Want to Start Your Own Business?
Here’s What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur
Amidst the current economic climate, job security, or more aptly lack thereof, is at the top of many people’s minds. Workers are hunkering down, just trying to avoid the next round of layoffs, while others have already had their jobs cut.
Got a great business idea? Go for it! (One of the most common factors that keeps entrepreneurs from acting is their own self-doubt!)
But there is another way, and for many it turns out to be more steady, more secure and wildly more rewarding than working for some else, and that is starting a business of their own.
Ironically, while many people are hesitant to start their own business now because of the shaky economy, Americans see entrepreneurs as the answer to the financial crisis, according to a survey by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
"Americans in big numbers are looking to entrepreneurs to rally the economy," said Carl Schramm, president and chief executive officer of the Kauffman Foundation. "More than 70 percent of voters say the
health of the economy depends on the success of entrepreneurs, and a full 80 percent want to see the government use its resources to actively encourage entrepreneurship in America."
Unfortunately, while 49 percent of those surveyed said they saw opportunities for entrepreneurial ideas in the current economy, only 26 percent said they would actually consider starting a business within the next five years.
If you’re thinking of becoming one of them, what do you need to know to succeed?
The 10 Top Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed
- Have a plan. You may think creating a business plan is a waste of time, but this is a big mistake. A business plan maps out, on paper, your goals and how you expect to reach them. It also forces you to think about everything the business will entail and devise solutions ahead of time. Plus, down the road if things feel overwhelming, you can revert back to your business plan to help guide you.
- Don’t quit your day job. One of the most common reasons why new businesses fail is because they run out of money. Keeping your day job means you can start up the business in your free time, and still have a salary to fall back on. On the other hand, if you’ve already lost your job, you can consider getting a bank loan or private investors to help finance your new business.
Get the right attitude. Running your own business means you'll be the one doing the marketing, the producing, the accounting and everything in between, at least for a little while. This means you need to be able to keep your enthusiasm up even when the initial excitement wears off. Personality wise, successful entrepreneurs typically have the following traits:
Know when to seek help. You may be great at marketing and sales, but lack a creative streak. Or you may be an expert networker, but clueless when it comes to accounting. Successful entrepreneurs know their skills AND their limits, and will hire someone (even a high-school student to work a few hours a week) to help fill in the gaps.
- Have a way to manage stress. Starting a new business is exciting … but it’s also stressful. As you focus on your business, make sure to take time out to eat well, sleep, exercise AND tend to your emotional health. To keep stress and anxiety from becoming overwhelming, we at Sixwise.com LOVE Staying Healthy in a Stressful World, the highly praised CD by Dr. Peter Reznik, one of the most respected mind/body integrative therapists of our time. The program will actually help you to embark on a practice for transforming your stress into life-enhancing experiences -- which is an essential skill for every entrepreneur.
Be a Calm and Cool Entrepreneur With “Staying Healthy in a Stressful World”
This complete training program CD will allow you to:
- Identify the Three Major Sources of Stress and embark on a practice for transforming your stress into life-enhancing experiences.
- Choose from a menu of 14 Short Mental Imagery Exercises for addressing such stressors as anger, anxiety, disappointment, guilt, regret, sadness, decision-making and more.
- Learn and practice the Physical Stress Buster series, designed for use right at your desk.
- Use the Mind-Body Progressive Relaxation to shift gears, replenish your energy, and increase your vitality and clarity of mind.
- Be willing to take risks. Well-calculated risks are essential for every new business owner, and you must be willing to take them in order to succeed.
- Expect to work. It’s common for business owners to work long hours … much longer than when they were employed. The upside is that all of your hard work is for your own business, not someone else’s. However, be prepared to burn the midnight oil if you want your business to get off the ground (especially if you’re still working full-time in the meantime).
- Get a support group. A trusted group of mentors who have succeeded at their own start-ups will be invaluable for you as a new business owner. Go to them whenever you have a question, or when you’re second-guessing yourself. At the same time, be sure to avoid spending time with people who project negativity on to your ideas.
- Don’t give up. You can expect to make mistakes and hit a few setbacks along the way, but keep your chin up. The difference between a successful entrepreneur and a failed one is often a matter of simple perseverance.
- Go for it. The only way to become a successful entrepreneur is to get out there and do it. So stop trying to talk yourself out of it (or letting some else talk you out of it) and start following your instincts and letting your confidence shine through. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, be sure to read the remarkable story of Cliff Young, a former farmer who is still being talked about for something he did more than two decades ago.
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Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation October 1, 2008
Youngentrepreneur.com February 6, 2008
CNNMoney.com January 10, 2007
CNNMoney.com May 2, 2006