Startup Advice

Gary Vaynerchuk on why entrepreneurs must focus in on their own desires

Emma Koehn /

Too many aspiring company founders are “crippled by fear”, says serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, but the key to finding a way forward is to focus on yourself for once.

In a rallying cry on his blog this week, Vaynerchuk reflects on the number of people who approach him on the street, trying to emulate him and an “entrepreneurial life” instead of actually taking a step back and thinking about what they actually like and the mark them want to make.

“This is clearly the golden era for entrepreneurship. Nowadays people come up to me in the streets and ask for selfies. This will go away. It may not go away for me, but it’s gonna go away. Entrepreneurship, just like being a rap artist, or a baseball player, or a heavyweight boxer 50 years ago is having its moment,” he writes.

Just because entrepreneurship is flavour of the month, doesn’t mean everyone has to launch a business, he says. However, too often he finds people talking about the ‘hustle’ or working long days, instead of actually discussing the impact they’d like their activities to have.

“The advice I have is to find what your north star is, to understand yourself, to understand what your work/life balance and ambitions are … you can’t listen to anybody else. You need to listen to yourself and do you,” he says.

If you’re going to come up with a great idea and execute it, Vaynerchuk says there’s really only one thing you need to take control of: the fear that what you actually want to do doesn’t line up with what others expect from you.

“So many of you are ultimately crippled by fear. By what other people think of you. You’re not defining your wants and needs because you’re not in control,” he says.

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Emma Koehn

Emma Koehn is a former senior journalist at SmartCompany.

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