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  • Gary Stephens

Entrepreneurship is all about being SuckerFree

I know the initial reading of the title may have some readers thinking I may be calling non-entrepreneurs a SUCKER. Not true at all. Perhaps, a more applicable title may be “Succeeding is all about being SuckerFree.” But for me being a full-time entrepreneur and dealing with the everyday challenges of being an entrepreneur, I made a bias decision to stick with Entrepreneurship within the title.

Nonetheless, SuckerFree is all about a mentality. The mentality it takes to thrive and succeed at setting goals that exceed the average objectives. It’s about the mentality to not allow life challenges to overwhelm you or impede your progress to succeed despite the difficulty. SuckerFree is taking the words of naysayers and converting those words into motivation to succeed. A suckerFree mentality is about holding yourself accountable and not afraid of holding others accountable for the words they speak and their actions, but mainly eliminating excuses on your path to success.

I also stuck with Entrepreneurship because currently, there is a big infatuation with the term Entrepreneurship. Everyone likes the idea of being their own boss, controlling their own destiny and so on. However, many are not prepared to embark on the constant challenges of owning and operating a business. When it comes to entrepreneurship, embracing the Suckerfree mindset is imperative to achieving any form of success. There are always fires to be put out. People closest to you will doubt you and will not support you or your business venture. Clients will leave you for no apparent reason and will not provide any explanation on why, which can impact your income tremendously. There may be a product defect during the manufacturing period that can delay the launch of your product to the market. As an entrepreneur, you must be able to keep your composure and develop a solution for the challenges presented. There is no time for the “why me” whining. No Sucker stuff, embrace the SuckerFree mindset and solve those problems. I like to engage entrepreneurs within 3 phases. These 3 phases help me identify the SuckerFree entrepreneurs from the “Wantrepreneurs.”

The Start-up Phase. The Start-Up phase is the period in which starting their business brings so much excitement. “I’m going to be the next so & so….” It’s difficult to determine who are the real from the fakes because everyone shares the same enthusiasm during the stage of entrepreneurship.

Then the 2nd phase kicks in (2) The Throw-Up period. This is the stage of entrepreneurship in which the unexpected happens and things do not go according to that wonderful business plan you possess. You lose revenue and fall behind on vendors’ expenses. Your home mortgage is due and you don’t have enough money in your account. These are just a few examples of things out of many that can go wrong with being an entrepreneur. The Throw-up phase is the period in which majority of the “Wantrepreneurs” quit and go back to full-time employment. More importantly, no entrepreneurs are immune from the Throw-up period. NO ONE, everyone has a story to tell.

The 3rd is the Grow-up Phase. The 3rd phase is the stage that the Suckerfree mentality reaches its highest peak. The Grow-up phase is all about acknowledging the challenges presented within the Throw-up period and comprehending the fact that you survived that period. Now, you have a new-found boost of confidence on attacking your business venture. Nothing will bother you when you are faced with challenges. You are so SuckerFree in the Grow-up Phase.

Over my 15 years of business consulting, it amazes me that these 3 phases of entrepreneurship are still applicable today. I still have clients that exhibit so much confidence when first discussing their business ideas and display exuberance on the anticipated benefits. Then eventually, they schedule another session to discuss how unanticipated events occurred, impacted their business, and eventually quit their entrepreneurial path. Here’s the bad part of these people quitting. They will go to their new job and discourage others from starting a business because of their personal experience. That’s not SuckerFree. On the other hand, I take great pride in consulting the entrepreneurs that endured the Throw-up phase and are within the Grow-up phase.

As mentioned, being SuckerFree is not exclusive to entrepreneurs. If you are an employee, being SuckerFree is having a clear understanding that job security is not what it has been in the past. So in the event of you becoming a victim of a layoff from your job, you are not overly surprised because you SuckerFree. More importantly, you are confident that you are so employable that the task of finding a new job is not a concern. You are convinced that you will be an asset to any organization. Additionally, being Suckerfree is having multiple streams of revenue while you are fully employed. Therefore, in the event of that layoff, you are not too concerned about your household income. So, as an employee you can also be SUCKERFREE!

I would like to focus on one area of being SuckerFree, which has been a major concern in our country today, that is Politics and the election of President #45. The country is literally divided and has concerns on the direction of the country. Political parties are at the ultimate clash on political views. I bring up our political position to make a strong point relating to having a SuckerFree mentality. Folks, being SuckerFree is about understanding that it does not matter who is in office. Neither the President nor the Politicians will have an idea about your dreams, your definition of your success, nor will they provide you with a wakeup call to get up out of bed and attack your goals. Your success depends solely on you and your efforts. Can politics have an impact on you? Perhaps, specific laws can have an impact on you directly. However, it should never stop you from reaching your defined success.

Here’s a personal example of how I implemented my SuckerFree mentality and I didn’t give a damn about what the government was up to. Since 2005, my wife has been dealing with a unique medical condition. In 2005, Pre-Obamacare, we had to make sure we paid our medical premium of approximately $1,200 a month. Back in those days, if you had any discontinuous of medical cover, the insurance company can terminate your policy and would not cover any pre-existing conditions. You can get a new policy, but you had to wait one year later until the policy would cover any pre-existing conditions.

As a full-time entrepreneur, I hustled to make sure we didn’t have any lapse in insurance to ensure my wife health condition would receive the attention needed, despite the premium increasing each year by $100-$200. Now, Obamacare is enacted into law. The main component was it covered pre-existing conditions, which was cool to us. Additionally, it offered a subsidy to help with paying premiums, which sounds nice and may give us a break on our monthly premium. Well we discovered very quickly that we were not qualified for any financial assistance.

Our monthly premium has reached $1,900 a month for the two of us, which I don’t complain about. My wife’s medical condition requires a monthly medication that cost $1,700 alone without any insurance. So with the medication covered along with the doctor visits, I see the monthly premium cost as a discount. Now, we are facing the repeal of Obamacare, which may change the pre-existing condition rule and increase the cost of medical insurance premiums.

Folks, I can honestly say, that I don’t care about the political games being played by our government regarding the healthcare bill. No President or politician will stop me from making sure that my wife’s health comes first. If my premiums reach $3,000, I must make sure my wife is taken care of, which shall serve as the SuckerFree motivation I need to grind and make sure that premium is paid every month. So, I stay SuckerFree by not putting any faith into our government to make sure my household is well maintained.

In Conclusion, people, life is hard. Entrepreneurs, Employees, Moms, Dads and people in general are presented with the challenges that life presents us all with each day. Life tribulations can be mentality draining. We all must come up with methods in which we keep ourselves encouraged in order to overcome life’s inconveniences. This SuckerFree mindset serves as an alternative motivational concept in order for you to attack the daily challenges we all encounter.

So, when your next issue presents itself, evaluate it and say, “I got this cause I’m SuckerFree.”

When they are wondering how you are thriving, you let them know “It is all about being Suckerfree.”

When the naysayers are speaking louder, it does not bother you at all because you are “SuckerFree.”

Lastly, my personal favorite, how are you able to play golf mid-day during the week, “Cause I’m SuckerFree.”

Now go out and show & tell everyone how you are “SuckerFree.”

If you enjoyed this Blog Post, please share with your network. Also, hit me up on twitter @garystephensjr with #suckerfree. It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

#entrepreneurship #smallbusiness #businessstartup #businessowenrs

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