Entrepreneurship is extremely scary, but do you know what is even scarier? Wasting your potential. Yes, entrepreneurship is risky. There will be ups and downs. You may have incredible success and fail at other benchmarks. Yes, starting off it may be rough. It is part of the process, but the only way you truly succeed is to work through the labyrinth of being a business owner.
Because we live in a microwave society, individuals want things right now. They want to be known. Their impatience causes them to sell themselves short. Thirsty for attention and quick success, they sell their skill set and themselves for pennies, if that. They jump at every opportunity that comes their way with the promise of “putting them on”. Any person that promises a future of greatness becomes an associate and bosom buddy. The business owner neglects common sense and logic in order to gain a pretentious sense of success.
And that is the most common and biggest mistake I see with entrepreneurs. Every opportunity isn’t one you should take. Every dream sold shouldn’t be bought. Know your value. Yes, there are opportunities that will not be paying gigs, but those opportunities feel right. Those are the ones with business owners that have leverage. In the beginning as an entrepreneur, you may trade your skill set for the reference, but as your business grows so does your pay. You shouldn’t be a videographer three-years in, working with a regional rapper for the sake of being put on. Is he getting paid? Oh, he is? Well you should be as well.
“Put On’s” do not pay the mortgage or electricity. Unlike Visa, “Put On’s” aren’t accepted everywhere. Ask yourself this, if a person is in such position to put you on, why haven’t he or she put him/herself on? Why do they not have a budget that includes paying you? Is the person paying the camera guy? Did he/she manage to pay Neiman Marcus or Saks? Oh, Gucci got paid, but you can’t? Hmmmm. It sounds more like a “Take advantage of” than a “put on”.
People can spot a parched individual. He/ She is always talking about getting “put on”, jumping at pseudo opportunities, name dropping. They take anything thrown at them. Years later, they are still waiting to be “put on”. You may have worked in the presence of these celebrated names, but did they notice you? Did the person “putting you on” introduce you to these people? Did your work ethic speak for yourself or were you just another groupie looking to be seen?
The thing is, you do not need any one to put you on. You do not need handouts or a jaded opportunity. All you need is your skill set, professionalism and drive. The people who need to see you will see you. The people who need to work with you will work with you. Your work ethic and reputation should precede you. If you are doing what you need to be doing, recognition will come. Don’t thirst after it. Do not sell yourself short. Remember that your greatness got you to this point (the point where someone wants to “put you on”.) You are doing well enough. Don’t ruin your brand for a fake opportunity. KNOW YOURSELF !