Many people believe we are born entrepreneurs. Although some are, I absolutely know entrepreneurship can be taught. I have been an entrepreneur since 1986. When I started out, I had no background in being self -employed. As I look back on a 27 year career, there are some things I have learned along the way that shortened my learning curve.
Steps Every Entrepreneur Must Go Through
A Strong WHY (reason) To Become An Entrepreneur: Your WHY will be the launching pad that moves you into action and will get you through challenges you face along the way. I had been an employee prior to having our first child. As many young parents find, once that beautiful baby is put in your arms, you want to spend every possible moment with them. I had never really thought about becoming an entrepreneur, until I went back to work after my maternity leave. Although I was very much career minded, the desire to be with our children was stronger than my desire to move up in the corporate world. Many people will feel this same emotion, but allow the pressures and fears to determine their decisions about work. They end up sacrificing the time they could spend with their children because of fear, limiting beliefs and not realizing they have a choice.
When I train people one of the most important things I teach is to tap into your WHY….the REASON you want to start your business. (in my case my WHY was being home with our children) When you are committed to your WHY, do not let anything get in the way of that. Make every single decision based on your WHY. If decisions do not support your WHY then you are making the wrong decision, which is usually based on fear.
Idea: Every entrepreneur goes through the idea stage. Very often the idea is formed from seeing a problem area that needs a solution. This can come from being an employee and seeing things done in the wrong way, and recognizing and developing a better way. It can also come from being a consumer looking for something that doesn’t exist. Another way, is having a passion for something that you want to make your life work…..you find creating ideas in this area easy because it is what you are passionate about. Either way, the idea is formed. The key in business, is to do something you absolutely believe in and have a passion for. Then it doesn’t feel like work.
Be Willing To Take Risks: Something every entrepreneur must understand, is learning to take risks. It is part of being self-employed. The alternative is to work your entire life with ideas inside you that are never acted upon because you are too afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk. Playing it safe in life is how society has been conditioned to think. Taking a step to become self-employed means being willing to step out of the norm and accepting that risk is simply part of the process.
Capital WILL Be Required: I recently coached a young entrepreneur who has a remarkable idea that will do well in a growing market. She is stalled however because of two things….she is holding on to the security of a paycheck, and doesn’t have the money to invest in inventory that she requires to run her business. Business owners do not “save up” capital to invest. Business owners understand that capital will be required, and then decide where they are going to raise that capital – banks, investors, credit unions, loans, line of credit, etc. Anyone that thinks they can start a business without capital is thinking from an employee mindset. Even something as basic as a hot dog vendor needs to have the bbq, and food they will offer at the hot dog stand. That requires capital.
Develop the MINDSET of an Entrepreneur: The mindset of an entrepreneur is very different than that of an employee. Entrepreneurs are willing to go against the grain, take risks, be different, set goals, make powerful, bold decisions that move towards the goal, and then take action consistently for as long as it takes.
Commitment to Continued Learning: Many people in society think it is up to employers to pay for their training. Reading, seminars, conferences, audios, masterminding, mentorship, are all ways to continue learning. Entrepreneurs take full responsibility for and invest in continued learning. Change is constant, and you must continue to learn and grow and be ready to implement change when necessary. This is necessary regardless of whether you are an employee or are self-employed. Continue to learn and grow….take it on as your own personal responsibility, and realize that change is part of life….you can be a victim of change, or can be ready to embrace it when the time comes.
Be Solution Oriented: Challenges will come up. Know that there is always a solution of some sort and don’t allow yourself to get derailed. Stay calm, and learn to ask yourself better questions. When you learn to ask yourself better questions during a challenge, you will see things from a different perspective. You will see new options and solutions that you wouldn’t see if you were frustrated.
If you are considering becoming a business owner, realize that you will have to make changes in your thinking, you will have to take risk, you will have to raise capital, be solution oriented, take full responsibility, continue to learn and grow to become the leader you are capable of. It isn’t always easy, but in comparison to being an employee building someone else’s dream, there is nothing more fulfilling.
- 10 Important Personal Characteristics of Entrepreneurs (hiscoxusa.com)
- Can we nurture a new generation of entrepreneurs? (hiscoxusa.com)