For most of the 20th century, being an entrepreneur meant starting a brick and mortar business, hanging out your shingle and going after targeted clients locally. Now the online world has made it possible for almost anyone to become an entrepreneur – but in spite of what many claim, not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur…
Anyone who chooses to can set up a presence online, hook it to a payment processor and start promoting their new business, all for free. Or they can set up an affiliate marketing business and promote other people’s products for a slice of the profits – again for free. And that’s what has led to the claims that anyone with an internet connection can become an entrepreneur and launch their own business, full or part time. The high cost of retail, office or manufacturing space, furnishings, staffing and the like for offline businesses can be avoided by starting a virtual company, leading a far greater number of people to venture into businesses of their own.
Unfortunately, most of these people will not make it as entrepreneurs. Oh, they may make a few dollars here and there, but very few will make a sustainable income suitable to their investment of time and efforts. You see, there’s one factor they don’t know about…
Unless you can self-motivate and self-discipline, you need a boss.
It’s going to take twice as long – or longer – to see sales coming in than people anticipate. Plus, you have to stay very active at both educating yourself and finding the right opportunities, all while not seeing immediate results. And in most cases, people have no experience in that type of environment.
In school, most students learn to focus just on what NEEDS to be done – and what needs to be done is what the teachers or professors will be marking. Very few do the ‘extra credit’ type of additional work. Then you move on into your career, again doing just enough not to get fired. A few will always put in the extra time and effort to move up and build a stellar career – and those are the people who love their jobs and would be good as entrepreneurs as well. Problem is, most of them are happy doing what they’re doing, while it’s those who hate their current jobs that most want to be self-employed.
Want an easy test to see if YOU would make a good entrepreneur? Have you ever started a fitness routine – lifting weights, running or doing some form of aerobics or cardio? Are you still at it, or did you let it slide as other interests ate up your time? You know it’s important to stay fit and healthy, and you know why you need to maintain a healthy weight – but with no one over you forcing you to do it, did you stay at it? Once again, without a ‘boss’, for most people the answer is no.
Now that isn’t a definitive test – some people who fail that will still make great entrepreneurs so long as they can develop the self-discipline to stay focused on the tasks and their deadlines and learn to motivate themselves to persevere through the lean start-up period. Just don’t go into it blind and don’t be naive – do an honest self-assessment on your own habits, strengths and weaknesses before launching yourself out there in your own business… You’ll either know to avoid it and keep your current career or be much more like to become a successful entrepreneur!