Why Nothing Can Prepare You For Entrepreneurship

A lot of people think there are courses you can take and training you can undergo that can train you to do well in the world of entrepreneurship. We think we can read some books and suddenly be prepared for the gut wrenching, hard decision making reality of running your own operation but the real truth is that the only thing that can prepare you for entrepreneurship is entrepreneurship itself.

Let me tell you a quick story. In 2004 I made a decision that would change my life forever. I joined the Army. My aptitude test scores I had to take upon getting in only gave me a few choices of what jobs to do. They were: Combat Arms, and Combat Arms. Right. So, combat arms it is.

Once I got in and started training, I quickly learned that I’d be deployed to Iraq for at least a year, to fight in the war, very soon. It was ok though, I knew I’d end up there. In fact, sitting with the recruiters months prior, knowing we’re in war time, I was already totally convinced I was going. It wasn’t a big surprise.

What was a big surprise, however, was when I actually put my boots on the ground in Baghdad a year and some change later. Feeling the cold chill of the vibe of death. Getting bombed with 107 MM rockets the first night we were on the FOB (forward operating base) we stayed at, and realizing that I not only wasn’t in Kansas anymore, but I was in the worst possible place at the time, in the world.

EntrepreneurshipThen, throughout the ensuing months, my life was everyday patrols of nerve racking drives through Sadr City, getting blown up by IED’s, having RPG’s launched at our trucks, and constantly having to watch out for the long range precision shooters (snipers) that already took out two of our guys, and many others.

Great. I was in the middle of Hell itself and there was nothing the United States Army could have said, done, or put me through that would have prepared me for that craziness.

And the same is true of entrepreneurship. Business school won’t teach you what you need to know.

Working for another company won’t give you the real ability to go grow a business on your own. Not even going to the $5,000 seminar you “can’t miss” will give you what you need to be effective out there in the business world. Having worked for a lot of other companies, before starting my own, I thought I was set!

“Yea,” I thought, “I know business!” But what I didn’t realize was that I didn’t know entrepreneurship, I just knew how to execute business moves being a player in someone else’s game. And those are two very different things. Continue reading “Why Nothing Can Prepare You For Entrepreneurship”