Monday, March 7, 2011

How to be an Entrepreneur, are you ready to be one?

Are You Ready to Be an Entrepreneur?
Welcome to the wonderful world of entrepreneurship, one of the leading global trends. What an exciting opportunity to explore your creativity, be your own boss, and build a little gold mine - you hope. It is an exciting challenge,a whole new world of doors and knowledge opening for you. If you do it right,being self-employed can be the most rewarding experience of your life. It's hard work though, taking commitment, dedication, constant learning,and persistence to succeed.

With the proliferation of home-based businesses over the last few years, some believe that you can sit in your pajamas and make a bundle. That idea is a fallacy. Whether you are home-based oroperate out of a storefront, being your own boss requires you to take your business seriously and work to maintain disciplined routines and deadlines. The failure rate for small businesses is high - in the first few years, it is as much as 80 to 90 percent. The first two years are traditionally the most difficult. You have to establish a client base, an effective marketing plan, viable products or services, and a reputation within your community. This all takes time and patience. So where do you start? Take a look at what is involved in being an entrepreneur so you can better assess whether or not you are ready.

When you read about entrepreneurs who are considered successful, they don't talk about money as the focus of their success. Instead, they talk about achieving a balance in their lives, freedom, passion, happiness, excitement, achieving goals, helping others, hard work, and focus.

What is an entrepreneur?

Dictionaries describe an entrepreneur as "a person who starts or organizes a business company, especially one involving risk." These days, we tend to associate entrepreneur more with a person striking out on his or her own,usually equating the word with a successful venture. A successful entrepreneur is not a particular type of person, but someone with a well-rounded combination of talents that enables the business to progress. Some people thrive on the challenge, and some have a natural aptitude for business.

Others study hard, take courses, and read extensively. A true entrepreneur will have a passion for business and an unquenchable desire to learn, absorb, explore, and grow. Anyone can be self-employed, but it takes a certain type to fulfill the true entrepreneurial requirements. An entrepreneur will have, or will develop, some or all of these qualities.

Eight Essential Entrepreneurial Traits:

Do you have a real entrepreneurial spirit?, if you have at least four traits from the following, then you have what it takes to become a successful one. Now, are you:
  1. A risk-taker: Usually taking calculated risks, entrepreneurs will not hesitate to seize the moment and run with their intuition.
  2. A decision-maker: The word "procrastination" does not exist in an entrepreneurial vocabulary. They are comfortable with their decisions and know where they are going.
  3. A dream-maker: Entrepreneurs have their dreams and are aggressive at making those dreams become reality. They don't say "I wish," but instead "I will."
  4. A visionary: Instead of looking just one step ahead, entrepreneurs can visualize the whole big picture, both now and in the future.
  5. Driven: Because they have a vision and a dream, entrepreneurs are usually driven and motivated people who let nothing stand in the way of their goals.
  6. Passionate: Consumed as entrepreneurs are by their dreams, passion plays a large part in making their dreams become reality. You can feel the passion radiate from a true entrepreneur.
  7. Confident: Entrepreneurs know where they are going and why, and are confident that they will succeed.
  8. Energized: Full of drive and motivated by their dreams, entrepreneurs usually have an abundance of energy and thrive on seeing each step of their dream take them closer to a reality.
Do you have what it takes?

As you research your business, review these traits and assess whether your business idea generates these feelings in you. If you choose the right business, you should feel passionate and driven to succeed. Having the dream is key, but if you are a procrastinator or not comfortable in making decisions or in taking calculated risks, perhaps you are not cut out to be an entrepreneur. Now is the time to admit to your challenges and decide how you can overcome them.

A true entrepreneur loves to continually learn and grow. It takes a dedicated person to handle the successful start-up and running of a business, but it's well worth the effort. The rewards of doing it yourself are bountiful. You will gain self-confidence, knowledge, and emotional satisfaction. If you love what you are doing and do it well, you will be motivated to persist toward your future goals.

Why Are You Starting Your Own Business?

Self-employment did not evolve in the last century; it is the way people have survived and made money almost since the beginning of time. Small and micro businesses constitute a huge percentage of American - and global - businesses. When times get tough and the word "recession" emerges - in other words, they are forced to make their own. There is usually an increase in self-employment as people can't find a job.

As words such as "layoff," "downsize," "capsize," "pint-size," and "reorganize"resound around corporate walls, they all mean the same thing in plain English: "You're fired!" "You're redundant," or "We aren't hiring." People tend to take the skills they have developed over the years to start a business,but sometimes, they are starting in a far from ideal climate. As the world constantly changes, so do the reasons for business start-ups. The increase in technology and Internet-based businesses means that now millions of workers are telecommuting, working at home, moonlighting in a second part-time business, or struggling in their first endeavor. If you start your business for the right reasons, you are on your way to success. But some start for the wrong reasons, making it a difficult road. People starting up out of desperation risk making hasty decisions. Some are just not suited to self-employment.

Some have spent many years working for one employer, feeling stressed, unmotivated, and depressed, and view self-employment as a solution to all their problems. Some find themselves needing an immediate income replacement when they are often tired and burnt-out. What they really need is a good long rest with time to research their new venture thoroughly. If you are in a similar situation, please proceed with caution. Others may not be used to decision-making after decades of working for an employer who did it all for them. Some have no time to take the necessary courses needed to expand their knowledge. The two most important steps - preparing a proper business plan and thoroughly researching the market - are often not taken, and they jump in with both feet without first checking the depth of the water. Let's face it, there's no easy way to make money. Business means hard work, diligence, patience, and careful planning. That doesn't mean you shouldn't start your own business, but it does mean you must think about what lies ahead. Most important of all, consult professionals for advice.

The following list of questions helps you determine why you are starting your business. Carefully analyze why you are exploring self-employment. The first eight reasons on this list can create difficulty for you if you are thinking of starting your business to solve these problems. Be sure your reasons are the right ones and that you have the emotional stamina, sufficient financial resources, knowledge, and time that this venture requires:
  1. I need more money; my wages don't stretch far enough.
  2. I am depressed because I cannot find a job.
  3. My work situation is unbearable - my boss doesn't appreciate me.
  4. I was laid off and feel that I am ready to be my own boss.
  5. I am tired of working for an incompetent boss.
  6. I can better organize my family life by working at home.
  7. I have to care for my aging parents at home.
  8. I want to be my own boss. I'm tired of working for one.
  9. I can start a technology-based business at home.
  10. I retired early and have the funds and time to explore this option.
  11. I have the experience and time to research this thoroughly.
  12. I have the skills, time, passion and money to start a business.

The Downside of Self-Employment

People who make time to take an in-depth course on self-employment and business management significantly increase their chances of success. The new business that is thrown together on a hope and a dream without being thoroughly researched, or that started without enough working capital, could sadly become a failure statistic.

When economies experience a downturn, self-employment usually increases as people look to making their own job to survive when they can't find a traditional one. As economies stabilize, self-employment often decreases. In good economic times, those finding the entrepreneurial road a bumpy one return to the workforce and a regular paycheck.

Who do you think suffers from a failed business? Not just the family, but the whole economy. A failed business means fewer dollars circulating in the local, state, and national economy, with suppliers left with bad debts that they can ill afford. Business failure is often the cause of divorce, so the more you are aware of what you are up against, the better armed you will be.

Source: Business for Beginners and various.
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