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Wantchapreneur vs. the Entrepreneur

Leadership & Inspiration

Joshua Davidson wrote this article


Over the past six years that I have been running Chop Dawg, I have had the great fortune of being surrounded by some of the very best entrepreneurs on the planet. I’ve been able to truly see and reverse engineer what makes such an individual tick. Though everyone we work with, and individuals that I meet have a completely different background, a different passion, a different goal as to why they are an entrepreneur, you can quickly notice that no matter what the industry they are focused on, no matter what kind of personality that they have, common similar threads are shared among them, that define them not only as an entrepreneur but clearly why they are (and will be) successful.

By the same token, over the past six years that I have been running Chop Dawg, I have met an even larger number of individuals who aspire to be an entrepreneur. Many of which, I am proud to say we at our company have made a difference for by helping to bring their product to life, and have seen several dozen go on to be successful through product growth, raising capital, profitability, accepting into high branded incubators/accelerators, some even acquired, etc. However, by the same token and understanding about what makes a great entrepreneur, one thing you start to notice as you reverse engineer what makes someone successful and how you know becomes perfectly clear. The successful entrepreneurs aren’t entrepreneurs because they were attracted by the lifestyle. They are entrepreneurs because they cannot imagine having a different lifestyle.

Perhaps I am a bit ego-centric with this statement, but I do pride myself on having a bit of self-awareness. I spend a lot of time understanding what makes me personally tick, why I do the things that I do, how I can control my emotional state, and how I can control my own health. Above-all, understanding why I started Chop Dawg and constantly stay focused on running this company the very best that I can, day-in and day-out. Understanding through the greater forces at play, it has taken me time to truly comprehend.

You see, although I did not collect this statistic, I’d argue that more than half of the individuals I talk to daily as potential clients here at Chop Dawg, gives me the same spiel when I ask them why they want to build their own company. “I hate working 9-to-5, I want to be my own boss, I want to have freedom, I want to be rich”.

The issue here is that although those are perfectly valid goals, if they are the driving force behind why you decide to reach out to a company like us, why you quit your day job, why you go all in on a business venture, I am deeply sorry to say, but more than likely, you are going to fail. Your business will not succeed. You will burn out. You’ll be just another statistic.

Circling back to understanding, or at least on the surface, noticing the trends of successful entrepreneurs — it comes down to one key piece, passion about their idea. This isn’t passion for making money. This isn’t passion for being an entrepreneur. Hell, if the word entrepreneur didn’t exist, these individuals wouldn’t care. They’d still be doing the same thing, day after day. They are passionate about one thing and one thing only — using their business to solve a problem that they believe they can solve better than anybody else on the planet.

I’ve been fascinated by the Tim Ferris Podcast (which if you haven’t listened to it, you must). He likes to deconstruct the most successful people in all fields of life to understand common threads. One thing you will discover as you digest more and more of his content — no matter the field, the interest, the industry, the person, they all want to the very best at what they do, they all have a work ethic that 99% of the population does not, and these two variables are controllable due to the passion that they have to do the things that they are focused on.

Being an entrepreneur is more than the freedom, the marketability of saying you’re a business owner, the idea you have full control. It is about knowing you are making the world better, you are providing a better value of anything, whether that is entertainment, a utility, solving a problem, whatever that might be. It is being obsessed with what it is that you want to do. You live it. You eat it. You breathe it. It is a part of your DNA. Your DNA is part of it.

The external goals, the things mentioned above, also shouldn’t be vilified, which I often see the entrepreneur community do. They are perfectly healthy goals to have. It is okay to have selfish goals. Everyone has them and the ones that say otherwise, they’re lying to themselves and you. Wanting to be wealthy is perfectly okay. Wanting full control of your life is more than reasonable. Wanting to be the boss, to fulfill your ego, whatever it might be, is not a bad thing to want. The issue is, this should not be the biggest factor to why you embark on the entrepreneurial journey. When the road gets rough, when you become tired, when the grind becomes too much, these won’t support you. What separates the best is though obsessed at being the best, those that even when it gets beyond tough, beyond stressful, fall back on knowing what they are doing is what they were meant to do.

Hollywood has glamorized being an entrepreneur. Success stories are all that you read about. It’s what is sexy. It’s what sells. Running your own company is apparently the cool thing to do here in the mid 2010s. It’s a trend. This will pass, yet entrepreneurship, shall always remain the same. There will always be a need. There will always be a breed of individuals who don’t desire the lifestyle, but don’t know any other way to live. When you talk to these individuals, whether inspiring, serial or successful entrepreneurs, you’ll know. You’ll know right away that no matter what they do, they’ll be successful. That they’ll be the ones succeeding. That they have the variables needed to out-work, out-talent, out-sale the quantity in the game.

Look at yourself hard in the mirror, whether you’re an inspiring entrepreneur, an active entrepreneur, or anything in-between. Don’t lie to yourself. Ask yourself, are you really meant to be a part of the entrepreneur game? This isn’t for everybody. There is a reason why failure is more common than success. There is a reason why not everyone is one.

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There are over 6 comments. on this article. Join in on the discussion!
  • Klaas-Hemke said:

    It is about passion, really; I just became entrepreneur and I was not so sure. Now I notice that the text “because you think you can do this better than anyone else in the world” is the one drive. A bit silly also, but in my ecosystem or network it is true. “Meant to do something your way” to make it work is another great drive.

  • Thanks for your insights. While I agree with most of your comments, I recently stumbled on a piece that talks about DNA differences between successful entrepreneurs and not so successful ones. For all those aspiring entrepreneurs, it finally spells it out in your face. One needs access to money among other things. It talks about how successful entrepreneurs had made several mistakes before they succeeded. Most of them had one thing in common – the need for having money to make mistakes. Yes, the passion counts but without a rich network of friends and family, good luck taking it off the ground. Everyone talks about the romantic side and grinding aspect of entrepreneurship, but most seem to fail to mention the key ingredient – access to money.

  • John Slagh said:

    Just agreeing with you. Been in sales or retail for thirty years, and our old saying as “if running a Toy Store was easy, their would be more Toy Stores all up and down West Sag Highway.”

  • Vaida Jasiuleviciene said:

    The passion to make a world a better place, to give value in a unique way that only you see. Thats really the main engine. There are so many obstacles leading to giving up. But the passion takes you further. And keeps not only you motivated but also inspires the ones you meet in your journey.

  • Angie Savo said:

    You got it, the bottom line is: Work Ethic.
    To do what needs to be done* whether we feel we like it or not.
    *that´s aligned with our values, fo sho.

    Good work Josh.

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