The short answer is you need both. You are going to need a bottomless supply of both dedication and direction if you are planning on being a successful solo entrepreneur. The problem is, we tend to confuse the two and end up relying on one more than the other and this can have disastrous results.
Why You Need Dedication, and Lots of It!
During your business venture, you are going to be tested. It’s highly likely you’ll be tested over and over again. It will come to the point where you are thinking of throwing in the towel and walking away.
When you look around you, it may seem like everyone else has found their path and are going strong, building their brand, and even making money… and then there’s you… barely able to keep the light bill paid, and you feel like this business idea is just taking too much out of you without any return on your investment of time, money, heart, and soul.
This is where your dedication comes in. You’ve got to be dedicated to your goal, your dream, and your success. Dedication is the quality of your commitment. It is fueled by determination, drive, and motivation.
When push comes to shove, are you the type to turn, tuck tail, and run? Or are you more of the type to hold on tight and brace yourself for the rough waters? Do you have the grit and determination to realize your dream as a solo entrepreneur?
Those are the questions you want to ask yourself before entering into a solo entrepreneurial adventure. The truth of the matter is that you won’t really know how you’re going to react until you are neck-deep and forced to make those decisions.
There are many unpredictable stressors you are likely to encounter, but remaining dedicated in your pursuit is critical.
Dedication is Useless without Direction!
Your life and success as a solo entrepreneur depend on direction. You wouldn’t plan a cross-country road trip without consulting an atlas, would you? You can be highly dedicated to saving money for the trip, and you can be extremely dedicated to making it to all the great tourist attractions. However, if you don’t know the distance between gas stations on long stretches of highway, you might just end up causing yourself a lot of undue stress.
Planning is critical. Just like your road trip, your business is going to need special care and attention with planning. Planning is incredibly hard if you don’t know your direction! Your business plan is your atlas. It’s your road map. It’s how you are going to make things happen, and what direction you want your company to follow.
Let’s look at this road trip again. You are starting out in California and want to hit a few major points on your way to see the Statue of Liberty in New York. If you don’t have direction and haven’t planned your trip ahead of time, you could end up with all sorts of detours and backtracking.
The thing about backtracking: We never seem to give it the attention it would have gotten had our direction been purposeful in the first place. We are more likely to get irritated because now we have to take the time to go back and fix something. We are also more likely to forget it altogether and just skip that step, and if you haven’t figured it out already, skipping steps as a solo entrepreneur can have devastating effects on your success.
Be Dedicated to Your Direction
Now more than ever we are a multi-tasking world. Especially as an entrepreneur, we wear many different hats. We are the owner, operator, sales department, AR/AP, marketing, repair and maintenance department, and IT department. At any given point in the day we might need two or more hats concurrently to get the job done.
It should be no surprise then that we have basically laid the foundation for complacency and slipshod performance. Lack of direction causes us to multi-task to the point of being careless and lackadaisical.
When your direction is purposeful, you are less likely to take a haphazard approach, thus your results are better. Doing five tasks at once results in giving one-fifth of yourself to every task, and we do it mindlessly just for the sake of getting it done. If we make it to completion, and that’s a big if, the results are never going to be as good as we would like, or as good as they could have beeen had our direction been clearer and we had a plan to follow.
Don’t shortchange yourself in the business world. If you want to be a successful solo entrepreneur, set your direction and then be dedicated in your pursuit!