Want to Become an Entrepreneur?

On 12/20/2011, in Business, Entrepreneurship, by Jordan Wilson

Many individuals want to become entrepreneurs and/or run their own small business.

The idea of not having to (figuratively) punch a clock each day and put up with an idiot boss is an attractive concept.

Plus with tough economic conditions in much of the world, jobs are scarce. Owning a business may be one of the few options you have to generate income.

But running a small business is not the easiest endeavour. 

Entrepreneurship Is Not Easy

Entrepreneurship is not a nine to five life.

Managing your own small business takes a lot of hard work with a high amount of financial risk and stress. There is initially low to negative cash flow, so you may need to finance the business and your personal expenses from savings for a period. The success rate for entrepreneurs tends to be low. And usually more than a modicum of luck is required to prosper.

While being an entrepreneur can have many rewards, make certain you understand what needs to be done before embarking on the path.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Regardless of what you do in life – education, career, personal life, etc. – you always need to develop a game plan.

One that is well thought out and addresses all aspects of your endeavour from cradle to grave. One with contingencies built in for the unforeseen situations that always seem to arise.

The more experience you gain in life, the easier it is to plan.

But what do you do if you lack experience? Perhaps you are just starting out.

Model the Behaviour of Successful Entrepreneurs

Model the behaviour of those that do have the experience. Those that have been successful in the area in which you wish to enter.

The people you choose do not have to be Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Robin Li, or Azim Premji. Although they are not bad figures to model.

You can pattern yourself after the person down the street who runs a well-managed, profitable restaurant/engineering firm/plumbing company/etc. A relative (preferably not an uncle or friend’s uncle though) who runs a  his or her small business.

Or look at a combination of people. Any tips as to how they became successful are worth learning and possibly copying.

Read books and articles about the individuals you want to emulate.

Listen to webcasts or online interviews. Attend their public meetings or appearances.

Some investors buy single shares in Berkshire Hathaway. Just for the opportunity to attend the company’s Annual General Meeting and listen to Warren Buffet in person.

Talk to Successful Entrepreneurs

If possible, speak with successful business people.

In my experience, successful people are happy to speak with young entrepreneurs.

Make sure you are respectful and do not monopolize their time. And above all, be prepared.

If you ask well-thought questions and show that you are serious, successful business people will be more willing to take time for you. But if you cannot even take the time to do your own research, why should someone else waste precious minutes on you?

Do not just learn from successful business people. You can also learn a fair bit from those who have made mistakes or done badly. In fact, some of the best lessons in life can be learned from your own mistakes and in watching the problems (and resolutions) of others.

Study a Variety of Guides to Success

Hopefully this blog provides insights into how to become better in different areas.

And in today’s electronic world, information on any topic is only a click away.

Be a human sponge. This is your career path. Every additional piece of knowledge you accrue might be the difference between success and failure. So do not shortchange yourself.

Some information is good, some less so, and some poor. As you develop more experience, you will better be able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Or, if you are like my nephew, over time you will develop a taste for chaff.

Next up, 10 specific tips for entrepreneurial success.


1 Response » to “Want to Become an Entrepreneur?”

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