3 Signs You’re Dangerously Close to Becoming An Entrepreneur (and How To Stop)

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Wantrepreneurs don’t let wantrepreneurs start businesses. That’s because they know most fall dead from the bow.

And by that point, irreparable damage has been done:

  • bank accounts (yours and your family’s) are dry as bone
  • relationships are fractured
  • your reputation stinks
  • you’re on the brink of losing your house
  • you’re now the laughing-stock of everyone who’s said “I told you so!!” (note: what other people think is kryptonite to a wantrepreneur)

I understand how it happens. Sometimes you get so caught up in the excitement of becoming a wantrepreneur, it’s easy to fall asleep at the wheel.

Before you know it, you’ve careened out of control and become yet another sorry statistic in the bucket of entrepreneurial chum.

Stop the insanity before it starts!

More mindful wantrepreneurs are somewhat aware of the danger signs. Careless ones simply cruise straight on through to the danger zone.

Some may win. But as we all know, most fail. So how do you know when to say when?

From personal experience, here are the major telltale signs that let you know you’re flying too close to the sun:

Sign #1: You’ve run out of books.

Nope—you didn’t think it was possible. But you’ve gone and done it: you’ve bought every used business book you could find, read them cover-to-cover, and highlighted so many passages you may as well have just highlighted the stuff you didn’t need.

But that’s not all—you’re now re-reading them all.

Folks, this is a textbook example of a person floating dangerously close to the edge of actually doing something with their knowledge. (For the repercussions of this, see bullet points above.)

The solution? Find more books. Here’s a list of 26 and should keep you busy for a few months at least.

Now, this may mean digging into your pocket and buying new—yes, new—books on Amazon (drastically reduced prices and discounted shipping!!!), but you’ll find a goldmine of business books that all say pretty much the same thing.

That means you should be able to plough through them quickly and easily – one after the next.

A wantrepreneur should never run out of things to read and highlight. Don’t fall prey to the excuse that your data bank is full and it’s now time to apply your knowledge.

It’s a fact: 97% of that brain of yours will never be full. So keep reading.

 

Sign #2: You’ve finally got enough money in the bank to launch your venture.

For years you didn’t have the money. So you saved and saved. Pinched and scrimped. Ate toothpaste sandwiches. In fact, you once considered living under a bridge (as most wannabe business titans do).

But now—suddenly—you’ve got the cash.

What happened? I’ll tell you what: in one of those handy books you read, the author casually showed you how to start a business with as little as $100.

$100!?!

Ladies and gentlemen, we all know starting a real business takes more than a measly $100. At best it’ll buy you some pens, folders, and snazzy business card holder. (Look out, Richard Branson!) Isn’t’ that like catching a snowflake and boasting how you’re going to make a snowball?

We wantrepreneurs are realists. That’s why we spend an eternity saving zillions to start businesses – because we know we’ll never get there. But, at least we can tell people we’re saving to start a business. And it’s this delicious stage of at least I’m trying that a wantrepreneur savours like a dog with a bone he’s been stripping clean since Christmas.

So when you think you’ve got enough in the bank, think again. You’re probably light years away from where you need to be.

$100? Please…

 

Sign #3: You’re a hair-trigger away from quitting your day job.

So you’ve reached that apex where the thought of putting in one more day is tantamount to suicide?

Every day you keep telling yourself tomorrow I’m gonna quit.

“Lean liberty is better than fat slavery,” you heard someone say once. It’s now your mantra.

And any day now you’re going do what millions of people wish they could do—you’re going to march into your boss’ office and fire him, once and for all.

Don’t be a moron. You and I both know you’re not about to do something so stupid.

How does the pain of not having a pay cheque sound to you? A true wantrepreneur knows that any job is better than no job at all. It’s the reality we’ve all accepted–and for good reason: it puts food on the table and pays the rent, dummy.

A wantrepreneur is dependant on a day job to keep from taking the dangerous plunge into (gulp) entrepreneurship. If you quit your job, here’s what you can expect:

  • No more gym membership
  • No more cable TV
  • No more movies
  • No more Starbucks
  • No more dinners out
  • No more vacations and weekend getaways
  • No more impromptu barbecues, pool parties, and poker nights

And a metric tonne of…

  • Hard work
  • Stress
  • Sacrifice
  • Uncertainty
  • Sleepless nights

Read these lists one more time. Then ask yourself: “Is it really worth giving up my sure thing for something that may not (probably won’t) work out?”

Remember that friend who told you that you should be lucky you have a job? Remember how much you hated it when she said that? Because it was a reflection of her unhappiness? Her jealousy that she didn’t have the strength to do what you’re about to do?

Well go out and buy her dinner because she’s doing you a favour—she’s saving you from yourself.

Learn to love your miserable job. And while you’re at it, consider yourself lucky you have one.

**************

In hindsight, it’s not hard to spot the signs. A wantrepeneur wants to have the most by doing the least for as long as possible.

And the moment you catch yourself even thinking about spending that potential, it’s game over.

Think back to your high school physics class. Your teacher asks where a roller coaster’s greatest potential energy is. Remember the answer? It’s at the top of the first big hill, moments before it plummets down that horrifying vertical—and off the tracks and into financial ruin.

Potential energy is the name of the wantrepreneur’s game. Don’t be a fool by spending it.

Search your heart. You know deep down when to say when. That nagging feeling in your gut that says shit or get off the pot.

And unlike the reckless entrepreneur, a good wantrepreneur knows when to keep shitting.

 

What are your ideas on what makes a good wantrepreneur? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below and let’s talk.

 

Thanks for reading,

Brad

About Brad Mike

Brad is a freelance writer in Halifax, Nova Scotia. By day, he helps companies speak with their audiences like real people. By night, he's a blogger and satirist, currently championing the mighty Wantrepreneur right here at AntiWantrepreneur. You can visit his website at bradmike.com.

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