The best thing you can do as an entrepreneur is to be selfish. Invest in yourself. Say "no" more than you say "yes."
Why? If you are constantly letting the world control how you spend your time, you'll soon find you won't have any time to do the things you've been meaning to do.
What I mean by that is, if you go out for drinks for the second night in a row, you are inadvertently avoiding accomplishing your goals. Every great entrepreneur has to learn to act alone and towards his or her greater goals, even if it means letting some people down along the way.
When we think of selfish people, our brains are conditioned to think of people who walk around with their fists clenched and noses turned up, but that's not what selfishness is in the entrepreneurial sense. In the entrepreneurial sense, it doesn't even involve other people in some cases.
Let's face it: We all have two sides -- our personal side and our business side.
A selfish entrepreneur will know what his or her goal is and not let anything get in the way. Like I mentioned before about going out for drinks, one must be selfish to one's business self and do the things that are going to bring him or her closer to that ultimate goal.
Sure, you might hate yourself for a little bit, but in the end, when you're raking in the dough, you'll sure be glad you did it. If we observe the characteristics of a selfish person and modify them to our businesses, we can thrive beyond our imagination.
Conceited? No, Self-Confident
A selfish person is more likely than not to think he or she is the greatest in the world and not be plagued by self-doubt. As an entrepreneur, you are often your own worst enemy, constantly doubting if your ideas are good enough and thinking no one will pay attention to you.
If we stop doubting ourselves and start thinking, “Hey, I think I'm good at what I'm doing, and people will start to pay attention because of the quality of my work,” chances are we will work harder and be more sure of ourselves.
Ball Hog, or Team Player?
If you've ever played sports, you know exactly who I'm talking about. It's the person who never passes the ball to someone who may be in a better position to make the play happen, and instead chooses to do it on his own.
Sometimes, it can pay off. If you're reading this, chances are your business is small, or you're just starting out. Nevertheless, we are faced with the obstacles of financing, marketing, producing, etc.
Sure, outsourcing could make your business better off, but then your already-low funds are even lower when you could have done a good enough job by putting in the work yourself.
Of course, if your business is growing, you may have to outsource jobs because you can't expect to micromanage everything once you pass a certain point. In the beginning, however, you must do everything you can. And if you don't know how, learn.
Fat and Happy, or Skinny and Miserable?
I don't mean to make it sound as if we should invest in our businesses over groceries every week, but as an entrepreneur, you will be faced with this conundrum at least a handful of times.
Do I want to spend the last of my remaining money on advertising, or that new video game? Let's face it: As entrepreneurs, we have other things going on, whether it be school, work, our personal lives or often all three.
We are constantly trying to find a balance between all of them, and the simple answer is, there is no happy medium. The only way to succeed is to be a maniac. If your passion is in your work, then I can promise you will find a group of people as excited about it as you are.
Regularly, I find myself working long solo nights while my friends are tempting me to enjoy a night out with them. I just always try to remember to be selfish to my personal side, and appease my business side more often than not. In the end, I know it will all pay off.
Photo Courtesy: Paramount Pictures/The Wolf of Wall Street