Rarely does a week go by that I don’t get asked the question, “How do you become an entrepreneur?” The short answer is there is no, “one-size-fits-all” way to becoming an entrepreneur. There are many paths to becoming self-employed. The question that should be asked is, “How do I take my ideas and build a profitable business that brings real value to others?”
Now when I talk about entrepreneurs in this post, I am referring to people who don’t need or want venture capital funding, bank loans, or angel investors to launch their business idea. I am not talking about the Silicon Valley or Wall Street type here. I will save that for another post. I am referring to people who are interested in a lifestyle business and unconventional work-lifestyles. In addition, the income they generate from their business allows them to live their ideal life whether it be more time with their loved ones, travelling the world, or spending more time on philanthropic desires. Whatever the case may be, the point is they want their FREEDOM and they want it on their terms, not someone else’s.
The Shift To Becoming An Entrepreneur
Everywhere I go and everywhere I look, I see a shift happening in the way people are working, living, and playing. There is a great convergence happening between work-life and home-life and people are starting to build businesses around the lives they envision for themselves and their families. This has all been made possible by emerging technologies, sluggish economy and bad bosses. I’ve been living/working this way for over a decade now and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. I highly recommend the book, The Art Of Non-conformity if you want to learn more about the FREEDOM of working for yourself. I started and sold my first internet-based business in the late 90’s and the technology tools just keep getting easier to use and more accessible for people to start their own business. Fast-forward to today and there are now dozens of great blogs on entrepreneurship. Pamela Slim over at Escape From Cubicle Nation is one of my all-time favorite blogs.
We all know that startup business failure rates are high. Very high. The odds are stacked greatly against the entrepreneur. My mission is to change that. That is why my software company, Hware LLC., has been working diligently for many months now on building a software productivity tool to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals. In addition, I’ve come up with a few questions to help you assess whether or not you have the fundamental characteristics of becoming an entrepreneur. If you answer yes to most of these questions then congratulations, you are off to a good start.
Are You Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur?
- Do you have a lot of ideas floating around in your head for a product or service?
- Do you hate working for someone else?
- Do you have a high tolerance for taking risks?
- Are you highly self-motivated or a self-starter?
- Do you like doing things “your way” versus following someone else’s vision?
- Are you passionate about serving others or making their lives better with your idea?
- Do you love self-expression or leaving your mark?
- Can you prioritize your activities and be focused?
- Do you have high energy?
- Are you influential?
- Are you confident in your own abilities?
- Can you overcome your own fears and insecurities?
- Do you like the idea of building something that you can be proud of?
- Do you value your time and freedom over a “safe and consistent paycheck?”
- Do you have savings and a low cost of living or other sources of income while you are in startup mode?
- Do you have the capital to start your business?
- Can you delay gratification?
- Are you persistent and can you persevere when things don’t go as planned?
- Do you know how to put a basic business plan together and execute upon it?
- Are you a DIY (do-it-yourself)?
- Are you opportunistic?
- Are you innovative?
- Are you a specialist or have a specific skill set?
- Can you delegate?
- Can you let go of being in control and outsource?
- Do you have excellent follow-through?
- Can you set strong boundaries and remove distractions?
- Do you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish with your idea?
- Do you have a deep understanding of who you are trying reach?
- If your vision calls for scaling a business, can you build a team?
- Do you understand the importance of putting systems in place?
- Do you have a strong support structure of friends and family?
Well, how did you do? Let me know if these questions helped you start digging a bit deeper about becoming an entrepreneur or at least start thinking a little more realistically about starting that business. I’d love to hear your comments below.