by: Geoff Ficke
I have had the opportunity to work with literally hundreds of individuals who have attempted to become successful entrepreneurs. It is always fascinating to observe the difficulties that always confront people seeking to expand their range from one field of endeavor to another and how they handle obstacles. If it was easy everyone would try and the majority would succeed. In reality, only a few try and far fewer succeed.
I am reminded of a story about a United States Naval Academy graduate who rose to become a Fleet Admiral. One day he was on Chesapeake Bay on a friend’s 40 foot sail boat. The owner asked the Admiral if he would like to dock the sail boat. “No way”, said the Admiral. “I would not know how to handle this little boat in these winds and currents, you are experienced with her, you handle her”.
This is a classic example of a man knowing his limitations. Most people have some area of expertise in their arsenal of life’s experiences. They often utilize this expertise in pursuit of a hobby or in their work. The opportunity to hone and improve skills in a specific area where they have talent often leads to innovation that can be commercialized.
We all know the person who is able to build things with their hands. The artisan craftsmanship that they produce can become a lucrative business or enriching hobby. The entrepreneurial craftsman, or artist, enjoys the wonderful luxury of being able to make their living doing something that they enjoy and find fulfilling.
The true entrepreneur knows his limitations. This natural skill barrier, however, does not deter this innovator from finding a path to successfully commercializing their idea. If deficient in some areas, say sales, marketing, logistics, or planning, this person recognizes that expertise in these skills can be obtained from many sources. The dreamer, or faux-entrepreneur, sees this type of hurdle as a reason, really an excuse, to quit.
Very few people have the intangible ingredients necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. Most people dream about innovation, new ideas or starting their own business. These wannabe’s will never get much further than the dream sequence in turning their wishes into realities. They can never quite find the right time, the right place, or the right platform to launch their concept and turn it into a going concern. There is always a reason not to move ahead.
I often lecture at university business schools on the topic of entrepreneurship. The question most often posed to me is, “what makes a successful entrepreneur”? There is no definitive answer to that question. It is a bit like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s response when he was asked to if he knew how to define pornography. He replied simply, “I don’t have the definition; I just know it when I see it”.
It is much the same when we meet potential clients seeking to take the entrepreneurial plunge. The courage, vision and willingness to soak up knowledge that is so essential to successfully competing for commercial success is rarely evident. Most people are destined, and should continue to pursue their current life’s work. The ability to overcome repeated obstacles, keep fighting and never quit in the pursuit of a goal is quite simply not present in most people. Most people do not make the cut as entrepreneurs, but we do know potential entrepreneurs when we meet them.
Entrepreneurs have a positive personality. They see the possible and recognize that the word “no”, really just means “not now”. Obstacles are simply challenges to be overcome. They have the courage to take risks, and recognize that success is not assured. The competitive juices run deep in true entrepreneurs and they possess a real independent streak that is lacking in most people.
I know people in the fourth quarter of their lives that are sad, disappointed, some bitter, about the course they have chosen and the lot they have been dealt. I am sad for them. They have missed out on many of life’s greatest opportunities that come from pursuit of a goal, the chase, the struggle and the attainment of success.
In the 21st century it seems as if the pursuit of security and avoidance of risk is the chief goal of many people. That is fine for them. I would argue that the greatest risk is to live a life without challenges, working for stretch goals and basking in the glow of success that can best be secured when dreams become realities. The happiest people I know are entrepreneurial. They live full lives, commercially, spiritually and psychologically. In their life’s fourth quarter they have a treasure chest of accomplishments and memories that they know they will leave behind. The footprint they make on life is significant and memorable. They make the world a much better place for their contributions to it.
Trials and hardships are what the budding entrepreneur always expects to encounter. No entrepreneur really expects to begin at the top, right? Anyway, even those lucky enough to be born rich face a lot of challenges when they decide to become entrepreneurs. For one thing, being born rich doesn't really equal being born with the talents of an entrepreneur of the year.
How do entrepreneurs get started? Well, there are a number of ways that you can get a business off the ground. There are a number of opportunities out there for people to use their entrepreneurial skills.
Actually, more and more people are finding that the market is really hard to penetrate if you are competing against a major corporation. But have no fear; all you need to do is contact the right people in order to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship. Contacting other people means you have to get your resources in a manner that would make using them effectively easier for you.
Definitely, more and more people are finding out that home based businesses are the best way for an entrepreneur to go. Funding is not really a problem since lots of financing companies would be happy to lend you the money you need in order to get your business rolling. Exactly how do you get funding?
Going to financial companies, you might want to bring along a business plan and projected financial statements to show that your business is something worth investing in. Home based businesses of entrepreneurs often attract financiers if they have a good solid plan that can get them back their money quickly.
In that light, you can say that a solid business plan (and some collateral) is all you need to get your venture off the ground. Just remember not to be tricked by financing companies with too high interest rtes and too much service charges.
