your own lens. Trust yourself to find yourself. Know who you truly are by consistently molding your lens into the greatest vision it can possibly see.
Through the lens of your mind, you appear as strong cord or broken glass.
A statement I advise to myself consistently. Mindset and consistency are key here.
The Final Take-Away
When I graduated with a bachelors in business management with the drive to match, no one could tell me a thing. I was ready to take over the world. I was young, driven, and I had read enough books to feel like Napoleon Hill himself.
Nothing could stop me. I read the books, learned the principles, wore suits every day, and I could mesmerize an entire room with my presentations. Despite all my accolades, I was still rejected.
My first job right out of college, I was forced to resign. I was rejected because I didn’t fit in with the culture. My second? Miraculously ended in a similar fashion.
Two straight rejections in under six months. Ouch! At this point I was nearly homeless. This was followed by my third rejection, which came from family members.
I decided finally it was time to become an entrepreneur. Perfect timing right?
I had nothing to lose, plus I looked too good in those suits to let them go to waste. My first 16 clients all rejected me. Am I missing something? I was driven, well-versed, and in a suit! A suit! Why were they rejecting me?
Here is the key take-away: no matter how sharp your lens appears to be, or how perfectly aligned your rows are, individuals are not judging you by your lens, but theirs. This isn’t your fault, but it is your problem.
I don’t care how many award winning speeches you’ve delivered, how many companies you’ve started, or about your accolades. Narrow-mindedness doesn’t care! Do you candidly stand by your words, beliefs, and decisions?
Narrow-mindedness has its way of showing you if you’re really the person you’re claiming to be. You might talk a lot of motivational jargon, but when disaster strikes, will your conscience fall? This is why it’s crucial to be who you say you are. Stand by who you are!
The young, driven, good looking suited individual was claiming he was this and that—and he was. Despite going through all my rejections, my lens never became fogged. I never submitted to narrow-mindedness nor allowed it power over me.
However, do not put the entire blame on others, take some responsibility and make sure you’re doing everything you can to be successful with a clear conscience. As long as you know you are, Delight!
It’s just a matter of time before we hear your success story!
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.