Becoming an entrepreneur will be a difficult task if you don't
adequately prepare yourself for the adventure, but with the proper
preparation it can pay back your investment in multiple ways.
Not only is there a financial gain but there is also the feeling of
owning your own business, and escaping the day-to-day JOB mentality
that most people feel. For us, JOB is an acronym for "just over
broke." Yes, starting your own business can seem risky at first but
look how many people have lost their JOB after the economic
downturn. And what did many of those people do? Start a business!
Working for yourself and for your dream has an entirely different
feeling than working for a paycheck. When you work for a paycheck,
the traditional grind of the job can be quite tiresome. However,
when you are working for your dream, something you are passionate
about, "working" hard can feel as effortless as just having fun.
Don't let that passion turn into a routine, though. Constantly
strive to be better and adapt your vision. Learn to work smarter,
not harder and help your dream become a reality. Being a leader is
without a doubt the most important skill for a successful
entrepreneur to have. Your leadership not only helps dictate your
successfulness but also the successfulness of the employees that
look to you.
Leaders must evoke passion and motivate others to see the vision.
When your team feels how much you believe in what you're doing,
they are more likely to get onboard with you. Leaders inspire
creative thinking, listen to their team member's ideas, and show
sincere appreciation. Leaders refuse to take personal credit and
instead give it to the team. Remember your reward is a successful
business. A leader allows people to make mistakes and trusts the
team to take responsibility for those mistakes.
We must remember that mistakes often times teach valuable lessons.
The two most common complaints that we hear from would be
entrepreneurs is "I need an idea" and "I have too many ideas."
Complaining about needing an idea is like complaining about needing
oxygen. While everything may have been invented to a certain
degree, it doesn't mean you can't find a way to make it better. Be
creative and pair a need with a product or service to fill it. Ask
yourself, "Why do people need my product or service? Why do they
need it now?"
If you have no answers, find them before you launch. Test your
idea. We hauled junk during summer vacation generating a
significant amount of income before we entered our idea into a
business plan competition. Once we saw how successful it could be
by winning first prize in this competition it only increased the
enormous amount of passion we already had behind our idea. If
you're not passionate about your idea you won't do whatever it
takes to make it successful. If things don't go as planned you will
Passion is what fuels an entrepreneur. Passion can be very powerful
when used to create something you truly believe in. Listen to the
people who offer criticism. Listen to it and consider it.
Sometimes you will get valuable insight. There will always be
people who outright doubt you as well, but that too can fuel your
passion. View it as more motivation to succeed so you can prove
them wrong. Focus is another valuable tool every entrepreneur needs
to have. Remember you can't ride two bicycles at the same time.
When we first started College Hunks Hauling Junk we had thousand of
ideas, many of which proved to be costly distractions.
We tried to launch side businesses but every time we got away from
our core it came back to bite us in the butt. The key is figuring
out which idea has legs and sticking to it. Be the best at one
thing. We learned the hard way costing us not only time but money
as well. Don't even consider additional ventures until your core
business is systemized to the point it can grow profitably without
Never stop learning. Once we found something we were truly
passionate about, that we could devote our energies and efforts to,
we became sponges, soaking up as much information as possible. We
attended seminars, read books, and picked the brains of business
owners who'd made it. Education helps develop your abilities to
start your own business. Create effective systems to keep your
business on track and enable individuals to succeed. Learn as much
as you can about business and your field, and continue to thirst
for knowledge to help grow your own business.
Entrepreneurs often live on the edge. Very successful entrepreneurs
are willing to take leaps of faith into uncharted waters. While
they have confidence in their ability to survive they know there
are no guarantees. They also know that good preparation lessens
risk. So does having a good team in place, people who are good at
doing what you are not so good at. Taking risks can put you in a
position to achieve greatness.
Taking the safe and easy way never does. Look at risks as chances
to progress or to learn a good lesson. Either way they can be
positive. There is a difference between a risk and a gamble. A
gamble is a blind leap into the unknown that's made in desperation,
without passion. A risk is something you think about and believe
in. Don't be afraid to take smart risks. You have to be willing to
take risks. That doesn't mean you have to take them but be willing
to consider it. It can lead to great success in your business.
If you're serious about starting a business, you can learn how to
develop these assets in yourself, as we did, as you accumulate your
assets. If you really want your own business, you CAN do it! Create
a plan to make the most of your personal assets and find people who
are good at other things to complete the picture of your business.
Then build your business one brick at a time.
*This article is a summary of Chapter 3 of Friedman and Soliman's
book, Effortless Entrepreneur: Work Smart, Play Hard, Make
Nick Friedman is president and co-founder of College Hunks Hauling
Omar Soliman, a business management major, is co-founder of College
Hunks Hauling Junk; firstname.lastname@example.org.