I receive a lot of questions from people asking what it takes in order to become a successful entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship isn't always an easy path, but it is a rewarding one.
That is why I wanted to invite Victor Step, the founder of Growth Evolution Development, to write a guest post to talk about five things to think about before becoming an entrepreneur. Take it away Victor!
In today's world, owning a business is nothing compared to what it was 25 years ago. Not only it has become relatively easy to start one, but many governments are also willing to give you a starting capital.
Despite the opportunities, and the amount of businesses that are growing exponentially, the amount of them failing is very high as well. I want to share with you five things to think about before becoming an entrepreneur:
1. Your idea vs. target market needs
There are many reasons why entrepreneurs and startups fail. Many young entrepreneurs have high ambitions. They have a desire to start a company as soon as possible. The first thing that you should consider before creating a business is the market and its needs.
Are you solving a problem that people are actually struggling with? One of the biggest mistakes that many young entrepreneurs make is starting a business that nobody cares about. The reason for this is simply lack of market research.
Just because you think your idea is great, doesn't mean that there is a demand for it. Therefore, it is important to do research before you start any business. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.
2. Management vs. leadership
Seth Godin, a famous marketer, writer and entrepreneur, spends a lot of time in his work emphasizing the difference between management and leadership. He talks about the idea that there are plenty of managers that manage companies, but that there are very few leaders.
Leaders, unlike managers, are not scared to take risks and do whatever it takes, for the benefit of the company. They are the ones that are ready to stand up and take their people to a whole new level.
In the words of Godin, “Managers want authority, leaders want responsibility”. Again, many of the new entrepreneurs that I have seen are quite transparent about the fact that they like the idea of others working for them.
In their eyes, authority is very attractive. I think that this is the wrong mentality to start a business with, and something that won't be stable in the long run. If you want to have employees below you, you might as well join a corporation and have control there.
On the other hand, if you passionate about something, and you have great leadership skills, then it is a whole different story. Finally, you can always become a solo online entrepreneur or a freelancer. You will still be able to have a business, but you won't need to worry about paying others. For many, this is the better scenario.
3. Money vs. passion
Concerning the success of a company, there are generally two opposing opinions. Some say that if you want to make money, forget about your passion, and rather concentrate on something that is actually profitable. Once you start to earn your living that way, then you can go on and try something that interests you.
The other opinion states that if your business is not related to your passion, you will not be able to succeed. Lack of consistency and interest will be a problem, and sooner or later, when you face difficulties, you won't have the motivation to keep pushing through.
I personally won't comment on this, since both of these opinions sound valid to me, but this is definitely something to think about before becoming an entrepreneur.
4. Be prepared for tough times
Very few understand how much responsibility is required in order to become an entrepreneur.
It is no coincidence that the majority of people in the world work for someone else. Being an entrepreneur is tough. If your income is directly linked to the amount of work that you put in, then be ready to spend nights working.
Working at a regular job is great, in the sense that you are always protected. You have a steady income. When you are an entrepreneur, you don't have that safety net. Be ready to work hard, face challenges, and most importantly, be ready to overcome them!
If you know that you can't allow yourself to fail because you have a family to feed, then considering starting slowly, and having a day job as a backup. Decide what is most important for you, be strategic about it, and set your priorities accordingly.
In short, if you decide to become an entrepreneur, be ready to make sacrifices. You will need to put the interests of your business before your own.
5. Expect an exciting life
Despite the difficulties that entrepreneurship brings with it, you can be sure of one thing – your life will be exciting! You will constantly be experimenting, learning new things, and implementing them. Once you become an entrepreneur, your life will change.
With each new failure, you will learn to get back up and keep trying harder. With every new success, you will feel like you are on top of the world and that anything is possible. The entrepreneurial road is definitely rocky, but the rewards that come with it are amazing.
So many entrepreneurs fail because they neglect to acknowledge the basics that I mentioned above. Regardless of whether you decide to become an online entrepreneur, freelancer, or a CEO at a startup, be ready to be resilient.
Failure is normal; it is there to teach you something and make you stronger. Remember, there is no failure, only feedback.
Victor Step is the founder of Growth Evolution Development, a company that helps people grow, evolve and develop to the best of their abilities. You can connect with him via his website or by his social media links below.