For the last several months, our articles have focused on the weird times were living in. I must say, it’s been a challenge to gain an understanding of what’s really happening. What we do know is that more than ever, people have drawn a heightened focus on our favorite phrase:
“I want to be an entrepreneur!”
That simple utterance does a lot for us in the business development world. Those words introduce us to a new individual, overflowing with confidence and passion for their ideas. And thus, begins our journey to understand who that person is and what that person wants to do. There have been many books written about entrepreneurship – actually thousands of them. And while I find it enlightening to read these many explanations about entrepreneurship, it really comes down to a few key factors.
Understand the Journey – Many times new entrepreneurs think they simply need to find a space, hang up their shingle and success is at hand. While there is no denying that that has happened – it’s definitely an anomaly. Taking your passion to market is not for the faint of heart. Rather, an entrepreneur who understands that it will take time and money to make their dreams come true will not be disappointed. Pretty much every entrepreneur that I know will tell you of the long and arduous path they followed. But to a person, they will also report that it was worth it, so just know coming in that sailboats don’t move without some wind.
Team Oriented – One of my favorite adages about business development is that it’s like a three-legged stool. The legs represent a Finance, Marketing, and Production components. Every business is dependent upon these three functions. Lacking one instantly puts the entrepreneur in a bad space. Honestly speaking, in three decades of providing business technical assistance, I’ve never met an entrepreneur who could effectively manage all three functions on their own. Everyone can do one, many can do two, but realistically, adding that third piece is nearly impossible. So, the first tidbit of advice to fledgling entrepreneurs is pull together people who can really round out a solid team. Their insights and experience will make the difference between success or failure.
Yes, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. And while I’ve discussed the long road, I haven’t discussed the bumps along the way. Fledgling entrepreneurs often find it’s the little things, all piled together, that become the big problem. New entrepreneurs need to adopt an “intent to learn” attitude which takes those hiccups and turns them into lessons. Each day offers new challenges which a successful entrepreneur will embrace, solve, and be much better for it. The second part of fortitude is the recognition that the passion, be it baking, sewing, or woodworking that drove you to be an entrepreneur, soon becomes the last thing that you get to do. When you own your business, you wear the hat of the Manager, HR director, bookkeeper, marketing director, inventory manager, and probably the janitor as well. Savvy entrepreneurs learn to manage each of these tasks within their team to keep their passion alive.
Recognize that not everyone who starts on this path will finish it. Often, as we explore the different tasks, responsibilities, or obligations, the journey becomes one that the prospecting entrepreneur just doesn’t wish to continue. And to that we say, all the more reason to seek assistance from outside resources such as the Small Business Development Center or Forward Cody. Sometimes, the best advice we can give is for people not to go into business. At least not at that point. For several reasons, this might be the best thing a client can hear.
We all have the ability to be an entrepreneur. By considering these three items I hope it helps you shape a better picture of your future. Call us and set up a time to begin your journey.