Rapid technological change and tough economic times would seem to make strange bedfellows, but these societal realities have come together to create an environment where more people are choosing to opt out of the job hunt and build home-based businesses instead. What's more, many of them are thriving. Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
- To be an entrepreneur, you must be a self-starter. You can't wait for other people to tell you what to do. Telling other people what to do isn't the point, either. You must become good at telling yourself what to do. You must therefore be mission-oriented and capable of working toward daily, concrete goals on your own steam. When you're able to do that, you become a good leader, and if you hire employees, you'll be a person with whom they'll be pleased and proud to work with.
- You need self-discipline in abundance. Even when you're doing something you love, entrepreneurship isn't about fun and games. It's hard work, harder than you think it will be.
- You have to be your own boss. If you’ve never had your own business before, that might seem easy, but trust me – it isn't. You also have to be your own employee. What about those days when you're feeling under the weather? If you call in sick on yourself, you lose money.
- Perseverance and planning are crucial. Businesses run in cycles. Periods of heavy workload alternate with lean periods where you get downright twitchy for your next client, your next job, your next order. Can you persevere through anxiety and self- doubt while still managing your money well and making wise business decisions for the long haul?
- Last but never least, you need a balance of optimism and practicality. When times are hard, you must hang on to optimism that things will improve and be able to work to make that happen. When times are good, you must balance pleasure with practicality and realize that hard times could come again. To be an entrepreneur, you must stay grounded in the reality of life's ebbs and flows while cultivating your capacity to dream big.
If you think you fit the bill, then what are you waiting for? Reflect on what you love to do. Research. Prepare. Build a firm foundation from which to launch yourself. Then spread your wings and fly.