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Do You Have What it Takes to Be an Entrepreneur?

Updated on February 13, 2013
Do you have what it takes to strike out on your own? Great rewards await those with great drive and self-disciplne.
Do you have what it takes to strike out on your own? Great rewards await those with great drive and self-disciplne. | Source

The idea of escaping the rat race and striking out on your own as an entrepreneur can be very attractive. You can set your own hours, dress as you like, and have no boss to answer to. But there are demands put upon an entrepreneur that the average working Joe doesn’t have to shoulder. And while running your own business may sound liberating in many ways, it doesn't mean you only work when you feel like it. Before taking the leap into entrepreneurship, it is important to carefully consider first whether entrepreneurship is right for you.

Entrepreneurship: it’s an alluring concept to many, but not necessarily the best fit for everyone. How can you tell whether you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur? Here are some of the basics to consider.

An Entrepreneur is Not an Employee

From the French word meaning “to undertake,” an entrepreneur is one who plans, manages and runs a business operation, such as marketing an invention or offering services for hire. Unlike a employee, the entrepreneur reaps all the rewards of his efforts, and also accepts all the risks and responsibilities of the enterprise.

Self-Disciplined for Success

Preparation is key to entrepreneurial success. Certain character qualities are necessary, such as self-discipline, self-motivation and the willingness to risk time, money and effort. A strong sense of individualism and an independent mindset are important, too.

Extensive knowledge and/or training in the proposed venture is strongly recommended, as entrepreneurs must be able to make wise business decisions on their own. This is not limited to knowing details about the product or service, but also includes being educated on the basics of business in general.

Often, entrepreneurs work alone, so a penchant for solitude, or at least the ability to welcome it, is helpful. One mistake some entrepreneurs make is the failure to designate a quitting time. Particularly in the beginning stages of a new venture, some people will devote too much time to their enterprise, only to suffer from burn out before the business has had a chance to bloom. Business hours do not have to reflect the traditional work week, but it is critical to separate business hours from personal hours, and to schedule time for both.

And, of course, draw up a sound business plan to use as a blueprint to establish your purpose and goals, and to guide you along the way.

A Capital Idea

Invest in yourself and in your future.
Invest in yourself and in your future. | Source

Before jumping the 9-to-5 ship for entrepreneurship, have enough capital to sustain the venture during its early life, and dedicated financial reserves tucked away for regular household and personal expenses. It can take six months to two years, or even longer, before profits begin to outpace expenditures. The more training, preparation and experience you have in your chosen field, the more likely you’ll get into the black quickly with your endeavor, but even then, it's not guaranteed. Many people ease their way into this new lifestyle, keeping at least a part-time job for some financial security while dipping a toe into the risky waters of entrepreneurship.

Create Your Blueprint for Success

Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures (4th Edition)
Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures (4th Edition)
Learn from real life examples of people who have successfully navigated the entrepreneurial road in this easy-to-read volume.

Go the Distance

When the business is new, enthusiasm is high and excitement drives initiative. As time passes, the thrill may wane, but the responsibilities will continue. The ability to weather long dry spells and forge ahead is of vital importance to entrepreneurial success.

While it is critical to have a business plan, if something about that plan isn't working out as expected, revisit the plan itself. If the plan needs to be altered in some way to foment success, then make adjustments to meet the needs of your venture, and go on. Commitment to the enterprise trumps commitment to the individual steps. Remember, as the entrepreneur, you are in charge, and you get to change course if the success of the journey demands it.

Reap the Rewards

Invest time, effort and capital wisely, stay the course even in rocky times, and treat each day as a business day, and you'll likely come out a winner.
Invest time, effort and capital wisely, stay the course even in rocky times, and treat each day as a business day, and you'll likely come out a winner. | Source

The discipline, dedication and risk required of an entrepreneur far exceeds that of a company employee, but the rewards can be quite lucrative and well worth the investment. A better quality of life, more flexible time to spend with family and the satisfaction of being in control are some of the benefits successful entrepreneurs enjoy. Time spent on an honest initial personal assessment is the first investment in what may potentially be a life-changing decision.

© M.S. Ross - All Rights Reserved

Assessing Your Assets

What questions will you ask yourself to assess whether you have what it takes to pursue an entrepreneurial enterprise? If you’re an experienced entrepreneur, did you pick a line of work that you had previous experience in, or did you make a foray into a whole new field? If you could do it all over again, would you make the same choices? If not, what would you do differently? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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