I was cooking dinner and overheard a funny conversation on the TV that first made me laugh, and then made me think a little. Funny as it sounds, I got the inspiration for this blog post from SpongeBob SquarePants…. What? Yes, you heard me – SpongeBob – LOL!
My children were watching SpongeBob in the other room and I heard this short conversation: SpongeBob “We need to be entrepreneurs” Patrick: “Is it gonna hurt? This made me laugh a little and then got me thinking more about actually being an entrepreneur myself and if people are really scared about taking the journey to own their own business.
Starting your own business is full of unknowns and possibilities. It can be scary and overwhelming for many people. Others seem to just jump right in with both feet and no plan. Taking this big step or leap of faith can look different for different people. Some are young and have nothing to lose and tons to gain. They have the tenacity and gumption to continue no matter what obstacles get in their way. Others have a family to consider, mortgages to pay and children to raise. These items put a whole new level of thought into whether to start a new business or not.
What does it take to be an entrepreneur?
There are a few attributes that an entrepreneur should possess to be successful. These alone do not make a great business owner, they are just a few items to consider when you are contemplating the risks and ideas.
Take Risks – Taking risks is easier for some than others. As a business owner, you need to be ready and willing to take risks to start, grow, and develop your company and team. Risks do not stop when you make that first decision to go ahead with the great idea you have and start your business. They come up throughout your journey as a business owner as well. When to grow, expand, try something new, fire the clients that cause you grief, hire employees, and more. A great risk can be worth the reward you have the potential to gain~
Motivation – You really need to be motivated to start your own business, as well as find ways to re-motivate yourself from time to time. Motivation can come from many areas. Think about what motivates you and keep that thought in your head to keep you going when things get stagnant or you hit rough patches. Are you motivated to just be your own boss, spend more time with family, make more money, travel, or just to help others? Motivation helps keep you going even through the tough times.
Optimistic – You must believe in yourself and your business to succeed. See that even in the hard times, you can see a new path to reach your goal. Be optimistic that things will get better, and you will find a way to excel. Seeing the future in a positive way always help you reach your goal. No matter the situation or problem, there is always a solution.
Staying optimistic with little or no support can be a challenge. As hard as it is to accept, there may be people in your life that you love that may not see your vision or support your dreams. It doesn’t mean they don’t want you to be happy, they just don’t have the same entrepreneurial bug. They are comfortable working for someone else and need the security of a steady paycheck. They just can’t comprehend any other way of living. Understanding this and keeping your optimistic and enthusiastic mindset will help you continue on to success.
Be Persistent / Don’t Give Up – At times, you may think of giving up or throwing in the towel. If you really believe in what you are doing, be persistent and keep trekking through to success. Don’t give up when you hit a bump in the road. You will never reach the destination if you keep stopping along the way.
Creative – Always look for new ways to make things easier and better. Come up with new ideas or find alternative solutions. This is your business to run the way YOU want to run it. Yes, there are certain business standards that every business needs. But the rest is up to you to do what you want and what suits your needs best to run the best business you can.
Never Stop Learning – We all know that things never stay the same. There is always new information to learn. Software being developed that could benefit you and your business. Staying abreast with the latest training and even the latest laws and regulations is always beneficial so you don’t stunt the growth of your company or get in legal trouble.
“One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Decisive – Procrastination in business could be a costly mistake at times. You may need to make decisions quickly in order to be successful, not let opportunities pass you by, and be able to get the job done on a timely basis.
Alternatively, some decisions require time to make. Making a smart decision sometimes requires time and research to gain needed information in order to make the right decision. Make decisions based on your experience, knowledge, and expertise. And if you don’t know, don’t be afraid to find an expert in law or finance to help guide you in your business.
Flexible – Being willing to change directions as needed will help keep you on the right path (or change course if needed). Don’t shy away from challenges or conflicts. Approach things with an open mind and know how to solve problems. Plans don’t always play out the way you hope.
Give Back – Giving back to those that support you is a great way to show you care and appreciate them. Doing a little extra for your clients, employees or suppliers can really keep working relationships on a great level. People like to work hard if they are appreciated.
You can give back in different ways. Bonuses, company parties or retreats, training and helping them advance their knowledge to grow in the company. This last one benefits both you and your employee. They gain more knowledge and you gain a better employee. Making life better off for both.
Passion – Many people speak of passion as being one of the most important characteristics. In an interview with The Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program, the late Apple founder Steve Jobs said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
For some, it is really hard to find your passion. What if your passion in life is to be a great mom and wife? How can you honestly earn a living with this as your passion?
I never really had a passion for bookkeeping. However, after having our first child, my husband and I decided that I would quit my job and stay home. After a few months, we began to miss my income so I started a bookkeeping business. With several years of knowledge and on the job experience, it seemed like the perfect way to be able to work from home and earn a little extra money. This business started in 2004 and is still running successfully. I paired my passion (staying home to raise children) with expertise (bookkeeping) to meet in the middle and enable my passion to stay a reality.
On the other hand, sometimes you are lucky enough to fall into a field or idea that you really excel at. You can love what you do on a daily basis. Making work seem less like work and your day to day life more enjoyable and make earning money a real pleasure.
Passion does lend itself for more success, it helps you work harder and really enjoy your work.
Now you’re asking – how do I find my passion? Try thinking about what you would do, how would you spend your time, if you didn’t have the concern of income? What could you do for several years without getting paid? As your friends and family what they think you are good at? It may take some time to find, but it will come to you when the time is right.
Do you have the entrepreneurial bug? Do you have what it takes to take your dreams to the next level? If you do and have several of the attributes mentioned above, you may want to take a serious look at starting your own business. If you do, I wish you much success and happiness!