Monday, August 15, 2011

Harvesting the Entrepreneurial Spirit by Wendy Singh

Having grown up in a typical Canadian household, with two working parents who ingrained excellent work ethics in me, I was always under the impression I'd become a great employee for some company. Throughout school, I achieved high grades, was my high school valedictorian, went on to university and have a degree in Nutrition and Food, yet I am not an employee for anyone. Did I do something wrong? No...I chose not to take the employee route and am going after the life I want to live, not the position I want to hold.

For some of my readers, you already know that I am a professional belly dancer, but that is not what I do full-time. I am a full-time entrepreneur that manages multiple streams of income with my husband. What does this mean? Simply put, we have figured out what it will cost to live the life we want to live and are putting together various streams of income (samples to follow) so that we can one day soon live fully on these passive income streams and not have to rely on a traditional job for our income. Why? Because we got married to have breakfast, lunch and dinner together, wherever we wanted...everyday - not just on weekends. Now that I am a new mom, it has given us even more ammunition to get these income streams stabilized so that we can be full-time parents to our son.

In order for someone in my situation to make the mindset shift from employee thinking to being a business owner/entrepreneur, I had to change some things in my life that I was brought up thinking were normal. First off, I had to realize that income was created in more than one way. In other words, money can be made not just by trading time for it, but by using systems to leverage, whether it be through business systems or through investments. The goal here was to remove the "me" factor from the equation. Robert Kiyosaki describes this well in his Cashflow Quadrant book and Rich Dad, Poor Dad book (both of which I highly recommend).

Secondly, I had to understand the behaviours of the wealthy. How did I do this? Well, I am still doing it because I don't think anyone can truly master the behaviours and habits of being wealthy. But what I did was gain mentors in my life who had what I wanted - time, money, lifestyle, healthy and happy marriages, happy families, and good solid principles in which they lived by. I also continue to read books that foster these principles. Thirdly, in order to harvest the entrepreneurial spirit, I became an entrepreneur. I started a few businesses, allowed them to grow, started a few more, and am still developing businesses today. The proceeds from the businesses I am using to invest so that my investments continue to make money. This is an important principle - invest with money that you have put aside and can afford to lose. JD and I have learned the hard way, losing tens of thousands of dollars we didn't have as extra money, and it made things tough for us for quite a few years. But we learned from that experience and now invest with money we have earned through our businesses; money we've put aside for investment. In addition, I do things I have a passion for. Belly dancing, for one, is something that I long for and is a creative outlet for me. But I have learned to turn it into an income stream and have plans to create a business out of it so that I am not always the one either teaching or performing. It's another way that income can be created.

To harvest your entrepreneurial spirit you need to understand yourself, believe in yourself and have courage to put your thoughts into action. To understand yourself, first make sure you know your habits, know your schedule, understand your personality, and determine your strengths and weaknesses. To believe in yourself, you need to have confidence. If you have low confidence, this is something you will need to work on. I am not recommending you become arrogant or conceded, but to realize that you have been given many great talents and abilities and you can be a winner. If this is an area that you need to work on, there are many great books available to help you develop your self-esteem and confidence.

To put your thoughts into action, you need courage! You'll have a lot of naysayers in your life - I did! Even with belly dancing. I've been dancing for more than 15 years and when I started, I was doing it for fun, not realizing what I could strive for. After seeing professionals dance, I knew that was what I wanted for myself, so I worked at it. I performed at my high school's talent show, which was difficult to happen (the idea of having a belly dancer at a Catholic high school was a barrier to overcome). And, having not danced for very long, it wasn't the best performance so I heard about what "they" were saying afterward. But that didn't stop me from pursuing my passion.

Today I am content with my progress as a dancer but will always continue to learn, grow and practice. In a business sense, don't be afraid to start off in a business that is turn-key and has an established system. JD and myself work with an amazing team of people with an entrepreneurial development program leveraging a long-standing network marketing system and this has been integral to a lot of the success we have gained, both monetarily and as persons. There's a lot of great businesses you can get started with, and that's the main point...get started! Have the goal to succeed in mind, but if the business you start doesn't work out, learn from the experience and start again! In summary, some people are inclined to me more entrepreneurial than others. JD was always a free spirit and challenged the system that was laid out in front of him. I followed the system and excelled in it. Together, we have realized that in order to have the lifestyle we truly want, it will not be in the traditional working system, but we need to be creative and to develop income passively using our entrepreneurial thinking.
Wendy Singh, BASc Nutrition and Food

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1 comment:

Wendy said...

Thanks for posting my article. Glad you found it useful!