“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
The majority of the world’s employees will never take the leap into entrepreneurship due to an unfortunate reality; they have grown accustomed to a paycheck. When the thought of exchanging work for a steady income becomes one’s mindset, the prospect of starting a business fades exponentially each pay period. While not as powerful an addiction as drugs or gambling (or as with my addiction, golf), this craving for safe and recurring pay psychologically destroys all but a slim chance of breaking the cycle and building a business.
You’re on the Right Road
Seeing as you’re reading this, you either understand the benefits of entrepreneurship or have already joined the club. If your business concept is in its infancy the probability of launching will be directly correlated with how well you answer this question: can you work for weeks, sometimes months on end in lieu of little to no pay without any guarantee of success?
If you are already entrenched in building a business, you know all to well how accurate the question summarizes the start-up process and that the only acceptable answer is yes.
Delaying gratification does not end when money starts rolling in. I have heard stories of people who start a business, stumble upon ok success and subsequently earn a modest profit. In turn, they spend all of their new money on relatively useless personal items; ultimately leading their business to its demise by leaving them with little to no money to reinvest in the company.
Roadmap I Used to Help Delay Gratification
The main step in delaying gratification is ensuring that you live within your means, thus no more personal credit card debt and definitely limit the useless purchases that do not benefit your business. The inability to carry out a more frugal lifestyle for a short period will doom your business. However, if you are serious about becoming an entrepreneur, cautious spending should generally be the easiest of the start-up steps.
Rule of thumb: when pondering if a purchase is necessary, do what I do; ask yourself if the purchase will directly or indirectly help your business grow and by how much. Then analytically determine if the purchase is worthy of your hard earned money.
Once unnecessary spending is out of the picture, more resources can be allocated to your venture. Keep in mind that you are not ditching gratification but rather delaying it for a more appropriate time.
The more you start to implement this strategy, the easier it will become to stay consistent. Ask yourself, “If I don’t buy this useless product now, how many useful alternatives will I be able to buy down the road?”