Tell me about the first time you can remember earning money?
The reason I ask them that is to see how entrepreneurially wired they are. A lot of people tell me they are entrepreneurs. They want the perks of being your own boss but they really aren't ready to handle the responsibilities of it. Usually when someone tells me they started earning money when they were kids by mowing lawns or babysitting or even better setting up that lemonade stand, that tells me they have the entrepreneurial gift. They just have a burning yearning for freedom and they are the type of people who will work their hiney off to get it.
Does this mean there are no exceptions? Absolutely not. There are those folks who never had a job until after college and they turn out to be quite motivated also, but let the record show that is definitely an exception. There's no right or wrong or good or bad, it just is. We need both independently motivated business owners as well as employees, that's how the world turns.
The first time I remember making my own money was when I was 7 years old. I have always been a reader and had accumulated a lot of books. I probably had about a hundred or so sitting in boxes in our basement. My friends and I were hanging out down there to get out of the hot, sticky New Jersey summer weather and I spotted those books just sitting there collecting dust. A light bulb went on and I grabbed my friends and put them to work.
I instructed them to load the books onto a cart with wheels and we carried that loaded cart out onto our street. I lived on a dead end and I told these girls to knock on the door and ask the people if they wanted to buy a book. I ended up with close to $20 from visiting the neighbors on my street. I think I sold each of the books for one dollar a piece (and yes I knocked a door or two myself). When we made our way back to the house we carried the cart with the remaining books inside and I handed each girl ONE dollar for their efforts.
They were fired up and went on their way while I counted up my earnings. Not only did I want to go make money, not only did I take on the inventory risk, I knew the power of leverage! I knew that I could pay two people one dollar each and enjoy my time, rather than sweating a task I really didn't enjoy and only get paid that one dollar.
Is it fair? Of course it's fair. It's business. If you're an employee you don't take any risks. You show up, you do your work and you get paid. That's how it works, that's what employees sign up for. If you're the business owner you take on all the risk. Inventory, overhead, insurances, etc. You then train all the people to run a system you spent the time designing and rent their time. All the profits from those efforts are yours.
So it's in you or it's not. If it's not in you, remember that's okay, there's nothing wrong with that. But if it is in you, make sure you're doing everything you can to let it come out. Your greatest potential is yet to be unfolded.