Entrepreneurs can be real douchebags.
The people who identify as entrepreneurs are often pretenders. They’re the ones looking for fame and glory by running a business and making money.
Look at the WeWork founder. Look at the Theranos founder. Yuck.
I prefer to spend time with people who are on their way to becoming entrepreneurs and don’t even know it. They have a certain level of humility that is contagious.
The label of entrepreneur is pretty misleading. For the purpose of this article, an entrepreneur is someone who believes they can directly charge two or more people money for a product/service.
Here are the traits I’ve observed in these future kickass entrepreneurs.
Their energy is infectious
I have received countless pitches from a 50-something guy. Most of the messages I get are lifeless. They’re full of selfishness or marketing gibberish.
This guy is different. He sends me messages with pitches on a daily basis now. The energy jumps off the screen. At 50, he’s just getting started. The energy levels he displays are higher than a 21-year-old who just got their first high-paying job.
What’s strange is he doesn’t identify as an entrepreneur (the best kind of entrepreneur). What drives him are ideas and being around high-energy people. Interactions with him left me fascinated. As a result I can’t resist finding a way to work with him.
They have a ridiculously good system
A system is automation. Those who do tasks manually in the hope of earning money rarely succeed. Without a system you rely on willpower. A system is confidence in what you’re doing.
Systems allow you to do the following:
- Batch similar tasks
- Save time
- Predict how long tasks will take
- Create muscle memory for the brain on how to do a task
- Outsource tasks to other people as your results increase
Solopreneurs who don’t have systems drown in paperwork. You can’t sell a business either that doesn’t have a system.
They look at the data. Duh.
What makes you kickass at making money is data. Data tells you what you’re doing right and what needs improving. Many people ignore the data and listen to supposed ‘experts’ or strangers on the internet.
I’ve done a number of courses recently focused on selling books. Every one of them suggests looking at the data to decide what chapters to include and what the topic should be. One teacher even suggested going to Amazon, finding the top four books in your chosen topic, and copying the table of contents as a guide.
Guessing destroys creator’s dreams. Data stops you from winging it.
They are Keanu Reeves nice to other entrepreneurs
Keanu Reeves is famous for being kind. When I meet a stranger who is good at being kind to other entrepreneurs, I see a badass, like Keanu, in the making.
A business is ultimately a collection of people. You have the people working on the business, and the community of people who buy from the business.
Kindness in business acts as a magnet. People can’t resist the temptation of a kind person. When you think about customers who spend money with you, remember that they form communities. How? They go online and talk about what they bought from you. Then they often get together in message apps and talk to each other about their experience.
This shift towards communities away from the traditional customers buying in isolation model is infecting every industry. A person who can lead a community with kindness will do well. What does this look like?
- Give away free products like books.
- Host free Q&As with the community without asking for money.
- Respond to questions.
- Dish out random acts of kindness to the community.
They don’t see other entrepreneurs as competitors
The innocence of selling the same product as someone else and treating them as a friend, rather than an enemy, is a superpower. Just because someone sells the same product as you, doesn’t mean you should wish them to step on a rake, get smacked in the temple, and die.
There are no competitors. The market is big enough for you to sell the same product as hundreds of others. I’ve met several people who sell products similar to me who don’t call themselves entrepreneurs. I thought they would hate me for having the same product. Nope.
One woman even offered to affiliate my product to her audience despite selling a similar idea. These are the people who succeed. They see a world full of partnerships, not competitors.
A competitor is an enemy. Who needs more enemies?
They’re in it for 5 + years
Short-term thinking isn’t entrepreneurship. Read that again.
Unlikely entrepreneurs want to build a sustainable way of making money over time. They’re happy to make $0 at the start. They’re happy to work for free to learn. They’re happy to see tiny progress each year, instead of viral success created overnight. They see viral as a random event that is 5 years in the making and can strike at any time.
Most businesses fail in the first 5 years. That’s why your thinking has to go beyond 5 years.
They factor in Web 3.0
The greatest businesses of the next two decades will be built on top of blockchain technology and the decentralization it provides.
Internet users want to own their data. They also want to own the software they use on a daily basis. Web 3.0 provides all of this and more.
A new business idea that is built on top of Web 2.0 will most likely fail. The change is occurring rapidly. People who are working in this space don’t realize they will become the next wave of kickass entrepreneurs. They’re simply enabling decentralization because they value it.
What we value can eventually take over our entire life, thanks to a business.
If you see content creators, developers, salespeople, or marketing folks working on Web 3.0, tilt your hat to them. They’re the honest versions of future Zuckerbergs that will become kickass entrepreneurs.
They pitch a lot
The 50-something gentleman mentioned at the start of the story had one other hidden trait of entrepreneurship: pitching a lot.
So far he’s pitched me lots of times. There’s no obligation attached to the pitch. He’s learned that you rarely pitch once and succeed. Why?
A pitch is an idea. There are loads of bad ideas. Pitching lots helps you refine the library of ideas you have to make money. Eventually, you’ll pitch one idea at the right time to somebody who buys into your philosophy.
A rejection to a pitch isn’t a no.
We can have too many opportunities. We can have better opportunities. We can be stuck in a difficult phase of life. We can be right in the middle of another project. So what happens when we get pitched and one of these scenarios applies? We say no. It’s not really a no, though.
A rejection is a quiet ‘come back later.’
People who don’t know they’re entrepreneurs are glorious. They don’t have all the ego, desire for money, and status that turns nice people into monsters who steal money from investors, customers, society, and employees.
Serve a higher cause and you’ll become a kickass entrepreneur.