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Monday, August 23, 2010

Do you have what it takes to be an Entrepreneur?

"Success depends on acting on dreams."
  - Estee Lauder, Chairman of the Board, Estee Lauder, NY, NY

From time to time you may have considered opening your own business. But many of us are stumped as to how to start one and what kind of business we should open. Should it be a mom and pop operation or should we purchase a franchise. But before we even start to consider the foregoing we should look at ourselves and consider our lifestyle, education, skill set, and ambition. Performing an introspection and examination of ourselves will determine whether we have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

There are many traits that go into making a good entrepreneur. Studies have been undertaken to find out what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and the most common traits have been found to be the following:

Passion/Desire - The successful entrepreneur possesses passion to be one. He burns with desire to succeed. When one is passionate about what they are doing they loose all sense of time and the task is effortless. Launching a new business requires long hours and many challenges.

Determination/Perseverance - Entrepreneurs are determined. No one can get them to change their minds. They do not give up easily even when it might be wise to do so. They will figure out the path they need to take in order to attain their goals. Successful businesses require time, and successful entrepreneurs confess that it can take 4 to 5 years before the money starts rolling in.

Responsibility - Entrepreneurs must take on the responsibility of running a business, employing people, paying the payroll, bills and taxes.

Health and Energy - The demands of starting and running a business requires a lot of energy, stamina and good health to keep up the pace required to make that business successful. Health affects one's ability to think clearly and to handle situations in a controlled manner. Customers and employees need to know that the entrepreneur has the stamina and skills to handle any situation that may come his way. The entrepreneur must also know how to make time for himself.

Ability to Work Independently - As an entrepreneur you become the chief cook and bottle washer. You are the janitor, secretary, bookkeeper and strategic planner. Recognizing the necessity to do whatever it takes to get the job done to ultimately make the business a success is critical.

Respect for Money - Many businesses get into trouble because they spend too much money at the outset. Successful entrepreneurs are conservative and careful with their money. They spend on what is necessary and save the rest.

Ability to Manage Time Wisely - Since the entrepreneur is working with little or no staff and limited budgets, the ability to plan and to prioritize effectively is crucial. It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to work 70 to 80 hours a week during the initial stages of establishing the business and still leave the office with many tasks unfinished. Good entrepreneurs will utilize the personnel they do employ to their best advantage, and delegate duties and responsibility and enable employees to fulfill their duties.

Dependability - Do what you say you will do to open the store on time and deliver goods within the time frame indicated. Consumers have come to expect excellent service. And they will expect it from you. Doing so is your competitive advantage.

Flexibility - "Times they are a changing", and entrepreneurs must be able to adapt to the changing demands of customers and their businesses. Small businesses are able to change quickly and adapt their processes or operations to meet the current demand. Large corporations are not able to do this.

Many people say that an entrepreneur has to be born, but I say that you can be educated to be one. Of course, you have to have it in you to want to excel at whatever you do, and you can read case after case study and pick up the skills and awareness of trends in business to advance and take hold of an opportunity.

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