by: Devin Robinson
The First Rule of Entrepreneurship: Don’t seek handouts. If you get one, it’s a blessing. But it shouldn’t be a part of your strategy. As noble as handouts may seem, it cripples progress in ways the naked non-economic eye can’t see. I know. There are struggling entrepreneurs out there who often need that free assistance to take them to the next level, and those who actually are able to capitalize on that help is rare.
Part of the journey to success is understanding your weaknesses, beliefs and the truth about you. I’m not speaking condescendingly. I had to do the exact same thing before I was able to fix my toxic truths and get success into my possession. Sometimes these truths are hurtful, hard to hear and painful to swallow. But one thing I know is, the greatest pain in my life turned out to become the greatest gain of my life. So as I list the reasons why you must immediately stop seeking handouts, I hope you’re able to grasp what hinders you in your life and what can be done so you can rise.
Here are the 7 things handouts do:
1. It wastes time – Make an announcement that something is free and you get tons of people to show up. Amongst the crowd you will find a slew of them who don’t even care about what’s being offered. All they care about is its “freeness”. They show up, pretend to be interested and engaged, take it and never use it again. You may be the same way and never noticed. Companies work overtime with less profitable returns simply because they make so many things free hoping it contributes to their bottom line. It rarely does. It contributes to data collecting and then more energy has to be put into soliciting those free riders. What it DOES contribute to is the mindset of the consumer, who sometimes has entrepreneurship desires, that free is good. When things are free, we rarely investigate if it’s worth our time. We just go get it. Hence, we find ourselves wasting our time with help that may not even be beneficial to us. When you’re required to pay, you investigate… less time wasted showing up.
2. It robs money circulation – This is self-explanatory. Whoever is helping you, most likely paid for their knowledge through training or experience. When you take from them, the economic circulation stops.
3. It’s bad business karma – Why would you expect to get something for free that contributes to you making a sale? Doesn’t make sense.
4. It sends you the wrong message – Who you approach then, looks at you as a taker. Truth is successful people or agencies like to work with serious people who understand the importance of funding their own success. They may not say it to you, but you blemish your entrepreneurial image when you ask for a handout.
5. It slows your progress – Like wasting your time, it could possibly waste the time of the person helping you. How? People pay for what they are passionate about; even the brokest person. When you don’t pay, or aren’t willing to pay, your quest subliminally becomes an interest, not a passion.
6. You’re allowed not to perform at your best self – Our back is against the wall when poverty is a possibility. Most people come out fighting. Others accept it while waiting for rescue. Give us a safety net and there is no need to dig deep to fight failure. There is no need to motivate, meditate, innovate, and create when there is a net. Sometimes “no help”, is the best help we can get. You will develop the instinct of a fighter (needed in business), not someone who expects others to help them from business-related wounds.
7. It cheapens the help – When we pay top dollar for something out of our pockets, we cherish that item. We not only cherish it, we ensure it gives us a return. We rarely sit on it.
Because humans instinctually avoid discomfort, we believe when someone provides comfort to us, they care for us. But I have this saying, “The best way to control someone is to give them comfort.” Well, those “someones” are not visionaries, risk-takers or full-blood entrepreneurs. Those are people seeking the easy way out. I know I’m giving you tough love right now but it’s all in truth. If you know your vision is from God and you are bound to succeed, don’t chase the handout. Instead, hand out compensation and fund your own success.