Want To Be An Entrepreneur? Consider These Tips

These days, it seems like you encounter many people who describe themselves as an “entrepreneur.” While different people may consider themselves as embodying the entrepreneurial spirit, it all comes down to defining what an entrepreneur actually is. According to Dictionary.com, an entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk; an employer of productive labor, contractor.” So, what does this even mean and who qualifies?

Who can be an entrepreneur?

Someone can work in a corporate setting for 15 years and then decide to pave his or her own path by applying the skills and knowledge gained from that opportunity to a new venture. Or, someone can continue working a job while taking some risk and investing into various opportunities as a supplement to his or her income. The great thing about entrepreneurship is that in both of the aforementioned scenarios, the individual can be considered an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship is a popular career path for athletes who have retired from their playing days. The skills and lessons learned (leadership, hard work, a sense of mission, etc.) during a high-level playing career can provide the right mindset that is required of an entrepreneur. Some of today’s most popular current athletes are embodying the entrepreneurial spirit during their playing careers. LeBron James is not only one of the world’s best basketball players and athletes, but he is also one of the best athlete-entrepreneurs. Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry are not only teammates on the Golden State Warriors, but are becoming actively involved in Silicon Valley in various tech companies.

When former New York Yankee and surefire Hall of Famer Derek Jeter decided to retire from baseball, his first second career move was establishing The Players’ Tribune. The creation of this platform essentially gave athletes a voice to connect with their fans. Fast forward a few years, Jeter is now part of the ownership group that acquired the Miami Marlins. In an article for Entrepreneur.com, Jeter provided four motivational tips for those considering forging their own path as an entrepreneur.

Be A Connected Leader

Different people have different leadership styles, but one thing that Jeter recommends is getting to know the people you are leading – your team. A way to do this is by having open lines of communication. In being transparent your team can stay in the know as to what is going on at the company. Jeter says, “You are not always going to be making the popular decision, but you need to make sure those affected by it understand the reasoning.”

As owner of the Marlins, Jeter can attest to this statement. In essentially cleaning house in the organization’s front office, some of his moves have come under fire by baseball pundits, did he take his own advice and be transparent with those affected by the moves?

Define Your Own Success

Just like entrepreneurs can be involved in different things and industries, success differs for each person as well. Jeter goes back to his roots with this tip, using a baseball reference. “In business, the focus in competitiveness is not as much on beating the team in the other dugout but in making your venture successful, however you decide to measure success for the endeavor.”

As an entrepreneur, you don’t need to focus on “beating” other companies in similar industries or with similar business models. What you should focus on is meeting, and exceeding you own metrics of success first and foremost. Then you can start focusing on differentiating yourself from your competition.

Prep Matters Most

To highlight this tip, a variety of quotes can be used, among them are: “Prior practice prevents poor performance,” and “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The general public usually does not get a behind the scenes look at all the preparation that goes into the life of a professional athlete. Thanks to social media we can get a small glimpse, but no where near the full picture. Even in the offseason, athletes are always preparing for the upcoming season. You have to truly embrace the “grind” and put in the work each day in order to achieve success as an entrepreneur.

Compete Against Yourself

In sports, you generally do not want to live with any regrets that you did not give it your all each game. In business and entrepreneurship, you also want to give it your all every day. Jeter says, “There is a degree of personal pride in the amount of work you put in toward achieving your potential. I can’t always expect to be the best at everything, but I don’t ever want to end a day feeling like I didn’t give all I could toward whatever I faced that day.”

If you work hard and give your venture everything you have, then all the success you experience will not only be earned, but well deserved. Often times the most gifted athletes experience success because of their talent alone. However, when facing an athlete who might have lesser skill but is a works harder, the better athlete might be overmatched. A quote by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson exemplifies this, “Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.” A former University of Miami football player turned WWE superstar turned movie star, “The Rock” knows a thing or two about hard work.

Former athletes know all about competing and are likely to maintain that competitive nature throughout their second career. When it comes to entrepreneurship, one of your strongest competitors is the person looking back at you in the mirror. These four tips are not the end-all-be-all to achieving success as an entrepreneur. Instead, they should be used as guides to help you along your journey.