This week, I switched my title in my email signature to say, “Serial Roadpreneur.” That statement might seem snoozeworthy (and it is), but what’s coming next has some meat on the bones.
Having started several businesses, from a hyperlocal media site (which I sold) to a copywriting and content marketing agency, and now to teaching others while curating subscription boxes as a side hustle, I’ve experienced quite the gambit of ebbs and flows. I’ve also rubbed elbows with some pretty impressive entrepreneurs and heard their stories of successes and strife.
Through it all, here’s the pattern that seems to emerge every time:
Time to travel is nice. Really nice, actually.
And you certainly sleep a whole lot better when you’re not worrying about money every single month.
But those two elements we so often sell in business aren’t success-making in themselves. It’s the value we deliver.
This is perhaps why entrepreneurship is so hard to teach. To feel successful, you’re often looking to see and feel how you’ve contributed to the greater good in some way. Figuring out what to offer that people actually need, and how to do that in a way that honors your own needs is no easy feat. It requires mining for gold in situations that seem to have no solution. It requires flexing a creative muscle that other creative exercises can only strengthen. And it requires a heckuvalot of grit because, as an entrepreneur, you’ll get knocked down a lot.
Self-belief is a good first step, but it’s not enough to become successful. You have to also convince others about what you believe. To do this requires empathy — and… e
Empathy lets you communicate well with others in any situation because you can read the room better than if you’re in your head about what to say and how to make the next sale.
Empathy will make it easier to take risks because you’ll know with more confidence that what you’re offering is needed and impactful.
Emapthy will make it easier to stay focused because you’ll know that your work is important, not just getting done for the sake of a paycheck.
Empathy will pull you out of those inevitable ruts, acting as a tailwind when you’re heading uphill.
Empathy will help you be bold and stand with conviction through your business rather than falling victim to the latest shiny tactic that catches your eye and promises the world.
Empathy is what will make things happen by motivating you to push harder.
Side note: When did hard work become a bad thing? Working hard comes with huge advantages, both personally and professionally. Hustle might suck, but hard work can feel pretty dang good.
Empathy is a competitive differentiator because so few organizations operate with the end user’s experience in mind.
Empathy lets you build a network a lot faster because you attract people when they can feel you give a damn.
As a roadpreneur, you’re going to care a whole lot more than you realize about what other people think, and that’s not always a bad thing. That internal drive and unique ability to listen closely to what people want will help you make money by doing something important. It’ll help you stop being status quo and help you be extraordinary. And when duty calls?
… you’re there to answer it with hard work that feels good and gets results.