Entrepreneur. How can one word be so powerful and yet so vague? Is it a career path, or is it a mentality? Let’s explore.
Let me ask you: is a clothing store manager that quits their day job to pursue their passion of ceramics an entrepreneur? Is a 12-year-old who codes apps from his bunk bed an entrepreneur? Or how about a stay-at-home mom who holds make-up parties on weekends? Does an entrepreneur have to be a genius, such as Mark Zuckerberg; or can anyone become an entrepreneur? I believe the answer lies in the question itself.
The only person who is limiting your success is the face in the mirror. The examples I mentioned above are true stories of people I know, and I consider them all to be entrepreneurs. Although none of their businesses are related in any way, the mentality to be successful is all the same. Here’s the punchline: if Entrepreneurship is not a career but a mindset, then what kind of person is an “Entrepreneur?”
Here’s how I view it…
In this life, we only have one chance. It’s not a scrimmage. It’s not a dress rehearsal. Entrepreneurs understand that if you don’t build you own dream, you will find yourself building someone else’s. Entrepreneurs are a different breed of human. They seek not to fit in — they seek to stand out. Settling is not an option. If they cannot find the circumstances they want, they go out and create them. An entrepreneur does not seek security; they seek freedom. Living a life with no limitations.
The ability to do what they want, with who they want, when they want and however much they want to do it. They are willing to work 80 hours for themselves rather than 40 hours for someone else. A “9-5” is how to survive, but entrepreneurs do not want to just “survive.” They want to thrive. This is what it means to be an entrepreneur.
I learned this mentality at an early age. My story starts during the 1992 World Series: the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays play their final game of the season. On October 25, in the midst of a great playoff, I was born. By 3 years old, my parents divorced.
For years I lived a double life, switching back and forth between each parent’s houses. This constant change of environment has aided me today to be adaptable and very open to meeting new people. At the age of 12, I found out how important money was to life. My single mother had picked up another job on top of going to school and raising me.
This fueled me to want to become independent from her income. In my mind, this meant becoming a man. And as a 12 year old, my image of a “man” was making money and mowing the lawn. So I started my first company at 12 years old, Austin’s Lawn Care.
Let me tell you, if you are an entrepreneur newbie don’t expect your first company to be the winner. Granted, it could be! But I have found many people’s first few ventures are learning experiences more than anything. For those starting off and want to cut down on the learning curve and possible pitfalls, check out some of my previous ventures at www.austinmueller.co .
Each project is a lesson book in itself, and I hope it guides and inspires those who have a dream. Austin’s Lawns took 3 years to be completely self-sustaining with a full team working on the yards every weekend without my direct help. While working at Lifetime Fitness during the week and building my business on the weekends, I found a passion in entrepreneurship. I learned what it was like having a boss, and then being my own boss.
Building a business is definitely the way to go. By the end of my high school career, The Chamber of Commerce awarded me Entrepreneur of Georgia along with a college scholarship.
After graduation, I attended The University of Alabama, until I realized how ridiculous student loans are (especially for out of state students). By spring of 2013, I was back in my home state attending The University of Georgia.
I believe college is the place where many people find themselves. For so long I wanted to be a doctor. I was biology major for nearly 2 years until I realized, after passing out in a surgical internship, the medical field was just not for me.
At about the same time, I read a book that changed my life called Rich Dad Poor Dad. If you don’t know the story, it’s about a young boy who comes to a crossroad in his life. To learn from his father, who is the head of education and wants him to get a job and become an employee; or to learn from his best friends father, who encourages him to build a business and become an entrepreneur. In the book, he contrasts the mentalities of each father and how their philosophies on life differ. Several years later, one becomes rich and the other becomes poor (I’m sure you can guess the outcomes of each father). Rich Dad Poor Dad is almost a lesson book for rookie entrepreneurs. It was so impactful to me that I changed my major from Biology to Marketing the next day.
Today, I am a passionate marketer. Everything in my life revolves around building brands and showcasing new products. I have found a home in Athens at The University of Georgia, where I will graduate in 2016 with a marketing degree and an emphasis in digital sales.
During the past few years, I have searched for other motivated and success-minded individuals. This is when I came upon the marketing, sales, and management fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon. Quickly, I fell in love with the environment and took the position of Web Master. Recently, I re-built their website from the bottom up and gave the UGA Gamma chapter an defined online presence.
Austin’s Lawn Care was my first company, but certainly not my last. Since 2004, I have started several companies. Like I mentioned earlier, my portfolio is showcased on www.austinmueller.co along with lessons I have learned though each business. Hopefully you will learn from my many mistakes!
Some of my biggest times of personal growth were after failures. The exciting thing is, when one door closes another opens. I sold Austin’s Lawns in 2013 and right away the universe opened another door. One of my best friends, Julian Torok, introduced me to some successful entrepreneurs in California. For the past few years, they mentored us and helped us grow a new business we now run out of our homes.
With hard work, countless hours of lost sleep, tons of self-development, a few missed parties, and help from many people along the way, our business has prospered more than we ever imagined. We are still building full speed, and now in the process of looking for the right people to help us aggressively expand. Most of what I do now is mentoring new entrepreneurs to multiply the business across the world.
My vision for the future is simple: grow people, grow your business. There is a statistic that says the average millionaire has 7 streams of income. Being a student of success for a few years now, I have found this is mostly true. Once I have my 7, I will work on my ultimate vision: to start a school for entrepreneurs.
So many people are hungry for success, but have absolutely no idea how to start. Whether it is to develop an app, start a lawn company, or learn day trading, etc., at this school you will learn from true professionals who have real results in their trade. A mentor is so important in the development of an entrepreneur.
Success leaves clues; get around people who have what you want in life and learn. Be a student of success. So there is my vision in the crystal ball! You are welcome to follow my adventures along the way on Instagram @Austin.Mueller, or talk with me through AustinMueller.co! I’m open to connecting with like-minded people, who understand your network = net worth. With the right group of people around you, anything is possible.
Before I leave you, here some friendly advice. I encourage you to go out and get yours! A lot of people give up too easy, are too scared to start, or are just not motivated enough to “make it”. Understand that all of us are self-made, but only the successful will admit it. If things are tough right now, just know that Persistence beats Resistance!
Don’t let anyone steal your dream away from you. If you are hesitant about launching your idea, get around the doers and the dreamers; the believers and the achievers; get around people who will believe in you, even when you don’t have belief in yourself. Most of all, follow these 5 steps to success: BELIEVE // CREATE // NETWORK // MARKET // BUILD. Just repeat these steps over and over. There are so many tools we have today to make entrepreneurship boom.
Way I look at it; we only have 1 chance at this life. We better make the most of it!! Do YOU! Believe and just make it happen! TAKE CONTROL!
MAKE MOVES! Dream Big, Believe Big, Achieve Big.