How do I learn what it's like to be an entrepreneur?
I have had an idea that I would like to turn into a business. I have a lot to learn since I have never started a business before. I first want to make sure entrepreneurship is the right path for me. What are some ways to find out what it is really like being an entrepreneur and if it fits my skills and personality?
Entrepreneurship is a challenge that is constantly changing. Every business has its own set of problems to solve. I think it takes a personality that isn't afraid of risk, someone willing to dust themselves off and keep going when faced with a failed solution to the many unique issues that one encounters when in business for yourself. It's exciting, empowering but insecure. You may want to find a business partner or mentor with experience in developing a successful business like yours, to help you avoid some of the mis-steps that could derail your new business. Two of the most helpful books I have read are the E-Myth and Playing Big. But the only way to find out if it's the right path is to try it — no amount of reading or talking can answer how it will feel to you when you are in the thick of it. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
That's a great question, Sara. If you are not sure if entrepreneurship is for you, then perhaps it might be a good idea to go and work for an entrepreneur in a similar business that you are thinking of starting.
For example, I have a client who wanted to open a paleo takeout restaurant, so she worked in her spare time at an existing paleo takeout in her area. After working there for a year, she decided she would like to own her own paleo takeout in her home town. Once she made the decision, I helped her with her business plan and once she got funding she was able to launch a very successful business and is now buying another related company.
I have just written a book for women who would like to become an entrepreneur. It answers all the questions you are asking. If you would like to get notified of the publication date (probably Nov. 2015, feel free to PM me. Good luck with your entrepreneurial adventure.
Who is fit to be an entrepreneur? My response: Who isn't? Here are the origins of a few of the successful small business clients I've worked with.
-- Husband and wife art majors, introverts, who did some handprinted cards for friends and ended up having a million dollar printing business.
-- Immigrant whose first job was busboy in restaurant. When it went bankrupt, he bought it for very little. Built it into one of the best known restaurants in the area, and earned a Michelin star.
-- IT professional who baked gluten-free stuff in her kitchen for her own gluten intolerance. Has built it into a bakery with a chain of retail stores.
-- A guy who hurt his back in the construction industry. While on disability waiting for job retraining, he started doing yard care for neighbors. Never got his retraining, but built up a gardening business with two crews
-- A nurse at a major hospital who got so fed up she went out and started her own company to provide in-home care for people discharged from the hospital. Now has 30 employees, mostly other nurses.
-- Young guy who took over when his dad was ready to retire and has built the business even larger.
-- Investment banker who took his golden parachute and opened a yoga studio.
-- A man trained as a lawyer, but became a TV personality. Then started a company that made cable TV programs. Had offices in four cities when he sold it and retired.
What do these people have in common? Their personalities and skills and backgrounds are all so different. Many were "accidental entrepreneurs." None had formal business training before they started out. None had venture capital backing--many started on a shoestring.
They had the guts to jump at opportunity. They stuck with it when times were tough. They watched their dollars very closely. They learned to manage as they went along.
They were smart enough not to be the "Lone Ranger" and try to go it alone. They got outside coaching and problem solving--in their cases, me.
In the words of Nike--Just do it!
Entrepreneurship can be taught but it starts with thinking differently.
You will find, amongst many, definitions of what an entrepreneur or entrepreneurship is but, I'd sum it up as "a person or persons who approaches problems from a solution based angle and challenges themselves to identify ways to solve them".
I have had an idea that I would like to turn into a business.
- Does the idea seek to solve a current problem or serve a future need? Ideas don't make an entrepreneur, however, if the idea leads to solving a problem, then it can be turned into a "business idea".
I have a lot to learn since I have never started a business before.
- Surely, there's a lot to learn but it starts by doing. Your best bet is to identify a coach, mentor, preferably, someone who is currently doing what you intend to do and learn from them. I'm sure you'll find lots of self help start up services locally to you.
I first want to make sure entrepreneurship is the right path for me.
- Entrepreneurship is a way of life and can be very demanding. There are many challenges including changes to your lifestyle in most cases attitude to life.
What are some ways to find out what it is really like being an entrepreneur and if it fits my skills and personality?
- To find out what it really is like to be an entrepreneur is to talk to one, speak with one and would be helpful to work with one.
There are lots of entrepreneurs out there and I'm sure you will find one that will be willing to share their experiences with you. This should help you determine whether you have the mindset or attitude to embark on this life changing journey.
Hope this helps and gives you a starting point on your journey.
Feel free to to connect if I can be of further help.
Best of luck
You will have to open to change and be willing to take risks. It's not for everyone, but it is exhilarating/terrifying/rewarding all at the same time. You must also be willing to fail at things and be able to pick yourself up so you will need to know if you have shown to be persistent because hard times are almost guaranteed to come. I am not saying any of this to discourage you because I always tell people to go for it because if all works, there is no better feeling or situation to be in.
Best of luck!
Well...you certainly have lots of input from many smart people! I don't think I can add anything to the mechanics or mindset of being an entrepreneur that has not already been stated. There are 1000's of books, articles (professional and academic), courses, seminars, mentoring groups, etc. that you can avail yourself of. But, as a longtime serial entrepreneur I can tell you that the "first time" is always the scariest and hardest to get started, and as was stated before, sometimes you just have to "do it". Even before you have all the answers. Here is my top 5 list of "things to do" for a new entrepreneur -
1. Talk to other entrepreneurs, formally or informally. Network, invite us to lunch or coffee (we are usually suckers for Starbucks) or just email or call. You will find that most of us love to tell you our war stories and there is usually a bit of wisdom that can be gleaned from each one. Trust me, we have the scars to prove it!
2. Read. But don't read everything. The concept of entrepreneurship, like the concept of management, has many adherents and thought-leaders, some good and some some not-so-much. You do not need a "how to" manual as much as you need a "why" manual. If you figure out the why, the how to will become apparent.
3. Define the job-to-be-done. Customers are defined by their need, their problem, their pain points or their job-to-be-done. How does your offering address this?
4. Find a customer. Just one...to start. To paraphrase Peter Drucker the goal of business is to find and keep a customer. Master that one concept and you will be successful. And, it is not as easy as it sounds. Finding a customer (and then many more customers) will require that your offering has a market. Your market will be defined by pain points, or job-to-be-done. Finding a customer or customers will tell you if your offering has perceived value in the marketplace...the only place it really matters.
5. Define your customer value proposition (CVP) or unique value proposition. What separates your solution from all the other solutions that are being offered? Two notes: there are ALWAYS other solutions including the status-quo (how is your customer solving this problem today?) And, if you don't see any other solutions, go back to point #3 above and reevaluate the job-to-be-done. There is a very good chance that if you are the only one who has a solution that there may not be a perceived need or problem to begin with. Do more research and proceed to step #4.
The list could go on and on. Maybe I will write a book! :)
Hope this helps. I would wish you good luck, but success in the marketplace takes more than luck, it takes hard work. So work hard. Work smart. And keep asking questions.
To know what it's like to be an entrepreneur, the answers are:
1. Experience it by become one - if you don't mind invest some money + opportunity cost of monthly salary
2. Listen to stories by joining entrepreneur networking ...hopefully you not confused by sales networking
3. Seek mentors - seek guidance and advises from seniors or expert entrepreneurs
4. Learn by studying ...MBA or entrepreneur course.
In the progress of learning ...study course to gain knowledge -> gain more knowledge from life examples -> Apply knowledge learnt by do it to experience it and seek mentoring to put you at correct path -> convert knowledge into wisdom when can appreciate entrepreneurship.
A few weeks ago someone asked about entrepreneurial networking groups, and my answer there applies to you: http://www.mosaichub.com/answers/question/do-you-belong-to-any-entrepreneurial-networking-gr#47056
Essentially, I wrote:
1) Find a mentor
2) Seek a successful person in your field and interview them; better yet, ask if you can "shadow" them for a week or so to get a feel for the business
3) Seek a few people in your potential client base and see what it's like to serve them; perhaps, with a friend, you can even role-play closing the sale and then providing your product/service and follow-up. How would it feel to do this on a daily basis?
You might also read several issues of Entrepreneur magazine as well as Fast Company, and see if the ideas expressed resonate with you and light your inner fire.
I've heard entrepreneurship described as jumping off a cliff with the intent of building a plane on the way down.
That said, is there a way to practice by setting up your idea as s side-project and then shift resources as you're comfortable?
Remember, every business is unique so no one who's building a business has ever built *that* business before and ever expert was once a novice. They just didn't let that get in their way. Don't be put off because some make it look easy. It's not.
It's full on, but so so worth it. This is a long story, but near the end I give my top three tips - which many of the previous comments have been saying! Get a coach, hang out with people doing the same as you, and know there will be days where you wonder why you started - and that too will pass! http://mariadoyle.com/why-having-multiple-organ-failure-was-the-best-business-move-ever/
Start a business!
