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Are You an Entrepreneur or a WANTrepreneur?

By Lane Ethridge on Jun 10, 2016

There is a huge difference between being an employee and being an entrepreneur. How do I know? Because I was a public school teacher for years. Not only was I an employee, I was also charged with molding the minds of our younger generations to believe the old-school methods are still useful today.

The reality is that if you want to stay progressive in today’s world, you have to think and do things differently. Going to school, getting good grades to get a good job, and saving enough money to retire is a false reality cast upon us by those who have a W2-mindset and lifestyle. This idea of "normal" doesn't always work anymore.

What makes you want to be "normal" anyway? You’re greater than that! The standard retirement age was established by someone who isn’t you! You are the creator of your life, so why should you let someone else dictate when you get to enjoy it fully?

So what’s the answer? Entrepreneurship! But here’s the problem:

It’s challenging. It’s different from what most people understand. It’s a process that often requires delayed gratification. It’s not for everybody. And that’s okay.

The best thing you can do is understand what it takes to become an entrepreneur or take your game to the next level if you’re already established. Here are the five skills you'll need to go from being a WANTrepreneur to a true entrepreneur:


It's fundamental to know yourself and develop the courage necessary to step into your greatness. Most people won’t understand what you’re doing. They will think you’re crazy. They will undermine your value.

But you won’t care because you want a different life than the one they are living. To become a truly empowered entrepreneur, it takes full dedication to yourself and your dreams. Life will give you challenges as you work to build a business, and through them you will become a different person: you will become a leader. Developing your confidence and believing you can achieve success, no matter what anyone else says, might be the most important quality you can have as an entrepreneur.

Team Player — and Team Leader

The more I surround myself with successful people, the more I realize they got to where they are by surrounding themselves with people better than them. The concept “self-made millionaire” is a misconception. They may be millionaires as a result of their hard work, but they needed others to help them along the journey to create that financial success.

Work your strengths and hire your weaknesses. You can achieve more with a well-balanced team that is focused on accomplishing the mission together and willing to work with you because of your vision. As Zig Ziglar said, “You can only get what you want by helping enough people get what they want first.”

Relationship Builder  

Many successful people admit that your “network is your net worth.” Becoming a person of influence is vital to expanding your business. The more people you affect and the more influential those people are to society, the more you open yourself to powerful potential. As you serve others they will want to support you, and you can align yourself with people in power positions. Through these relationships, you can define your purpose and realize your own potential.

The people who establish the best relationships with those who can help them get where they want to go will ultimately have the most options — and options create opportunities.

Business Focus

FOCUS stands for Follow One Course Until Successful.

Too often, we chase after too many things and don’t have success with any of them. I have certainly fallen victim to “shiny object syndrome.” I do believe there is power in getting experience in different endeavors to learn, grow, expand your network, and determine where you want your focus to be.

However, if you continue to do this month after month, you will find that you’re no further ahead then you were when you started. Go after what you want with all you’ve got. Do one thing and do it well, rather than doing a lot of things in a mediocre fashion.


Vince Lombardi said, "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will." If you ask successful entrepreneurs what helped them achieve their success, one of the most unanimous themes is "stickability."

They were resilient and relentless, and they pushed harder when times got tough. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier because he was willing to keep pushing harder than any other man who had attempted it before him. He wasn’t necessarily any more suitable to achieve that record, he was just more determined.

You’re going to experience times when you will want to quit. You will question why you are doing everything — and at that point you need to remember why you started in the first place. Reach down deeper than you ever have and commit to the cause — your cause, your life and your dreams.

What makes me suited to share these strategies with you? I’m a National Bestselling author, I was the youngest person to rise to the top of a real estate investment firm, and I am currently building a business that has expanded internationally. In addition, I’ve lost 63 pounds and know that everything we do, professionally or personally, requires these same principles.

I don’t say this to impress you, but to impress upon you the importance of going after what you want with everything you have. A mentor and coach tells you want you need to hear, not just want you want to hear. These steps will support you during your journey, and that’s exactly what this is. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so take the first step…or the next step…and keep going strong!

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