Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?
Thermometers are instruments that measure temperature.
Thermostats are devices that control the desired temperature.
The difference between the two is critical.
Thermometers are reactive. They sit by passively and accept whatever conditions their environment has created for them.
Conversely, thermostats exert control. When the environment isn't quite right, perhaps it's too hot or too cold, the thermostat pro-actively adjusts to obtain the desired conditions.
I think that few of us are completely on one side or the other, being completely reactive or completely controlling.
But I do think that most of us need to be more like the thermostat. We need to be less accepting of our current circumstances, and exert more control into positively changing them.
In fact, virtually all budding entrepreneurs are trying to improve their current environments. Typically they are not living the lives they have dreamed about. And thus, they use entrepreneurship as their thermostat. Specifically, they start their companies to change their circumstances and to achieve their goals.
But oftentimes, the fight to become a successful entrepreneur is truly great. It's rarely easy, and things don't always go as smoothly as we'd like. But if it was too easy, everyone would be an entrepreneur and there would be less opportunity.
The key is to CONTINUE to act like a thermostat through thick and thin. You must act like a thermostat at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. This is when you take the idea out of your head and first jot it down on paper, and then you develop your business plan and incorporate your company.
And then, you must NEVER stop acting like a thermostat. You must constantly be pro-active in raising funding, getting customers, hiring and managing your team, etc.
What are you doing today that's truly proactive? What should you be doing? Here's an exercise to try right now:
1. Make a list of things in your environment that you are not satisfied with? Are you not making enough money? Do you not have enough customers? Are you dissatisfied with the performance of some of your team members? Do you not have enough funding to execute on your plans? Etc.
2. Prioritize your list to figure out which items are most important for you to change.
3. Create an action plan to start achieving your most important item. Then move on to number 2, 3, etc.
Think about the most successful entrepreneurs of today and yesteryear. Individuals like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson. Do you think any of these individuals accepted undesirable circumstances and environments? Do you think they complained about them? I doubt it. Rather, they identified these negative environments, and went about fixing and overcoming them. We all need to do the same. Every day.