Knowing about how entrepreneurs run home based businesses is essential to your success. Learning about entrepreneurial techniques with your business in the line can prove costly. Most people research on different things that can help them before they actually start a venture. Naturally, ventures can face a lot of problems on the first year of operation and it helps to be prepared.
Of course, home based businesses of entrepreneurs have to face the problem of gaining a customer base. Popularity t this stage is easy to get through word-of-mouth. Quitting can be a very tempting option if you face problems. Rest assured, you will get through this stage if you find the will within yourself. Several people actually find that the first year of operating an entrepreneur's home based business can be the true test of your skills.
Time will come when you realize that the hardest part of your business actually proved to be the most satisfying for you.
Understanding the way people think is a crucial part of success. Ventures succeed not because of their products, but the way people react to those selling the products. What you need to do is to study the community around you and understand what makes them tick. X-ray vision, of course, is out of the question. You need to get inside their shoes and see what they need that an entrepreneur's home based.
Zen-like calmness of the mind can definitely help you with making decisions without giving in to the panic you will experience when running your own home based business.
Another thing you might want to think about is whether or not you can compete in the market. Basically, it's hard to introduce a home based business if the entrepreneur has no connections. Competing with the big names in the business should not be your priority yet. Don't take your defeats too hard. Far too many businesses have gone down because the owners can't get up when they fall down. Greatness comes from inside.
Home based businesses are preferred by entrepreneurs because they require the least capital. In most cases of home based businesses, you require very little capital as you don't really have to rent office space. Just think about all of the money you will be able to save by bringing your business home.
If there were one thing central to doing business, that would be towards developing your self. And that exactly what famous entrepreneurs go through.
Well, it's only between them and themselves after all. The battles they have to get through and the risks they needed to confront to be able to get from square one to the second juncture of your business will all pour down as instruments for their own self-realization.
Since personal development is different from one person to another, we cannot give an actual characterization or pattern for various stimulus (e.g. risk taking, failure of business transactions, lack of funds, etc.), even as we see them unfolding for famous entrepreneurs.
If you want to be like them, it would not harm if you follow these guidelines.
Discovering where you are good at is one of the earliest stage in becoming an entrepreneur of your own business. Knowing your forte and turning it into productive means will not only produce a good source of income for you but will also extensively nurture you as a person. There is no telling how much you would improve once you become the founder of a business you decided to take.
As many of us would agree, getting the most of life's lesson will only be possible if you are taken at the center of all the challenges. That way, you would get to experience things first hand. And you would learn to cope up with the pressing problems in ways you thought would have been impossible if you were not the captain of it all.
In a sense, venturing into business entrepreneurship does not only mean that you'll get better (or worse) financially. It also requires you to develop yourself full-blown depending on your reactions to specific risks and problems you would have deal with.
Operating a new enterprise or embarking on a new operation you have not done before is surely a thing that would create developments in you. Before you do you must know the risks and be able to prepare yourself with the possible failures that are their eternal parts. The way you would handle them will be able to test your limits and will be used as boundary points when similar undertakings come in the course of your business. You must know that you alone is accountable for all your decisions in attempt to make your own business grow. You must understand that it is not those who labor for you or those who share the capital with you who will spell the success. It is you, as the entrepreneur will decide what courses to take. Thus you'll either lead your group to success or failure.
With each trials you have, you and your group will meet new changes that will require you to go with the flow or to go beyond it. Both ways, you will hone yourselves. Both ways, you will learn to cope. And both ways your personalities will be taken into newer heights. Thus you will develop.
Therefore, personal development in the business world is largely dependent on how you manipulate factors.
Chances are small that you would not grow, even if your business fails. The fact that you have taken responsibilities on things that only few take is reason enough for you to consider as a pathway for self-realization.
Business entrepreneurs are specifically knowledgeable of the opportunities that lay in their paths. They are keen to various chances in pursuing growth in areas like professionalism and personal development.
Some may not actually realize the extent of their progress. Nevertheless, once something is changed in them and that something has changed towards good, there is absolutely a degree of productive change which whether they choose it or not, will be applied to other things important to wholesome living.
As we have repeatedly implied, the opportunity for personal development is high in the business world. Business entrepreneurs, to be able to meet success, should have a good combination of attitudes, skills, beliefs systems and training. All these would work together towards extending product services to those that need them.
People who have been through extreme hardships are those who are most beautiful. They have learned to take risks and turn those risks into opportunities. They have learned to compromise their present leisure in exchange for future growth. They have learned to welcome failures and prove other people's doubts wrong. They have learned through their everyday business battles that it is always too late for giving up.
The term entrepreneurship may sound very ordinary to your ears, but has huge scope in the field of business. There are various definitions for this term but in simple language an entrepreneur is an ambitious individual, who assumes full responsibility of the risks and the consequences of his/her business venture. This person is a skilled individual, who is able to sniff out various opportunities with the purpose of discovering a successful project. He/she possesses certain characteristics in order to start a new business enterprise, which is elaborated below: