We all have to make tough choices in our lives, to do what needs to be done in order to survive. Many people find themselves selling off pieces of the dreams they held when they were young, trading the hopes and desires for a steady job with a reliable income they can use to support their families. The end result being that dreaded feeling as the weekend rushes by and Monday comes around again, calling reluctant workers back to the soul grinding drudgery of a job they never wanted to take in the first place.
It’s nice to believe that all you have to do is work hard and you will be rewarded for your efforts, with the universe magically aligning to present you with the perfect job to keep you content and well paid despite your current predicament. Sadly, despite what the movies would have you believe, this rarely turns out to be the case.
You may well have a variety of skills, its entirely possible you even have a plan which you know deep in your gut would be a viable way for you to make a living apart from working under the comfort of a large companies shadow. Fear is what keeps most people from ever realizing their dreams. Fear that they won’t succeed, that they won’t make any money and their families will fall into ruin as a result.
Only by overcoming this dark inner voice will you be able to find yourself free of the shackles of misery. You hold the keys to your own success, you merely have to find the courage to step forward and choose a new direction for your life. If you can do that, then you are well on track for taking control of your own destiny. Though, there are a few other factors you need to take into consideration before actually going and leaving your regular day job behind.
Research Your New Business Thoroughly
No one ever claimed that running your own business was going to be easy. There is a huge amount of information you’re going to need to collect, from paying taxes and acquiring licenses, to finding customers and obtaining stock. Fortunately, it has never been easier to successfully research the information you’ll need to be successful at running your business.
Thanks to the power of the world wide web, detailed research that used to take days trawling through information in a dusty library, can now be done in a matter of hours (if you know where to look). It is highly unlikely that your business concept will be entirely new, and even if it is you will be able to find information online that relates to the kind of business you intend to start. Truly the internet is a real gold mine for entrepreneur’s, though it isn’t always easy to tell the good information from the bad.
Make sure to take down plenty of notes about your intended business, use multiple sources to get a solid idea about any given area of interest and come up with ways to put that information to good use. One of the more difficult aspects of research in the digital age is the risk of being struck with information paralysis, it can be very difficult to not be overwhelmed by the vast amount of data available on the web. Keep your goals clearly focused in your mind, because you must act on the information you find if you ever want to be a success.
Another option is to reach out to someone already working in your field of interest, to act as a mentor of sorts. They may not necessarily be in the same city, or even the same country, but through the power of the web it has become increasingly easy to reach out to those who have already succeeded in your field and ask them for their advice.
Start by telling them you admire their work, try to engage them in meaningful conversation about the profession you are pursuing, one which will be interesting to them as well as educational to yourself. Some may be willing to take an active role as your mentor, if you are local to one another they may require some kind of non-compete agreement from you before they are willing to do so. There is nothing more valuable than getting the opportunity to work directly with an established expert in the field you aspire to become a part of. If you get that kind of chance make sure to ask lots of questions, record the answers and do everything you can to make sure you walk away with more knowledge and contacts than you had before.
Very few business’ can be created from absolutely nothing. Even when they can most people will still need to ensure an immediate cash flow to make sure their basic living requirements are met. This alone stops more new business’ from starting than any other factor. After all no one can guarantee that the planned venture is going to make any money (though research should have been done to try and insure and adequate market is present), and starting a business only for it to fail to make any money at all can have a devastating effect on peoples lives.
A lot of entrepreneurs will set about looking for external funding to help bare the brunt of their initial operating costs. Even a retail giant like Amazon once started as a small idea that needed a lot of money to run for several years before they made any actual profit. There are plenty of investment opportunities available from private institutions and banks, even government grants can be obtained to help the creation of certain types of business’. All of which can really help a new business to grow.
All that said, you should be careful when looking for sources of external funding. Whilst securing investment money will often require you to make some investments of your own, part of the point in getting an investor is to make sure your needs are met during the start up period and to help bare the brunt of the cost should venture not turn out as hoped.
If you are going to make the move from being employed to being a new entrepreneur, it is wise to make sure you have already managed to acquire some savings (which you aren’t going to invest) to help see you through the bleaker times. Anyone who has ever run a business will tell you that there have been good times and there have been some not so good times. Make sure you always prepared for the worst and you will always be able to sleep peacefully at night.
Actually Do It
Seems simple enough, but honestly nothing could be more true than once you have made the decision to become an entrepreneur you must leap forward and actually do it. Any kind of new business venture will require you to expand an immense amount of time and energy in order to see it succeed. It is quite likely you will actually work longer hours than you have ever worked in your entire life, but they key is to be working in a field that makes you happy. If you do that and you do it well, success and money will come in their own time.
The best reward to being an entrepreneur can be summed up with a quote by Confucius “Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Even now two and a half thousand years later it stills holds true. All you have to do is overcome your fear and start chasing your dream and you can be happy too.