The mentality required to be a successful entrepreneur

by jeffhilimire on March 2, 2014

In my post yesterday I referenced the similarities between comedians and entrepreneurs, particularly as it relates to the amount of time that has to be spent in order to be successful.

In the podcast, You Made It Weird, where the host interviews Nate Bargatze, they talk about the process of fully committing to being a comedian and when, if ever, Nate thought about quitting. Nate explained that when he married his wife they had a similar conversation as he was then a struggling comedian. Nate said to his wife, “I’m not going to stop comedy. I have to do this, so whether it takes a few years to ‘make it’ or I never do, I can’t ever pull the plug.”

Additionally, when I was speaking to a UGA marketing class last month, I was telling them the story of how I built my first company, Spunlogic. I was telling them about the massive credit card debt that I had personally accrued while keeping the company afloat. I was asked the question, “Why didn’t you quit at that point?” My answer was similar to Nate’s: I was going to make that business work and there was no scenario in my mind where that didn’t happen. So the idea of quitting just wasn’t in the cards.

I followed up by pointing out that if you laid out our scenario those early years to anyone with any business sense, they would have told us to shut down immediately. We had very little going for us and a ton going against us, and we were failing mightily at the time. So I’m not advocating that to shut down a business is a failure – sometimes you have to do that and start again. But for me, the mentality was, “I’m going to make this work or die trying”.

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