Becoming an Entrepreneur – Facts and Myths
Taking the plunge and becoming an entrepreneur is akin to making a giant leap into the abyss. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are the most organized person out there, have a degree in logistics and are perfectly well aware of what you want to achieve.
You want to know how to make God laugh? Tell him you have a plan and in this case tell him that you are going to be a successful entrepreneur! The unfortunate truth, as those who have been down the road before you will testify if you ask them seriously, is that you are in for some adventure. Just remember that there is no such thing as a final plan and you will have to keep amending it, even as you find some emotional and psychological strength and have to put up with developing a business during all your waking hours.
You will need to put a lot of thought into any idea that you have, before you start a business. Are you just pandering to your own needs and likes, trying to create a business around your hobby because you are interested in it, or are you truly creating a solution to a problem for potential clients? Unless you’re able to solve the problem and have some kind of unique approach as well, the sad truth is you are probably going to get swallowed up among the competition. What is your unique selling proposition?
In today’s environment you need to be very creative and understand that you will likely have to give more than you get, especially in the early days. People are always wary about doing business with someone or some business that they do not know and are looking for social proof. When you get customers, treat them like pure gold and make sure that you get positive testimonials and feedback. Be prepared to go way beyond the line when providing value.
Unless you have the luxury of a lot of time and a pot of money behind you, the sad truth of being an entrepreneur is that you’re going to have to be head cook and bottle washer, becoming adept at everything. Outsourcing will only be a dreamland, and you will find that your time is really stretched thinly.
There are certainly not enough hours in an entrepreneur’s day, so be prepared to work at a minimum 60 hours a week. Don’t be surprised if your business demands your attention seven days a week. Due to time constraints, you will soon find that each hour is worth more than money and you have to be careful that you do not spend too much time on operational issues, while devoting too little to onward development.
Your business model must be realistic and once you get going you should be able to document its potential according to the amount of time that you are spending, the value per hour of work that you are currently achieving and the potential based on a very realistic and reasonable projection. Always be very honest and realistic, however and understand that you need to allocate a certain amount of time every week to annoying issues that will eat into your productivity.
Anchor yourself well and remember that there are always ups and downs in the business. Don’t lose faith however, as everyone would be doing it, if it were easy!
Adam Toren, Co-Founder of Young Entrepreneur, specializes in developing the profitability of struggling businesses with a specialized and ‘bottom line’ approach. Adam, along with his brother, have created, purchased and sold a variety of companies over the years. At the moment, they own and manage a highly successful publishing company and several dedicated online enterprises.