What does it really take to start a business and become a successful entrepreneur?

The amount of energy and resources it takes to start anything is tremendous and often people vastly underestimate what it truly takes to start.

In his hit book the 10x Rule, Grant Cardone brilliantly explains the 10x rule as “whatever you think it’s going to take, it usually takes more, so take your goal and multiply it by 10 times”

Hence the 10x rule.

If you want to make a million dollars, aim to make $10 millionIf you think it’s going to take 1 hour, budget for 10 hours.

If you think you need to talk to 1 customer to get a sale, make a goal of talking to 10.

It takes way more money to start than you think, way more time, way more effort, way more energy.

“Success always demands a greater effort” – Winston Churchill

I often get calls from young people and sometimes old people who want to start their own business in real estate or something else:

They heard about “no money down real estate” or watched a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk videos, or they have just fallen in love with the idea of the “4 hour work week”, the “laptop lifestyle” or general “freedom from work”.

These people believe in something for nothing.

Something for nothing is like the Easter bunny, Santa clause or the tooth fairy: It doesn’t exist!

People who believe in something for nothing usually lose big, just like lottery ticket buyers; you buy the ticket on the premise of something for nothing and lose it all. Or going into the casino to “beat the house”, you play a few rounds and lose it all. Something for nothing never works.

What does work though, is leverage which is getting more done with less. Leverage is how every rich person in history has ever gotten rich. A concentrated effort focused through leverage – the only real way to get rich.

However, “something for nothing” lottery mentality people I hear from have the following symptoms for failure before they even embark on the journey of trying to start a business:

  1. Low income or no income
  2. Some have no job
  3. No cash savings
  4. No credit or bad credit
  5. Something for nothing mentality (aka lottery mentality)

Those 5 things are not compatible with entrepreneurship.

If you hate your job, or hate working, when you get into entrepreneurship and have to work 12 or 18 hour days, the 8 hour shift and McDonalds will look like a part time job compared to entrepreneurship.

Newsflash for the kids at home: an 8 hour work day in the modern world is indeed a part time job. When you look at what it takes to really succeed, 8 hours a day is the first shift!

“An entrepreneur is someone who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 for someone else” – Unknown

So what does it really take to start?

It takes a greater effort:

When I started out in entrepreneurship at age 22 I worked 4 jobs:

  1. I started work at 4:00am putting chips on shelves for Frito Lay
  2. Ended work at 12 noon and then worked on my real estate business for 5 hours until 5:00pm
  3. At 5:00pm until 7:00pm I taught guitar lessons
  4. From 7:00pm until 9:00pm I worked on my debt buying company

That was my life, one job to the next. A job to support my living (Frito lay) that my base salary and everything else was to get ahead.

If I could do it again, I would have the Frito lay job and probably a sales job where I could really hone my sales skills, 2 good jobs will beat 4 not so good jobs, but this is the hindsight of 20/20 vision.

It’s always easy to look back and see an easier way.

“You can always connect the dots looking back” – Steve Jobs

If you really want to  succeed in launching a business, then make sure you work towards having these 5 conditions of success before you start your venture:

  1. Guaranteed income from a job, or two jobs (even better if one is in sales)
  2. Sales experience through a sales job on straight commission
  3. Cash savings to survive and for seed capital
  4. A good credit score above 700 so you can leverage and borrow money, even if it’s credit cards at the beginning
  5. An investor mindset that believes that you get out what you put in.

Be focused on the value, not the cost.

Be focused on putting in the most to your market, not the least.

Be focused on giving the most to your customer, not trying to short him.

It really does take 10x more money than you think, 10x more time, 10x more energy and 10x more effort.

But if you are committed, entrepreneurship provides the best rewards in life that other people can only dream of.

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life in a way that other people won’t so you can live the rest of your life in ways that other people can’t” – Unknown

Respect The Grind,
Stefan Aarnio