If you have an idea that is unique, unpatented, or a variation of an old idea, perhaps you could be an entrepreneur. There have been more entrepreneurs spring up in the past five years than ever before. This is due in part to the high rate of unemployment, and due partly to the frustrations people may experience with finances and other issues. Entrepreneurs are among the wealthiest people in the world when they are successful but they must be willing to work through the obstacles and never lose sight of the goal. Being an entrepreneur means you are the captain of your own ship. It takes someone with guts to be an entrepreneur, someone who is fearless, and with the clearest vision to see the shoreline beyond the storms. Sound like you? Read on.
Requirements/QualificationsThe types of backgrounds and degrees that entrepreneurs come from is innumerable. One can become an entrepreneur with no college degree, no experience, and no background. You just need a solid idea, an idea that will sell, and learn to make it work. You can be a writer, an artist, or inventor, a shop owner, a builder, or a carpenter. You must be practical but a dreamer, sure but cautious, and willing to do things others would not. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, never knowing from one day or one month to the next how much money they will have. For this reason, if you need the security of a monthly paycheck, this is not for you. It takes someone who is willing to take all the risk on himself, but also enjoys all the profits. This is what drives the true entrepreneur…the choice to be in total control of their own destiny.
There is no "typical" education of the entrepreneur. They come from a wide variety of disciplines, areas, and backgrounds. Some may be mechanically-inclined, so they start their own mechanics shop. Some may be particular good with flowers, so they start a flower shop. Their education could be in a specialty area, such as Architecture, Product Design, or Software Development, or any of the hundreds of other areas. They could also get a degree in General Business or Business Administration so that they will be prepared to handle any of the challenges that might come along as they travel the road of Entrepreneurship. The best idea is to get a degree in an area of expertise and take additional coursework in the field of Business. An entrepreneur can never be thought of as someone who has general business knowledge. They must be highly skilled in a specific area. However, some general knowledge in business and other areas may help them succeed.
An Alternate Route
An alternate route to the degree is a certification in areas such as Mechanics, Insurance, or other specialty fields, or real world experience in these areas. The more you do what you will do in your own business, the more you will succeed. The entrepreneur’s motivation usually comes from their lack of financial freedom or success in their present state of employment, unemployment, dissatisfaction with their current job, or a desire to live "above the crowd" in terms of high levels of income and wealth.
Steps to Becoming an Entrepreneur
If you are someone with a unique idea, a marketable product, or concept, perhaps there is an entrepreneur inside of you. While there are hundreds of ways to come into your own as an entrepreneur, here are some general steps and guidelines to follow:
1) Develop a hobby or specialty area into a business. The best place to start when thinking of what type of business to start is think about what you’re good at. Often you may turn a hobby into a career but always ask yourself if it is something others will want and be willing to pay for and locate the market.
2) Become a small business owner. The next step is to become a small business owner. Get a license and set up shop in your local community or even from home. Many small businesses have been successfully started from garages or a spare room in a house or home office. Start small and don’t overextend yourself at first. Remember, if you lose all your money investing in your business, you will not be able to grow.
3) Think big eventually. The true entrepreneur thinks "big market." They have the ability to see the vision to bring their idea to the world. They think globally. Like raising a baby to adulthood, they start as a small business owner, then dream of taking their business to a much larger market with time and nurturing. Don’t limit yourself to your own small town. Think about how you could take your idea and present it to the world.
4) Network with vendors, business people, and wholesalers. The larger you can grow your network of people and contacts, through social media and other avenues, the better your chances will be for larger success. With each contact that you know in the business world, there is a chance to find a wholesale opportunity, a business partner, or other who can help your business be all that it can be. The smart entrepreneur is always looking for new opportunities as they go, and is open to all possibilities, while keeping their eye on the dream.
5) Create a business plan. Mark Cuban of "Shark Tank" considers this the single most important predictive factor of success in business. If you fail to have a plan, you are planning to fail, the old saying goes and it’s true. Have a step-by-step plan of action you are going to take to create your business, in addition to how and when you plan to expand, hire employees, purchase goods, and any other aspect of the business. Have a timeline of beginning and a date of completion in which you plan to complete your specific goals and continually monitor the plan, changing it as necessary.
An entrepreneur is an independent person. He decided a long time ago to brave the world alone, choosing to take on the challenges of owning his own business, rather than answering to someone else. He is a lone wolf, may not be too popular, have few friends, and may sometimes dine alone. An entrepreneur is a risk-taker, unsure but confident, aggressive but cautious, a dreamer but practical. Sometimes they seem to have nothing in mind but their own survival, because their success depends on it. They have found the perfect combination of practical dreamer and venture capitalist. If you long for a life free of the grasp of an employer, and think you have what it takes to steer your own ship, focus on a specialty area, and go for the gold. It is one of the riskiest things you may do, but one that may pay off the biggest over time. Who knows perhaps you will be the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Donald Trump. What do you have to offer the world? Think about your hobbies, your interests, and areas of expertise. Do you have what it takes? Start with a great education, then launch your ship into freedom!