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Stop Being a Wantrepreneur. Start Being an Entrepreneur.

The difference between entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs is simple: wantrepreneurs pursue inspiration and entrepreneurs create inertia. And believe me…the power of inertia is stronger than the power of inspiration.

There are countless websites dedicated to inspirational quotes. We subscribe to daily inspiration emails. We pay $6.99 for a card with an inspiring line. Co-working spaces spend thousands of dollars to paint inspirational quotes on walls.

Ever wonder why we love inspiration so much? We love inspiration because it delivers a short-term feeling of connection to our work and makes us believe we’re inching closer to being the person we want to be. In other words, inspiration makes us feel warm & fuzzy inside.

The funny thing about inspiration: it’s a false sense of security in its own right. Much like buying a domain for that new business idea you have, connecting with an inspirational quote is a false sense of accomplishment on its own. Send the quote to your friends and you’ll get that warm and fuzzy for five minutes. On the other hand, if you actually get moving and do something, you’re likely to find that your own actions inspire you to great things.

There’s no doubt that humans have a deep need to be inspired in all that we do. In Daniel Pink’s best selling book, Drive, Pink talks about intrinsic motivation and the importance of being motivated, not through sticks and stones, but through an internal passion. It’s a great read for anyone interested in a career of passion, but let’s not mistake a deep connection to our work with the best way to produce results and become a successful entrepreneur.

Wantrepreneurs dream. Entrepreneurs do.

Remember, the power of inertia is stronger than the power of inspiration. Action creates a positive feedback loop that drives more action, so even a five-minute commitment often turns into something really meaningful.

During the formative days of Grand Circus, we were scrambling to fill our first set of public classes. We were a new start-up with no name recognition and in danger of offering classes that would be half-empty and void of the positive energy we needed to create a vibe in Detroit. Rather than telling each other things would be all right or agreeing how things would be different once we established our brand, we jumped to action. We scheduled a two-hour all-hands-on-deck brainstorming session and generated five actionable ways to fill classes. From the inertia we created, we implemented our ideas like mad, rigorously tracked our progress, and created a full vibrant classroom experience. The key to our success was jumping to action.

Too often, people fall into the trap of sacrificing what they really want for what they want right now. Don’t let this happen and to you. If you’re ready to be an entrepreneur or ready to be the agent of change in your own life, keep this in mind: Never sacrifice what you really want for what you want right now.

Here’s the deal: If you want to create something new and have that idea come to life, go do something and do it every damn day. Start today. No, start now.

People are always looking for ways to make their ideas come to life and I often get asked about ways to make it happen. Here are a few things you can do to get this party started:

  • Talk with five people who are target customers for your idea. Ask them a whole bunch of questions to understand their problem. Then, create a five-slide deck pitching your plan & share your slide deck with five more target customers.

  • Draw a diagram of your idea that’s simple enough to explain to your mother. Then, call your mom. Moms like it when you call them.

  • Compose a “cold-call” email to someone where you are asking them for 15 minutes of time to get their feedback on your plan.

  • Clean your desk. If you’re anything like me, you’ll think about everything more clearly while sitting at a clean desk. And who doesn’t like thinking clearly?

  • Write down the 3 friends or mentors who can provide meaningful feedback. Call them. Throw away your reasons to not call them. Forget your ego. Forget possible failure. Forget how successful you believe these contacts are relative to you. Just reach out to them. Remember, people are wired to want to help others.

  • Write down your goals with dates and post them on the wall.

  • Create a list of all the cost-drives your new work will incur & estimate the dollar amount. Feel inspired? Create a financial model that also shows the costs by month for the next year.

Want to really be inspired? Go do something. It’s a special set of people that are able to drive success by willing their dreams to reality through effort, determination, and persistence. Even when you don’t feel inspired, take the leap of faith and start doing. Your own progress will provide inspiration and as a product of your own inertia, you may someday find yourself as that special person willing ideas to reality.

But, if you really need an inspirational quote…here’s a good one from Jack Handy:


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