What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?
Starting a business isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be one of life’s greatest experiences, but it is filled with obstacles and potential failure.
Do you have the right mix of leadership, experience, support, planning, and the ability to handle difficult obstacles?
If you already have a good sense of where you fit on the entrepreneurship scale, then maybe you just need help taking the next step.
1. Show me the money!
No doubt about it—you’re entrepreneur material!
You know how to lead a team, have a solid business idea, and know how to handle failure. You understand the value of planning ahead and have a supportive network of friends and family.
Not only that, but you’re in a good financial position, and you have the necessary experience to get your business up and running.
Now is a great time to put together a business plan, and start taking steps to launch your very own business!
Start by writing a business plan. A business plan will help you think through important aspects of your business strategy, so you can increase your odds of success.
2. Partner up
You’re nearly there!
You have a lot of the building blocks in place to be successful, especially with regard to leadership, dealing with failure, and planning ahead.
Your finances might need some work, and your business idea could use some refining. Your experience has given you a great foundation, but you could benefit from someone to push you to the next level.
It’s time to start looking for a partner. Look for someone who has strengths that will balance out your weaknesses, and can add real value to your business. This might be a good friend, a spouse, or a trusted mentor. You might not need an official business partner, but find someone who will be a good sounding board and is willing to join you on your path to starting a business.
3. Find a mentor
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
While you’re excited to become self-employed, you could really use a bit more hands-on learning before you’re ready to jump out on your own. You have a lot of the pieces necessary to be a successful entrepreneur, but you will benefit from a mentor who can share his or her experiences to help you grow.
Take some time to identify a mentor you can trust. A mentor is a teacher—a strategic advisor—that a budding entrepreneur can turn to with questions and get valuable advice, tailored directly to their industry and specific business situation.
4. Hit the books
You’ve got a great spirit, and maybe even a solid business idea. The only problem is that you’re just not quite ready to start your own business.
You’re the essence of untapped potential, and we have no doubt that you’re going to be successful someday. Before that can happen, however, we need an 80’s movie montage that shows you working hard, bulking up, and hitting key milestones (all while a top 40 hit rocks on in the background).
In all seriousness, you need some more education and experience. That could be in the form of an MBA course, but it doesn’t have to be. The net is full of free resources and articles to get you started. You could also take some free online business courses, or simply try starting a much smaller version of your business idea in order to learn what works and what doesn’t.
The point is, you wouldn’t take a long road trip without first looking at a map and planning your route. Think of this as your chance to roll out the map, make a plan, and plot your course.
It’s time to hit the books. Lucky for you, you’re already in the right place. We have a ton of free resources to help you validate your business idea and learn about what it takes to start and successfully grow a business.
5. Don’t quit your day job!
This isn’t easy to say, but you shouldn’t start your own business just yet.
Let’s be clear: we’re not saying to abandon your dream! Your heart is in the right place. It’s just going to take a bit more time before you should step out on your own.
Does that mean you should sit around and feel bad? Not at all!
There are some clear steps you can take to make progress and get yourself ready to start a business. You can work to improve your financial situation. You can actively develop skills as a leader. You can start building a supportive network of friends and mentors who have the experience you lack. You can do more research to validate your business idea.
First of all, keep your day job. You’re going to need that to provide a financial safety net while you start taking steps to build your own business. Many experts recommend running your own business on the side for at least two years before you should consider quitting a full-time job. Next, identify areas where you need to improve, and start setting some personal goals that you’d like to achieve.
No matter where you are on the entrepreneurship scale, there’s always room to improve your knowledge and skills. It’ll make you more likely to succeed over the long term.