There’s an old saw lingering out there that goes something like this:
“Everybody wants to go to heaven…but nobody wants to die.”
It’s been around for a long time, and has made its way into song lyrics and book titles, but it speaks to a fundamental truth: while we all want to prevail at the most extraordinary of things, it seems that few among us is really inclined to do what it takes to succeed at them.
My guess is that Todd Wagner is a big believer in the idea that “everybody wants to go to heaven…but nobody wants to die.”
Wagner is an Internet business success of the first order. Back in the 1990’s, he ran AudioNet, which would later become Broadcast.com, with Mark Cuban. When the company went public in 1998, it made Wagner and Cuban billionaires, and still loads more money was made when Yahoo acquired the company in 1999 for the princely sum of $5.7 billion.
In a terrific, easy-to-read article over at CNBC.com, Wagner says that there are two questions that aspiring entrepreneurs should ask themselves to see if they really have what it takes to become genuine successes at their chosen ventures.
Question #1: Are you prepared to quit your day job?
To clarify, the question isn’t asking if you’re prepared to quit your day job after you have spent time testing your venture as a “nights and weekends” kind of thing; what’s being asked is, once you decide what it is you want to do as an entrepreneur, are you prepared to quit your job there and then, and apply yourself fully to your endeavor.
To Wagner, if the answer to that question is “No,” then you don’t have what it takes to succeed.
Question #2: Are you willing to invest substantial sums of your own money to get the new business off the ground?
If your answer to this question is “No,” as well, then, again, you don’t have what it takes, according to Wagner. In order to get AudioNet going, Wagner cashed in his savings and 401(k), and dumped all the dough into his startup.
To be clear, Todd Wagner is not saying that there’s no such thing as a successful part-time business. He’s just saying that, in his learned opinion, a part-time income is all that will be realized if a person is not willing to make the tough choices necessary to see his or her venture through in a way that gives it the best chance of achieving bona fide success.
I heartily encourage you to check out the article.
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