entrepreneurs and longhairs
In September of last year, I launched my first business. It’s also around that time my hair had grown long enough to tie up.
Coincidence? Maybe not.
When I look back on the past two years of growing out my hair, it’s clear that specific character traits gave me the strength to endure the trials of long hair and now deal with longhair problems.
And when I think about Music for Makers — the royalty-free music business I started last year — I realize many of the same traits have helped me as an entrepreneur.
So through tackling both, I’ve noticed five traits that entrepreneurs and longhairs share. Whether you’re looking to launch your first product, grow a radical mane, or both, these characteristics will guide your path to the promised land.
1. You have a vision and you’re no stranger to commitment
It starts with visualizing a) your goals, and b) what success will look like. And this is arguably the most exciting part. You imagine feeling the freedom of being your own boss and doing what you love every day. You dream about throwing down devastating hair whips.
But the thing is you don’t start a business overnight. It takes time.
The same is true with your hair: it’s the long game. And the vision is what keeps you going when the resistance creeps in.
2. You think differently and may even break a few rules
Generally speaking, today’s society believes men should have short hair.
Longhairs say, “Nah.”
Likewise, the most successful entrepreneurs are open-minded and not afraid to bend or break a few rules — which, honestly, I did with my own business. (I mean, really, who gives royalty-free music away for free?)
Sir Richard Branson said, “You don’t learn to walk by following rules.” Do you think it’s a coincidence he’s both a serial entrepreneur and a longhaired gentleman?
Nope. He understands some of the best things in life result from breaking rules.
As a longhair, you encounter resistance because you’re swimming upstream, going against the grain, breaking rules. But you do it anyway.
3. You’re confident, despite an uncertain future
In your journey of starting a business or growing your hair, there will be people who don’t believe in you. You might struggle to believe in yourself.
But ultimately, you know who you are. And per number one above, you know where you want to go.
You must have a tolerance for ambiguity because you don’t know what the future holds. Your business could fail. You might look goofy with long hair.
But above all, it’s about believing in yourself.
4. You’re driven by an unwavering passion
In entrepreneurship and in growing out your hair, there will be times when things suck.
That’s the reality.
Maybe — after months of hard work — you launch your product to the chirps of crickets. Perhaps your hair seems to be growing at the imperceptible pace of a glacier.
What separates you from the rest is what you do next: you don’t give up. You keep fighting.
In The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators, author, entrepreneur, and former Longhair Chris Brogan writes, “What you don’t do is surrender. You might retreat occasionally, but you don’t give up.”
Entrepreneurs and longhairs share this tendency for tenacity and resilience. After getting knocked down, they bounce back with more determination, not less. Persistence precedes success.
Whether you’re talking about building a business or avoiding the scissors — it’s not easy. If it were, everyone would do it.
5. You seek help when you need it
Confession: I tend to want to tackle entire projects by myself. But that’s not practical. In fact, it’s counterproductive because I’m never going to be fully competent in every conceivable area.
For example, I’m not a developer. So if I want to build an app, I must talk to one. Otherwise, I don’t even know where to begin.
And there’s no shame in that. The entrepreneurs who realize they need help are more likely to succeed.
The same is true for long hair — especially if you, like me, have never grown your hair out before. No one ever explained to me the nuances of growing long hair.
At least not until I joined the Longhairs.
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Are you trying to tackle your first business? Are you in the process of growing out your hair? Are you already a long-haired man-preneur?
Tell me about it and let’s rap in the comments below.