Hello. It's nice to be with you today. My name is ________________ . Among my other projects, I'm an e2E advocate—e2E is a nationwide movement launched by independent business owners to help professionals make the move from employee to entrepreneur—e2E. There has never been a greater time in history to become an entrepreneur! There have also never been more options to consider, decisions to make, or risks to avoid. Today's presentation is about stacking the cards in your favor by giving you a thorough blueprint for success. We call it your entrepreneur plan—or—'Plan-E.'
Before we dive in, let's begin with a few warm up questions to see where you stand…
The first one is a bit personal—that's good because even though entrepreneurship is business—it's also very personal—and it WILL reflect everything about who you are. "Which 3 areas of your life do you want more freedom and control over?" There's no wrong answer, of course—which ones resonate with you? [***Wait for a few answers***] Great answers!—now let's move on to the next question…
"What are your 2 why's?" Who do you pour your money and time into the most—it's OK if it's yourself—no judging here! And—what accomplishment, pursuit, lifestyle, or dream drives you the most—once again, it's OK if it's an actual thing. Let's hear some of your why's… [***Ask for answers from your attendees***] Terrific! Now that we know what makes you tick, let's do one more…
Which of these 2 quotes hits you harder? The first is a powerful quote by Tony Gaskins, "If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs." Or do you prefer the famous words of wisdom by Eleanor Roosevelt, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." If you had to pick one or the other, which one is more "you"? [***Wait for answers from attendees***] Great comments! With these thoughts and feelings in mind, let's move on…
The entire mission of e2E is to empower you to live on your terms—AND—to help you gain more freedom over your time and money. If you have entrepreneurship running in your blood—if it's in your DNA—you won't be truly fulfilled until you make that move. This is about you being WHO you were meant to be—because only then will you build what you were meant to build, impact the lives you were meant to impact, and make a difference in a world that needs entrepreneurs to lead.
Remember, the average employment position is not designed to offer freedom—it's designed to pay you a defined amount of money for a defined job. I hope you hear this loud and clear—entrepreneurs are not DESIGNED for pre-defined limitations. They thrive on flexibility—they NEED freedom to be creative and dream. But here's the catch—freedom requires time and money—and entrepreneurship is the only way to gain this control.
When you punch the clock for someone else, some other entrepreneur is getting closer to that freedom—not you.
So as an employee, if your plan 'A' was to get a promotion—and if plan 'B' was finding a better job—you may now realize you need a new plan…
Your 'Plan E' leads to the entrepreneur lifestyle—owning your day, working when you want, collaborating with whomever you like. It's your escape plan for making a smooth transition from where you are to the business you want. Your entrepreneur plan gives you an easier way by lowering risks and removing obstacles. And most importantly, your 'Plan E' can put you in the helping hands of experienced e2E leaders who can guide you on your journey.
There will always be failures along the road to building a business. But a solid plan can keep you moving forward over the hurdles so you're not forced to retreat back to employment. It's the difference between hitting a dead end or…
Hitting the mark. Having a clear, solid plan dramatically increases your chance of MAKING IT! Freedom over time and money—that's the target we're shooting for.
So let's explore the essential elements of a solid 'Plan E.' We're going to go over the RISKS, the REALITY, the MINDSET, the ANSWERS, the PEOPLE, the OPTIONS, and finally—the E-FACTOR!
First—the RISKS. Any one of these risks can knock you back. The goal is to calculate the particular risks for the business you choose. You need to ask yourself some questions. What are the startup costs and can you afford them? Is there a proven system to follow that creates predictable results? Do you have to develop your own marketing material from scratch, or can you utilize what someone else has already developed? As you know, technology is essential to any business today. Is the technology already in place or will you have to assemble it? Can you share the tech costs with others to lower your investment? Can you get cash positive before you run out of capital? Either having too few customers or having too many can be a problem—are you prepared for both scenarios? How fast do you think you can increase cash flow to go from burning it to making it? Have you considered the legal documents and contracts you need to protect your business? That's a lot of questions to consider, but looking at how to lower or avoid these risks should be one of the first steps you take. If it sounds like hard work, good. It is. True entrepreneurs NEVER back away from hard work—they welcome the challenge. By being realistic, you can help prevent loss of momentum, loss of your business, and loss of your dreams!
