Entrepreneurs need a number of things to help them succeed: determination, the ability to learn and a dream to follow. While each of these are important, I believe that the most important thing entrepreneurs need to succeed is someone in their corner, cheering them on.
An unfortunate reality of being an entrepreneur is that once you start talking to people about what you’re planning, naysayers appear:
- “You can’t do it.”
- “You shouldn’t do it.”
- “You don’t have a good idea.”
Sometimes people say these things out of a desire to be helpful, but others just want to hate. Even if it’s not out of spite, naysayers are discouraging and unhelpful.
You need people in your corner who will speak encouragement into your life:
- “You got this.”
- “You can do this.”
- “You can make this happen.”
Based on my experience building a successful business, I believe supportive people are the number one thing that entrepreneurs need to realize their dreams.
Why I’m Not in the NBA
You need the right people in your life to help you realize your dreams. Even if there are seemingly endless obstacles between you and the end result, the right people will help you overcome each of them.
Even if you’re short and want to be in the NBA! I like to say that the reason I’m not in the NBA is not because I’m 5’10” and lack athletic skills, although both of those statements are true.
Instead, the reason that I’m not in the NBA is because I never had anyone behind me saying, “It’s alright that you’re 5’10” and you’re not athletic. I believe in you, go make it happen. We’re going to give it a big go. If it doesn’t happen, we know why; you’re just not cut out for it. You gave it everything that you could.” That way, I would know definitively that the reason I’m not presently in the NBA is truly because of my height and natural skill.
You need people who will encourage you through the ups and downs. They’ll tell you when to change course, or when to keep on going.
You Need Support to Realize Your Dreams
You need somebody in your corner who can:
- Encourage you to be everything that you are.
- Encourage you to persevere, even in the midst of all the reasons why you shouldn’t.
The right people will tell you to kick butt at all the things you know how to do. They’ll be there for you at the end of all the work and be able to say, “You know what? We tried and it’s just not working out.”
Every entrepreneur needs people who will encourage them, yet be able to provide critical feedback when necessary.
Who’s In My Corner?
I believe having someone to support you is so important because I was lucky to have my wife cheering me on. If I didn’t have my wife, there’s no way that I would have become an entrepreneur. I wouldn’t have launched my business and realized my dreams.
Instead, when I got fired from my job I would’ve just gone and found another 9 to 5. Yet, my wife was there to say, “I believe in you, I’ve seen you work hard.”
She’s believed in me because she knew what I was capable of. It wasn’t just blind faith. She saw me putting in long hours with a full time job and part time freelancing. She knew I was willing to work, I just needed her to be there to say, “I believe in you. I trust you.”
Ditch the Backup Plan
You need people who believe in your abilities and determination to encourage you in the beginning. You don’t need people who will say things like, “you should probably have a backup plan.” There are too many people out there who advocate backup plans, thinking they’re being helpful, but they’re really doubting you.
That’s why I love Twitter, it’s where dreamers find dreams. You can find (or be) someone who says, “You know what? How can I help you succeed at your dream today? You know what? How Can I help you get one step closer to whatever it is you’re trying to do?”
When you do find someone who supports you, cherish them. Show them that you’re grateful. Thank them. Buy them coffee. Take them out to dinner. Do whatever you can, because that’s the type of person that will help you get to the top.