Do I Have the Entrepreneurial Skills to Run My Own Business?
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Is Entrepreneurship for You?
Apart from the obvious requisites of business premises and funds, you'll need certain skills to succeed as an entrepreneur. To determine if entrepreneurship is for you, it's wise to ask yourself several pertinent questions:
Do I have the necessary personality and character traits to succeed in my chosen field? Do I have the staying power to set up my business ideas and the persistence to see them through to fruition? Do I have leadership and managerial qualities? Do I have the flexibility and innovation to diversify at some point?
Having an innovative idea is no use if you can't develop it and put it into practice. For your business to evolve, you must incorporate new ideas to survive in today's competitive world.
Many businesses fail because their marketing strategies are ineffective or it could be something overlooked, such as the wrong location. Examine all aspects of your business in great detail so that you don't omit anything vital and are aware of the pitfalls. Check out similar businesses to your proposed venture and see how they've fared.
True entrepreneurs accept that a great deal of hard work is required before they can reap any rewards. It may be several years before you see any real remuneration for your efforts and you may have to invest more money than you ever bargained for. Keeping your business ticking over through difficult times will feel like you're an entertainer, spinning plates in a circus.
Living the High Life
What Is the Definition of an Entrepreneur?
The definition of an entrepreneur is a person who organises their own business; often one that's associated with a high element of risk. To be an entrepreneur, you'll be your own boss, work on your own initiative and have total control over all aspects of your business ventures.
As an entrepreneur, the buck stops with you; you must be responsible for your own mistakes when there's no one else to blame for your actions or inaction. Whatever the nature of your business, even if you delegate tasks to others, you're ultimately the one who has to check to see that these tasks are completed.
You must be able to make split-second decisions based on the sound knowledge you've accumulated through experience or due diligence. Business decisions should never be made on a whim but as the result of careful analysis of up to date information. If you aren't the sort of person who handles responsibility well, then it would be better to stick to a normal nine-to-five job where you'll always have a boss to answer to. You can then leave your worries behind at the office at the end of the day and enjoy a good night's sleep into the bargain!
A true entrepreneur will never stop thinking about their business and how to make improvements; they will never be tied to office hours alone. Many successful entrepreneurs are prepared to risk everything for something they have ultimate faith in and are willing to devote their whole lives to. Projects they have enough confidence in, won't remain as 'pipe dreams' for long! Are you of that calibre?
Being an entrepreneur means you don’t give up at the first hurdle or when things become complicated. You must cope with failure after failure until success only comes as the result of much effort and hard work. Entrepreneurs always have contingency plans if things go wrong so that risks are minimised. You should be flexible, adaptable and above all logical. If the figures don’t add up, you'll need to steer clear of any project that will eat up more funds than you can afford. You can’t argue with mathematics, however grand your dreams.
As an entrepreneur, you may often view yourself as someone who's trying to build a sandcastle when the tide is advancing fast. You must have an unclouded mind and know how to put sound strategies in place if your business is to survive.
Entrepreneurs often spot an opportunity that others may miss; they will see a niche in the market and use their business skills to the best advantage. If you're not deterred by those who disagree with you or disapprove of your chosen venture then you'll likely make a good entrepreneur.
It may surprise many people to know, that most self-made millionaires only achieve that status from experiencing years of hardship. The struggle to the top is the best learning curve there is. Nothing comes easily in life, so to be an entrepreneur you'll definitely need qualities such as endurance, determination and perseverance to reach your goals.
You must be polite to everyone you deal with on a daily basis and develop good people skills. Remember to treat all employees with the same respect whatever their status within your company; they are all cogs in the wheel that keep your business running. Having a good telephone manner is also an essential quality to cultivate. Being a competent orator will help you on the occasions that public speaking is necessary.
The old saying 'don't put all your eggs in one basket’ applies to entrepreneurship. Gambling that things will go according to plan is never good business practice but taking calculated risks is sensible. Real entrepreneurs will conduct preliminary damage limitation exercises to prepare them if things do go wrong. Chaos is the natural order of things - and more often than not, they can and do go wrong if left to their own devices. It will be up to you to know how to put them right when this happens.
The Entrepreneur's Privilege!
Don't Neglect Your Home Life, Social Life and Your Health
Everyone is familiar with the saying: 'all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy,' so it's wise to remember this. Friends and family should appreciate that you're devoted to your business but you'll still need to maintain an equal balance between it, your home life and a social life.
Sometimes there won't be enough hours in the day and you'll need to prioritise, but don't neglect or even abandon areas of your life that you enjoy. If your business makes life too complicated, you'll soon find you develop a profound yearning for the times when life was more simple. Often with entrepreneurs, they feel they have to do too much and don't delegate tasks to others enough. You'll need to compromise and entrust tasks to others who have the same sound judgement and set of ethics as yourself.
Make time to share with friends and family whether they take an avid interest in your business ventures or not. Remember not to 'talk shop' all the time or you'll soon become boring, however successful your business!.
Getting enough sleep and maintaining your physical and mental well-being will help in both your home and working life. Whether your business is home-based, or office-based you'll benefit by staying agile in body and mind.
Learn from the Successes of Others
There are plenty online lists of famous entrepreneurs, updated regularly, whose lives and achievements may give you further inspiration to develop your entrepreneurial skills. Learning from the tried and tested successes of others is always useful!
Do you have Entrepreneurial Skills?
Make Sure you get Enough Sleep!
© 2016 Stella Kaye