Speaking of being realistic—our next essential to face is the REALITY. I'm going to put this bluntly. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is going to hurt… a lot. If you want to earn the rewarding, lasting, freeing success that owning a business can provide—you're going to have to be tough. That's the REALITY, but it can also be absolutely worth it. Just know—it IS going to be hard.
How hard and worth it is being an entrepreneur compared to other opportunities? Let's chart it. Easy is at the bottom—hard is at the top. "Not worth it" is on the left— "Worth it" on the right.
First, we'll mark down low skill and high skill jobs. A low skill job—one that almost anyone can be trained to do—can be quite easy but probably doesn't pay all that much—making it not 'worth it' for many. High skill jobs can require a far greater level of training, education, intelligence, or talent—or even all of these. Due to how extraordinary the individuals who qualify for these jobs are, the work can become relativity easy for them AND also be worth it, as high skill jobs can pay well. The problem with high skill jobs is that there are fewer positions available and few who qualify, which puts these kinds of jobs out of reach for many people. But note this—even high skill employees—somewhere up the ladder—are working for an entrepreneur who determines when they work and how much they earn.
Now we add low and high paid managers. Low paid management positions—which only pay a little more than low skill jobs—load on more responsibility—and more headaches. These jobs are generally harder due to added stress and pressure, but are only a little more worth it. Sure, a high paid management position often comes with a significant pay hike, but it often involves massive pressure and long hours. This can make the higher salaries and perks only seem a little more worth it.
Finally, we mark the opportunity of entrepreneur. The REALITY is clear. It's the hardest—but also the most worth it. There are countless entrepreneurs that have no more talent, intelligence, or training that you or me. What they DO have is grit, determination, vision, and self-belief. They welcome the hardships, because they know it will prepare them—and qualify them—for the unlimited possibilities only offered by business ownership. For the prize of their freedom and their dreams, they're willing to run the gauntlet. Are you?
One of the phenomena you will likely face is what marketing guru, Seth Godin, refers to as 'The Dip.' Often when entrepreneurs first get started—during the 'honeymoon' phase—there is considerable reward. But then, as the realities of business set in—endless hours of work with constant frustrations for little money and less appreciation—the effort, for a time, can far outweigh the initial rewards. This dark valley is when MANY quit. It's the boneyard of business. But if you can push through the dip, on the other side is the rise. And at the top—the payoff! Efforts are rewarded as the business now scales toward your dreams. This is the REALITY. Will your dip beat you? Or will you persist and win? You can read more about this in Seth Godin's book, 'The Dip.' It's a fast and uplifting read.
Knowing the REALITY, it's time to talk about the MINDSET every entrepreneur must have. It's an absolute prerequisite for success. Famous football coach, Lou Holtz, said, “In this world you're either growing or you’re dying. So get in motion and grow." This is the mindset you need to keep growing and prevent stagnation.
You're going to face a chasm of struggles. There's no way around it. The luxury of 9-5 days are a thing of the past—welcome to 16 hour days—even on weekends. Hobbies and entertainment? Park them. Business will come first—even before family for a time. Get used to hearing 'NO.' You'll need all the positivity you can get—so negative people in your life are out! Prepare for every day to be uncomfortable—and many filled with emergencies.
This is the mindset of the entrepreneur—especially when starting out. We are WILLING to make these sacrifices because we believe it will be absolutely worth it in the future—for ourselves and our families. To earn the life you want—to cross the divide from others owning your time and money to YOU owning it—you have to become mentally tough.
These 4 mental toughness tips will help prepare you for the resilience required. To work on the same goal for years, pushing through failure after failure, you must apply SUSTAINED CONCENTRATION. It's also known as 'persistent focus.' EMOTION is a poor navigator for your business—but it is excellent at increasing self-motivation and inspiring others to support you and remain dedicated to your mission. Use LOGIC, fueled by data, metrics, and brutal honesty to steer your business. And—number 4—FACE YOUR FEARS. Push forward with the courage of someone who has nothing to lose. These tips will help you make the mental leap.
