Date: March 24, 2010

Author: JT

Tags: , , ,

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Do You Have It In You…to be an Entrepreneur (Guts)

imageThis is the second in a four-part series asking, “Do you have it in you, to be an entrepreneur?” There are four key strengths that are must haves for an entrepreneur to be successful. Previously, I discussed the first of these, Passion.  Here, we’ll discuss guts.

a) Passion

b) Guts

c) Cash Flow

Passion.  Guts.  In past entrepreneurial discussions I have heard people use these two terms (or equivalents) interchangeably.  But, really, there is a difference between passion and guts.

Here’s the difference.  Passion is your love for what you’re choosing to do.  It is what drives you forward, overcoming daily distraction, motivates you to stay up late (or get up early) to accomplish your dream.  It’s the fire in your belly.

Guts, or call it fortitude, backbone, grit, perhaps even chutzpah, is the conviction underlying your efforts.  When everything seems to be going against you; everyone’s telling you how wrong you are; the bank won’t give you money; or, you need to reconstruct your dream from scratch, guts is what keeps you on track.

Think of it as being firmly planted and the strength to keep from bending (too much) in the wind.

Do you have the Guts to stick with it?

Ok, so that sounds like something philosophical, detached from daily reality, that some guy at the coffee shop might tell you.  So let me share a very practical example from my own life.  Once upon a time…

My wife and I decided to do real estate investing and become landlords.  Our intention were somewhat noble, as a means of making money and building our investments, we would provide good, clean housing to those who needed it.

The family we selected as our very first tenants were wonderful.  We got along well and, for the first few months, everything worked as planned.  And then, a month’s rent was late.  No problem, she caught up in a couple days including the late fee.  Then another month was late, and another, and each time the catch-up was later than before.  We were bending in the wind…wanted to give the benefit of the doubt…but at some point it became a practical business decision: Do we let this continue.

Unfortunately, we had to evict our very first tenants.  But the choices were simple.  This was a business and we were not providing free housing.  We had to know our limits, how far would we bend, and whether we had the strength to take the actions we knew to be necessary.  Let me tell you, it takes some intestinal fortitude to evict someone, and then follow up in court.

So, yes, there’s a difference.  Passion, you have to feel strongly about what you want to do.  But you also need raw guts to stick to your dream and not let the wind blow you off course (or let customers/partners/others take advantage of you).

We’ve discussed Passion, and Guts.  Next, we’ll talk about Team and Cash flow.

 

Photo Credit: Mitch Law

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