Trying on Many Hats: What Entrepreneurship Looks Like on a Daily Basis
There is an old saying in business about a business owner needing to wear many hats. And while that is a true statement, it can actually scare off a lot of would-be entrepreneurs because of mountains of responsibility that come along with starting and running a business. People all over the world wake up day after day and have a secret dream of wanting to be their own boss, they the fear of what is involved in that feat stops them from ever trying. Rather than think about entrepreneurship as a constant uphill battle of having to wear all the hats in the business, what if you approached the task with curiosity and worked to find out which hats fit you best?
You Don’t Have to Wear All the Hats, But You Should Try Them All On
There’s a common misconception amongst people who are looking in on an entrepreneur from the outside: they think that burning the candle at both ends is a necessary evil on the road to success. Some people, however, approach entrepreneurship with a lighter sense of obligation. They understand that while there are many things that need to get done in the run of a day, they can shift between those responsibilities to find out which tasks they like and which ones they don’t like, or aren’t particularly good at. In doing so, sure they spend a great deal of time exploring and working hard, but they find out pretty quickly where their strengths lie and where they might need help.
Trying on the Hats
Each day that an entrepreneur gets up and heads into the office, whether that is their living room or a swanky downtown loft that venture capitalist money paid for, the routine changes all the time. No two days ever look the same, and in fact, the hats you decide to wear in your business won’t look the same from day-to-day either. If you are a solopreneur, you might have to lug around a bag with all of those hats in it, and it might get cumbersome as you search through the bag on a regular basis to keep switching out the hats as new tasks or pressures arise within your business. The key to managing the constant change and switching the hats is to know ahead of time that you are going to have to make those shifts. If you approach running a business like going to a job, you’ll quickly find out that entrepreneurship is not a job. It’s a lifestyle and that lifestyle changes with the tides. You wouldn’t head out on a 3-day hike without the proper equipment to sustain yourself in the woods, so why would you head out on an entrepreneurial venture without the proper equipment, or hats, to sustain that journey?
Deciding on the Hats You Want to Wear
On a regular basis, you are going to tried and tested and pushed past your limits as an entrepreneur. As you become accustomed to one aspect of your business, ten more surprises will pop up and cause you to shift gears again, maintaining the need to keep lots of hats around. If you aren’t interested in wearing those hats, you need to decide how to handle them: will you pass the hat to someone else to operate that aspect of your business, or will you find a way to streamline processes so that the hat is not necessary? Before you do any of that decision making, however, you need to decide what hats you want to wear. The best way to do that is to live in your business having worn all of the hats at one point or another. Do the bookkeeping, send out the sales letters, talk a customer down off the ledge, print the brochures, write the code, update the advertising, post on social media and much more. As stated earlier, and as you all already know, being a business owner requires you to take on a lot in the beginning, but it doesn’t have to continue to be like that in the long-run. As you pick and choose which hats you want to wear, it’s important to stay aware of the other responsibilities in your business and keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on in your company.
A day in the life of an entrepreneur is difficult to describe because each entrepreneur is different and each business is different. Depending on the hat you choose to wear, your business will be different because of that lens through which you look at your business. But one thing’s for sure: as an entrepreneur, you need to be ready to look great in some hats and not so attractive in other hats. That’s just the way this lifestyle works.
Author Bio – John Packham: Having grown up in a family owned business, and now working as the Content Director for Karrass – a company specializing in negotiation training for businesses – John is grateful for the many opportunities he’s had to share his passion for business and writing.