You've heard me use the term, 'grit' today. Grit is sticking with your future day in, day out—not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. This is perhaps the chief quality that determines who persists or who quits, who succeeds or who fails. Grit can't be taught or bought. But it is something you must possess if you're going to overcome the chasm.
With your MINDSET in place, you're ready to write down the ANSWERS you must have before you start your business. These answers are the prerequisite before you make any moves. This is the core to your 'Plan-E.' Consider them carefully—research them thoroughly—you are certainly welcome to consult me as a resource for each. Let's start with Industry. With intention, what INDUSTRY will you choose? Consider the stability, potential, trends, and size of each. Who is your MARKET? Not what, but WHO. Who is the precise client group you will serve? Every industry is filled with different demographics and target consumers. Identify yours. What's your DIFFERENTIATOR? What makes your offering different than the competition's? What is your special formula—your secret sauce? Can others easily copy it—or can you protect it from your competitors? What is your clearly defined PRODUCT or SERVICE? How much will it cost you to make versus sell it? Who will provide your business with the materials, inventory, or services you need? What is the big SOLUTION you're going to bring to the world? Write down the one great problem you're going to solve and why your market wants or needs this solution so desperately. And lastly, what unique ABILITY qualifies you to be the one to solve this one great problem for your market? Defining these parameters for your business is the critical work that will refine your vision and sharpen your focus. It will help shield you from the temptation to be all things to all people and prevent you from building something that you love but but few will buy.
With your ANSWERS in hand, it's time to determine the PEOPLE you need to surround yourself with and involve from day one. After all, the PEOPLE you pick are just as critical as the business you choose.
Your partners, mentors, and collaborators will impact every way you'll be measured as an entrepreneur—what your success will look like—and what your income will look like. As the great Jim Rohn said, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." Think about those 5 people in your life currently. Do you want to be the average of them? To be a successful entrepreneur, it may be time to make some hard decisions about who you spend your time with.
Our #1 core belief with e2E is that we lose when we go it alone, and we win when we depend upon one another. I had the right people to help me. That's why I do what I do with e2E now—to pay it forward. Mentorship is essential for entrepreneurs to succeed. At every step, we all need the strength of ENCOURAGEMENT—step-by-step GUIDANCE—EXPERIENCE from those who have gone before us—and CAMARADERIE, the all important laughter, support, and friendship that help us bear the defeats and share the victories.
Helen Keller put it best. "Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much."
As we approach the finish line of your 'Plan E,' let's examine the OPTIONS available. Remember—you're the boss. You will decide if you work 4 hours a week, 40, or 80. Working more hours can give you velocity—but any number of hours is viable. It's up to you. Some entrepreneurs can produce substantial incomes with a very small, but very focused time investment. It all depends on the business you choose. Spare-time. Part-time. Full-time. Big time. You're the boss.
Take heart in this quote from Inc. Magazine: "Many people are working full-time but also pursuing their business passions on the side. These people are just as much an entrepreneur as those who do it full-time." Don't let anyone tell you your 4 hours a week working early mornings, late nights, or weekends is not the sweat of a true entrepreneur—or the foundation of a great business.
And now here's the final essential element of your plan—the E-FACTOR. The factor every entrepreneur must look at in our post-pandemic, technology-first new normal. The E-FACTOR is the digitally-enabled entrepreneur. The advantages of being able to work from anywhere, with anyone, at any time—with the low risk, low investment, zero inventory, and scaleability that digital businesses offer are undeniable. It's not pie-in-the-sky, futuristic, or only for techies. It's real. It's now. It's possible for YOU.
Now you have the essentials you need for a solid 'Plan E.' Completing this plan will help you get organized, get clarity, avoid setbacks, and accelerate your success.
My final challenge to you… Just live it! Being an entrepreneur is about breaking free—no excuses—no looking back. Own the freedom to be your own boss, set your schedule, work from anywhere, focus on your loved ones, remove limits, and become the leader you were meant to be!
Embrace this: "What then is freedom? The power to live as one wishes."
If you were born to be an entrepreneur—a free business leader—I'm here to tell you today on behalf of all my fellow e2E advocates… There is an easier way. You can make the move. If you're ready, then we're available to help you plot your escape and plan your success. Reach out to an e2E advocate directly after this presentation to get started. Thank you.