Really. Pilot something meaningful to you. Go through the cycle of setting-up, starting-up, and running a solo ownership business just to get a feel for what it takes. Have fun with and make it a learning experience and hopefully a profitable one. If you keep it small scale and a learning experience then you can't fail. But if the business bombs, then you can afford to close it and start over with your next opportunity. Along the way, you'll discover lots about what it takes and more importantly about you.
Find other entrepreneurs who you admire and aspire to be like, and ask them. It's been my experience that the good ones are more than happy to share their stories and their advice.
A friend of mine recently started a website where he does podcasts with fellow entrepreneurs. It's worth checking it out and getting some tips there. It's launchtogreatness.com. Again, this isn't my site, I get nothing from it ...it's just a great resource.
1. Network and find someone that has started a business in the past 5 years that lives near you. Go have coffee with them and ask them to share what they wish they had known when they were starting out.
2. See if any of the local universities have entrepreneur groups that you could attend a meeting or a session.
NOTE: I answered a similar question on Quora, so I'm just copying from there to here with a few extras at the end.
It takes a lot of GUTS to be one! (don't be scared by that). You have to be determined to face everything that comes your way (good or bad). Be ready to take the "punches" that come; to hear the phone slammed on you from the other end; to hear more "NOs" than you hear "YES".
On the flip side, you have to be ready to take the pressure that comes with success. You have to be able to sustain the process; to replicate what you did right, and possibly make changes as you go.
You have to be firm with your decisions, even if it costs a friendship or a client. It's often a lonely road, and it will mold you into someone who can stand the test of time.
It's not all doom and gloom by the way, because at the end of the day, you are doing what you enjoy and making a positive impact in the lives of your clients, family, friends, and your community at large.
To find out if it's the right path for you, you have to really search your motives:
- Is it for the money?
- Is it to prove a point to someone?
- Is it to make an impact and effect positive changes?
- Is it to obtain the freedom to do what you want?
- Is it to create the lifestyle you want?
- What's drives you?
To best way to find out what it's like and if it fits your skills...is to find out how your skills can help someone else. You know by actually going out there and doing stuff!
[Case Study] When I started my business, I didn't have a website and didn't know how to get one, So I acquired the skills to design a simple Wordpress website by watching what others did on youtube and went on to design my website...fast forward...I now design Wordpress websites for other businesses. 7 projects in the pipeline as I type this.
Will it fit your personality? It's up to you to determine that based on the experience you acquire down the line. If you find out it's not for you, then you can always move on to do other things. The ultimate thing is that you'd have learnt some good life skills in the process.
To add to what Ronald said about finding a coach or mentor, you need to also be careful, and try not to jump at everyone who says "I can help you". Do your due diligence and find if what he/she is doing resonates with you and where you're headed. Everyone needs a mentor, but not all mentors are for everyone.
I hope this helps...all the very best!
Entrepreneurship entails taking risks, personal satisfaction, and requires perserverance. You have to have a passion for your idea and devote the time to try to make it happen. I would suggest that you take a course on entrepreneurship at your local college or university to understand the totality of what it takes go turn an idea into a commercial success.
Buy something or make something or provide a service and sell it to someone else at a profit repeat.
Would you do it for free if you had the money and the means, Would you put in 18 hr days or 90 days in a row. Most overnight successes really took years and other peoples money, You'll need stamina and be willing to take on every type of task and learn all kinds of new skills.
Besides knowing everything there is about your idea, you need to be open-minded to the various ways you turn your idea into a business. Be creative and innovative, and understand the value your idea will be when it goes out in the marketplace. The risks you take should be calculated risks. Look for patterns that your idea will have with other products and services already existing. Make sure your idea has empathy- what I mean by this is that you need to take with consumers to find out how your idea will benefit others and see who your idea will help.
All great answers from the others.
I believe we all have what it takes to be entrepreneurs if you believe you can.
It can be a lonely, tough road at times but with hard work and patience, it pays off in spades in the long run.
Even if your business fails, you'll learn a lot along the way about yourself and new business skills and you will be a better person for it.
I believe you just instinctively know what to do and maybe this defines being an entrepreneur. You have a passion for what you do or what you have created; you learn quickly and get help by surrounding yourself with great people, then you lob in a mix of luck, judgement and good timing. Then one day you wake up and realize you have achieved something special. That's the moment someone says to you "How
can I become an entrepreneur like you?"
The Best way out is to go through!!!
Entrepreneurship is all about Hard work, Smart work and Lot of work!!
You just need to enjoy everything, and learn from your mistakes.
Its better you work alone because then only you will have to Work hard,work smart and you have to work a lot!
Just go out there and conquer everything!! Believe in yourself and Plllllzzzzzz respect Time!!!