Are you a creator? Do you hate the idea of working for others? If so, you have the itch for entrepreneurship.
The first step towards being a successful entrepreneur is taking action.
We’ve all thought of it, but it takes a certain mental makeup to act on those thoughts. There’s no road map to success when starting your own business – you’re blazing your own path.
If you’re excited by that opportunity, you could be missing out on your entrepreneurial potential by letting the fear of uncertainty hold you back.
It took me many years to start my business, and although it’s a lot of work, I enjoy the process of creation.
If you’re on the fence because you’re afraid to be an entrepreneur, don’t worry – we’re about to take a closer look to see what all the fuss is about.
The Importance of Entrepreneurship
Where would we be without entrepreneurs? These people are the trailblazers of innovation; the engineers of ingenuity; the bold and the daring – willing to risk it all to build their own destiny.
Entrepreneurs use their creativity to provide value to the public. To do this, they incur costs to pay people’s salaries, use other companies’ products, and buy or rent space to establish their mark on the world.
When the operation builds steam, the revenue brings investment opportunities. This, in turn, requires other companies’ products and helps pay people’s salaries, and on it goes.
In America, our economy depends on these entrepreneurs to continue building, investing, spending, and earning in order to keep the system functioning correctly.
Without entrepreneurs, our world would lack many of the luxuries we enjoy on a daily basis.
Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. To be successful, most people need to have passion, luck, and foresight.
It’s estimated that about 90% of new businesses fail in the first 5 years. Here are some traits that will help you become a successful entrepreneur:
Know Your End-Goal, Product, and Competition
Before going into business, it’s wise to maintain a holistic perspective. Take a couple of minutes to think about what space you’ll be carving out in the economy.
Maybe you’re passionate about making chocolate candy. Before you start producing candy, think about what your ideal future-state looks like. Do you want to only produce candy? Will you distribute it yourself? Will you be global or regional? If you can’t imagine what you’re shooting for, how will you ever reach your goal?
To thrive in a competitive market, you need to know what value you’re providing to customers and how you’ll differentiate yourself from your competitors. If you can master your product/service, you’ll be adept at responding to your customers’ needs and taking advantage of your competition’s weaknesses.
Be Receptive to Feedback, but Drown Out the Noise
There’s a difference between taking honest feedback and letting people’s negative opinions weigh you down. The key is focusing on the things that are meant to be constructive and not destructive.
Creating a great product or service takes more than a great idea. Many times, the product ends up being far different from what the entrepreneur originally intended.
Finding people who will give you good, honest feedback is absolutely necessary. Just make sure you don’t waste your time or energy on the people who just want to hold you back.
Make Your Business a Priority
It’s tough enough balancing a social life and a full-time job. In fact, many entrepreneurs will work on their business while holding down a day job (the social life goes out the window at that point).
Money can be tight, but there’s a solution to that problem. Since many businesses struggle to make money in the early stages, it helps to be able to pay the bills while the business develops. Additionally, the cash from the full-time job can fund the businesses’ expenses and help it grow.
Want to become an entrepreneur? Think about whether you’d need to also work a full-time job while starting up. If so, could you balance those demands?
Operate With a Healthy Fear of Failure
As an entrepreneur, you should know that competition is fierce and failure is not only possible – it’s likely.
There are three ways to handle this.
An unhealthy fear of failure paralyzes an entrepreneur, because failure is imminent. On the other extreme, being indifferent to failure shows a lack of passion, which also dooms the business.
A healthy fear of failure keeps an entrepreneur on their toes; it inspires them to improve their product and research the customer and competition as much as possible.
It’s difficult to succeed as an entrepreneur. Keeping that in mind can be a powerful driving force.
Find Solutions, Not Excuses
The keys to entrepreneurship are:
• Identifying a problem that people are having
• Coming up with a cost-effective solution for that problem
Sounds simple enough, right? The truth is that those two aspects are just the beginning.
On the road of entrepreneurship, problems pop up at every turn. The difference between your regular 9-5 job and owning your own company is that no one is there to solve problems for you.
No matter what obstacles you encounter, look to find solutions – not excuses. That’s advice that every aspiring entrepreneur should hear.
Regardless of how much you’ve learned in a classroom, nothing can truly simulate what it’s like putting your money and reputation on the line for your own business.
Building something from scratch takes an incredible amount of time and effort. When things go wrong, will you keep fighting? How do you respond to adversity?
You can put together the greatest game plan in the world, but when things go off the rails, it’s the resilient entrepreneurs that are still standing at the end of the day.
Many people daydream of owning their own business while sitting in traffic on their way to a job they hate. Have you had these thoughts as well?
If you’d like to learn more about entrepreneurship, make the most of your time. Here are some well-known podcasts you can listen to on that commute:
Mixergy: Get inside the mind of thought leaders who’ve created different types of wildly successful businesses.
Dorm Room Tycoon: Learn the ins-and-outs of how to build a successful startup.
StartUp: Listen to one man’s story about what it’s really like to start a business.
Don’t look back in 20 years wishing you would have taken action sooner!
All opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of Home at 30 and are in no way affiliated with any other organization or institution. The purpose of this blog is to give general education and information about investing, wealth, careers, and college; It is not intended to be professional advice.
Author: Josh Ramos
After earning an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Master of Arts in Management at Wake Forest University, Josh has paid off over $110k in student loan debt in 4 years. By founding Home at 30, Josh wants to help you make the most of college, build a successful career, and achieve financial independence.