Starting a Business: Do I Have What it Takes?
An Article by Jackie Bredl-Dietrich, CHES, PCC
"We know what we are but not what we may become." ~ William Shakespeare
We all know of people who dream of creating their own business. It might even be you! Many are motivated by the flexibility, independence, and ability to make their own decisions. They may also long for fulfillment or are frustrated with their workplace.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to admit that everyone who considers starting a business may not land upon success. Some of the major challenges often include the financial impact, support needed from family, and health insurance considerations. After taking a closer look, many discover that it’s not the right move or right time while others go full speed ahead!
Over seven years ago, I found myself in a place of irritation which is quite common for people who have an entrepreneurial mindset. Some react to this discomfort by working to change it, making adjustments, or accepting it, while others may ignore it or check out. I tried all these approaches and eventually realized that I had it in me to become an “entrepreneur”. Hooray! The next step was to learn how to correctly spell that word and then research what’s involved to make a healthy, successful transition from an employed wellness professional to an independent coach and speaker.
People who consider starting a business or are already in the process, have questions about education/training, how to make a living, and how to market. And just like I did, they wonder if they have what it takes to be successful. All of these questions have very individual answers waiting to be uncovered. So, for obvious reasons it’s essential to partner with a well matched coach. It will go much smoother and be less painful. A mistake or two might even be avoided.
Becoming an entrepreneur requires a strong commitment to self discovery, learning, and paying attention to synchronicities. This article is written with the intention to serve you on your journey – wherever you are – so that you can gain clarity and begin to take your next steps – whatever they might be.
Definition of an En·tre·pre·neur:
1. A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.
2. A risk-taker who has the skills and initiative to establish a business.
3. Someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it.
Each of these definitions offer a slightly different twist, however, they all have one word in common – RISK. Any professional change involves taking a risk and even more so when you become a business owner.
What is your tolerance for risk verses reward?
People with all different types of personalities have successful businesses. So, it’s not that you need to be a risk-taker but more importantly that you understand who you are. Take inventory of your assets and liabilities.
Three Questions to Ask Yourself:
1. Do you want to operate independently and be the person making all the decisions and
shouldering all the responsibility?
2. Are you willing to work hard and make the sacrifices starting a business entails?
3. Do you have the self-confidence and self-discipline that will enable you to preserve
and build your new enterprise into a success?
If you answered “no” to any of these than you’re probably not ready yet. If you answered “yes” to all of these than you know what that means!
Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs:
While there are many characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, I believe they can be summarized with the three basic areas of responsibility, learning from mistakes, and perseverance.
Here are a few other characteristics to consider:
Adaptability - ability to cope with new situations and find creative solutions.
Competitiveness - willingness to compete and test oneself against others.
Confidence - belief that you can do what you set out to do.
Discipline - ability to stay focused and stick to a schedule and deadlines.
Drive - desire to work hard to accomplish one’s goal.
Honesty - commitment to tell the truth.
Organization - ability to structure one’s life and keep tasks in order.
Perseverance - willingness to keep goal insight and work toward it despite the obstacles.
Persuasiveness - knack for convincing people to see one’s point of view and gain interest.
Risk-taking - courage to expose oneself to possible losses.
Understanding – ability to listen and empathize with others.
Vision - ability to see the end result of one’s goal while working to achieve them.
Action Steps for Creating a Successful Business:
- Take Advantage of Resources
- Hire a Great Coach
- Love and Be Passionate about Your Business
- Get Great Training
- Create Business Vision and Dream
- Mastery of Business Ownership and Marketing
- Ongoing Self Development
- Be a Great Business Owner
- Embrace Lifelong Learning
- Create Relationships by Building and Sharing Networks
- Show Compassion
- Surround Yourself with Supportive, Successful People
- Work Smart
- Take Responsibility
- Make Decisions and Take Risks
- Show Ambition, Focus, Courage and Enthusiasm
- Be Confident
Are You Ready to Make Your Move? Ask Yourself These Questions:
- Do you have what it takes to be your own boss?
- Are you prepared to work long hours and possibly alone?
- Does your family support you?
- Do you have a specific field or niche in mind?
- Do you have adequate education?
- Can you wear all the hats that you must wear?
- Are you decisive?
- Do you have a place to work?
Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. ~ Rumi
There’s no doubt that starting a business is one of the most exciting and scary adventures you’ll ever experience. Once you’ve assessed where you’re at, you’ll be able to determine what’s right for you. Listen to your heart and follow your spirit. Have fun exploring!