- a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
So you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. Awesome! Running your own business can be fun and bring much fulfillment to your life. However, it comes at a great cost. Not only is there a lot of work involved, but there is also a lot of risks. It takes some grit, some business savvy, connections, and resilience. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Here I will discuss some key characteristics required in being an entrepreneur.
Did I say it won’t be easy? Starting and running a business of your own is a lot of work. It will require a lot of self- accountability. Whether you sink or swim will largely depend on you. Discipline is a key skill that takes practice to master. It is easy to go into work every day and be productive when you have a supervisor monitoring your progress. It’s not so easy to remain productive when you are working for yourself with no hard deadlines. You have to get in the habit of being the boss and the employee. You often hear successful entrepreneurs say they have to treat their business like a job – wake up every day, shower, and get dressed just to work at home. Are you disciplined enough to keep yourself on track?
Attention to Detail
When it comes to running your own business you will most likely be fulfilling every position when you first start. The owner, the receptionist, the accountant, the advertiser will all be rolled into the job of the owner – YOU! Few people are able to hire a full staff when they first start a business. Managing all of these different roles can be quite time consuming, not to mention you still have to manage your household.
Because you will be doing the bulk of the work yourself, it is extremely important to keep organized and have strong attention to detail. Not only will good organization ensure that you successfully complete all tasks on your to-do lists, but it can bring a sense of ease to your mind. Without it, you are likely to feel overwhelmed and like there isn’t enough time in the day. Burnout is common among entrepreneurs and the workload is a key factor. Make it easier on yourself by staying organized.
Simply put, passion will be one of the biggest driving forces on your journey to entrepreneurship. It’s most likely the thing that got you started. There’s no science behind passion. It can’t be taught or trained like discipline. If you lack passion behind your business, you may want to reconsider the idea. Passion is the driving force that keeps you from quitting when times get tough and you forget why you decided to pursue this route in the first place. No passion and no purpose equals no profit.
The main challenge and probably the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is securing start-up funds. While business loans are a possibility they can be hard and timely to acquire. Some people are lucky enough to have savings to invest in their businesses. However, most people are entering with little to no start-up funds. And while you can start a business with a dollar and a dream, you cannot maintain your current bills with just that.
Most businesses do not start out making six or even five figures a year. With that in mind, you’ll want to avoid running out and quitting your job on a whim. Entrepreneurship doesn’t come with health benefits or a pension. So take time to carefully plan your financial logistics. It may be difficult, but it may require you to keep your current job during the beginning stages until you start to turn a livable profit. Be patient.
A Strong Support System
Last but certainly not least, you will need a strong support system as you embark upon this endeavor. Once you decide to become an entrepreneur the road gets tougher before it gets smoother. There will be sleepless nights, profitless days, failures, and triumphs along the way. It can take a serious toll on a person mentally.
Having people around who support you and your business can help lift your spirits on those hard days. Friends and family can also play the role of an accountability partner on those days where you just want to quit. Before you start, reach out to your family and close friends. Let them know you are embarking on a new journey and that you could use any positive reinforcement they can offer.
Entrepreneurship is not easy, so don’t do it on a whim. Be sure to consider where you are in life right now. Think about your family’s needs, your personal needs, and how becoming an entrepreneur will affect all involved parties. Make sure this is something you are mentally, physically, and financially prepared to do.