There is no doubt that becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own company has been the best decision I have made in my life. The benefits of being an entrepreneur, far out weigh the benefits of when I was working as an employee for another entrepreneur.
But it’s not easy!
We often read blogs and receive tips from entrepreneurs who are already very successful and in many cases are billionaires. The advice and tips we receive from these people comes from the perspective of a person who is already successful, whose advice is based on the best case scenario, but often missing the realties of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Here is my advice about becoming an entrepreneur.
* If you want to be an entrepreneur then make the decision to be one. Don’t procrastinate, don’t use excuses to delay your move or blame others for your indecision.
* You need to design a plan of what you would like to achieve. This doesn’t need to be a 30 page business plan but you need to have an overall picture of what you want to be in 5, 10 and 20 years time. Don’t be scared to dream big!
* Have a clear understanding of what your company will do. Are you going to be involved in product supply, service delivery or perhaps product design. Either way, you need to stick to your strengths!
* The fallacy that being an entrepreneur or your own boss is easy; is false. Be prepared to work hard and long hours especially in the early stages of your start-up. If you like the idea of working an 8 hour day, 8am to 5pm with weekends off, with structured annual leave and the knowledge that if you take a sick day its paid for – then you need to seriously consider remaining as an employee.
* Unless you are one of the 3% of new entrepreneurs who are fortunate enough to have their parents financially backing them or have a modest bank account prior to commencing your start-up, then be prepared to make major sacrifices to the your lifestyle. That regular fortnightly or monthly salary may no longer be available or it may be severely reduced. The financial commitments that your company inherits are now yours to bare. Salaries, office rent, internet, stationary and all the other operational expenses that will be accumulated during a working week are now your responsibility.
* It sounds world building – ‘Surround yourself with great people and your business will be great’. Well having great people working at your company costs money. We all would love to believe that great experienced people will volunteer their time and services to you, but its simply not true. Be prepared to do a lot of the heavy lifting yourself.
* Remove the idea in your head that a Richard Branson, Warren Buffet or Bill Gates is going to come in a pay a pretty penny for your startup in its early stages, making you an instant millionaire. These situations are unicorns in the business world. Your dream will take commitment, perseverance and belief that your hard work will one day lead to success.
* Be dynamic. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your original plan or try new things with your business approach, even if they fail. Mistakes, providing you still reach your dream, are just learning curves in the path to your success.
* And last of all. Don’t let the negativity of others influence what you do. Sure, listen and take on board information that people provide. But stay the course and it will lead to success.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your dream!