On Becoming an Entrepreneur

The path to becoming a successful entrepreneur is wrought with challenges and obstacles. However, one need not be intimidated by its daunting nature. There are a number of things that can be done to get you from where you are now to where you want to be – successful, self-employed, and contributing to the greater good.

The first step in becoming an entrepreneur is defining your vision. If you find yourself having stumbled upon a brilliant new idea and know just who would benefit from it, consider yourself at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. In order for your venture to be successful, you have to know where you are going. That being said, it is entirely possible that this vision may morph over time, but knowing where your going is imperative in laying an action plan to get you there.

Before you begin on your path to self-employment, there are a number of things you will need to assess. The first is your intuition. What is your gut telling you about your vision? When you conceptualize this endeavor, pay attention to how it feels. Chances are you will know when you have a hit. Opportunities start to unfold for you when you are pursuing something in line with your essence.

The next check is your qualifications. Do you have the necessary skill sets and education to back up this brilliant idea? When I reference education, I do not mean formal education though this could certainly play a part. Education can come from any and all aspects of life. Qualifications can be your inherent abilities and strengths as well as actual education or prior professional experience. After an honest assessment of your abilities, do you find yourself lacking in any areas? Perhaps enlisting in the assistance of a mentor could be useful in filling knowledge or experiential gaps.

After reviewing your qualifications you’ll need to assess your current reality. Does your current life afford you the opportunity to take the risks associated with starting your own business? What arrangements can you make in your current situation that will enable you to reprioritize? Proper attention to this area is critical, because your business will require an exorbitant amount of commitment and effort in its initial phases. In order to ensure its success, you must begin it with a sense of overall balance in your life.

The final assessment you will need to make is whether or not your finances are in order. Do you have the ability to fund the start-up yourself? Can you find the appropriate investors to ensure you have adequate capital to begin? Also, making sure your own finances are in order will ensure that you are as appealing as possible to potential lenders, especially with the current market conditions preventing adequate credit liquidity.

A final note on becoming an entrepreneur – during your entire life you are at choice. You make choices on a daily basis. Even not choosing to do something is a choice. Keep this with you when you begin your journey. Make the conscious decision to commit to your vision, and coordinate your action around this commitment. Take one step every day to bring you closer to achieving your goal. Do not let yourself get overwhelmed by thinking too broadly about your undertaking. Break the journey down into succinct, measurable steps. If something still feels too daunting, break it down even further until it is something you can do today. Go do it!

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