I’m an entrepreneur. What I mean is that I never had a real job in my life. I have either built my own business or worked 1099 for somebody else. I am a man of many trades who owns several businesses. So when someone asks me what I do, I use a classic one-liner and tell him or her that I am an entrepreneur. It’s just that in the year of 2016, it seems like everyone is either pretending or actually is an entrepreneur, so the meaning has become a bit diluted.
Is being an entrepreneur the new thing? The generation before us grew up idolizing athletes like Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Now it seems like the millennials are growing up idolizing entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. So whenever someone asks the inevitable question of what I do, how do I answer? It really depends on who is asking. I have so many businesses under my belt that I consider which one I should pitch to them. For example, I have a real estate license, but I don’t go around telling people that I am a realtor; but if the opportunity arises when someone needs the services of a realtor, that’s when I present it. Before telling them I am a realtor, I would first use a pre-qualifier to make sure that I am not wasting my time.
A pre-qualifier checks to see if the prospect whom you are speaking too is a lead before you even pitch to them. When they ask what you do, ask them a question that presents a problem:
Have you ever had an idea that you thought was amazing, but did not know to turn it into a reality?
If they say no, you automatically know that they are not a possible client for you. If they say yes, then that is when you hit them with the remainder of your pitch:
That’s exactly what I do. I make your concept into a business, and with an investment of thousands, you will make millions.
That is sales 101. You want to always be selling something, but what if you don’t have a product or service you can sell? What do you do then? You are looking at it all wrong; the most important thing you should always be selling is yourself. You are the most valuable asset that you have in your possession. The greatest investment you can do is investing in yourself. That is why continuing education is so important.
Everything else in your life is part-time work; whether you are working a job, building a business, or even selling products. Everything is part time. Consider your job, licenses, career, talents, and skills as a utility belt. When meeting new people, be the best version of yourself; and when the opportunity arises reach to your utility belt, grab the tool that is most useful in that situation, and close the deal.
Let’s say that you have an investment license and a real estate license and you are meeting people a bunch of new people for the first time at a birthday dinner. The moment comes and someone asks you what you do. You don’t want to just say that you are a financial advisor or a realtor, because then you would be putting a ceiling upon yourself. People like to brand others, as it helps them to remember more about them. Whenever someone asks me what I do, I immediately start talking passionately about my projects.
Talking with passion and love about your projects builds rapport with the people you are speaking too. People who invest their time into a business do what is expected, but those who invest their emotions are respected. All of your work, licenses, and jobs are all side projects. The biggest project you have is yourself. Learn to invest in yourself, and you’ll see that selling yourself comes with great ease.
You are your full-time business, and just like every business you, need to establish a basic structure. You need to get your operations and finances in order, but before you begin, you need to understand what it is that you provide. Every great business provides incredible service, but more importantly, every great business has a mission statement.
What’s your mission statement?
Your mission statement is what your business operates on. You mission statement for yourself is your purpose in life. When you understand your purpose, you will then be able to look at the time you spend on certain skills, jobs, or tasks and see if it aligns with the bigger picture. You are filling your utility belt with tools that will make accomplishing your mission statement, your purpose, quicker and easier. Especially when you have tools and a purpose you enjoy you will have a blast working to accomplish it.
The game is mastering you. Control yourself like a Jedi. We are all works-in-progress, and just like a job, you improve with the more time you put into it. Define your mission statement, assemble your tool belt, and establish your purpose. If you are hitting your goals, you aren’t setting them high enough. You must push yourself in pursuit of one’s purpose: something you should never be able to achieve. A purpose is an ongoing process of development and service.
Be the best version of yourself, master your skills, and keep moving forward towards your goal. If you fail, fail forward. Learn from your mistakes. Inspire others around you whether they be coworkers, employees, or complete strangers. The universe finds mysterious ways of blessing those who provide services. Strive to be present in the moment, and be the best version of yourself. Continue to work on your skills, tools, and craft. Remember that it is better to be prepared and for no opportunity to arrive than to have an opportunity arise and not be prepared. Plant the seeds in your life and continue to water them until they grow. Be the best that you can be, and you will see that one day, a moment will find you.