Type “entrepreneurship” into your favorite search engine and a popular – and unreferenced – definition is almost certain to pop-up:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Did you catch that?
“…living a few years of your life like most people won’t…”
While there are hundreds of more academically-accepted definitions of entrepreneurship, this internet sourced description is most relevant I light of my entrepreneurial experiences.
Not businesses are a success.
While there are many factors influencing whether or not a business will turn a profit, all successful businesses start with one thing in common – a good business idea.
Aspiring entrepreneurs often run in circles, trying to figure out whether or not their latest hare-brained startup inspiration is financially feasible.
Will the business model work? Will it turn a profit? Will customers support their new business? Is there any way to know whether or not their business idea will work before betting the farm?
Good news: Entrepreneurs have a framework for testing business idea feasibility without diving in head first.
2018 is just around the corner – New Year’s fireworks, parties, and the never-ending resolutions.
If your social media feed is anything like mine, it’s currently clogged with “I will…” and “My Resolutions…” posts.
Some resolutions have to do with personal development, like health and generosity.
Others are more professionally-focused, such as finishing a degree program or expanding a department.
This time of year, the New Year, is all about one thing – the future.
November 19th is officially proclaimed as Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (Yay!).
It’s a pretty big deal here in the United States, along with 143 other countries. If you are, by chance, in NYC this weekend, consider swinging by the United Nations or Athleta Union Square for some Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (#ChooseWomen) celebrations!
As a female entrepreneur, I’m pretty stoked about Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, as my entrepreneurial experience has been quite empowering. Not only did starting my own business help me achieve class mobility and higher education, but it also provided more freedom and resources for my family’s future.
Few things in life are a one-person show, and entrepreneurship – excuse me, successful entrepreneurship – is no exception.
Entrepreneurs need a team of supporters every step of the way.
Leadership guru John Maxwell stated, “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.”
Assembling you’re A-team ASAP can truly be the defining factor as to whether your entrepreneurial vision becomes a dream or a nightmare. There are five key people that every entrepreneur should recruit to ensure career success.
Let’s check out the entrepreneurial dream team line-up:
Throughout the majority of my life, I’ve lived with an extreme level of social anxiety – like projectile-vomit-all-over-Brooks-Brother’s-suits-at-an-industry-networking-event level of anxiety.
I love meeting new people in small settings and learning about other’s life stories, but a tech conference filled with abrupt, in-yo-face “Let’s connect!”, “What’s your valuation?”, “Who’s on your client list?” makes me want to ditch the whole event agenda, hole up in my hotel room, and Wikipedia local historical sites.
It’s that bad.
I began my entrepreneurial journey in the era of boom or bust tech-based startups. The markets had crashed, national employment was in the crapper, and this thing called the internet was exploding almost overnight.
The popular business gurus hailed as the poster boys of success were the extremely extroverted, snake oil salesmen peddling “success” to all of us nearly-bankrupt professionals like a crack dealer cruising Beale Street.
It’s here –the day you take the leap into the wild and wooly world of entrepreneurship, leaving behind the security and stability of a “normal” job.
The leap is thrilling.
It’s also completely terrifying.
For myself, there were many nights during Year 1, Year 2, and a few in Year 3, where I laid awake wondering, “What in the @*&% did I just do?”
Looking back, there were several key actions I should have taken before quitting my job to go full-time in my business. They say hindsight is 20/20 – well, maybe a few aspiring entrepreneurs can glean some wisdom from the things I wish I’d known.
Here’s the scoop on 5 things you should do BEFORE you quit your day job and dive headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship:
This post is brought to you on behalf of the Forté Foundation. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Forté Foundation.
Until ten years ago, I had never actually met a professional woman – an educated female that made a living wage. Growing up in fundamentalism, I was raised in a culture that did not acknowledge gender equality and restricted women to very limited roles as wives and mothers. I had no idea what developing a career involved or even how to get started. The majority of my homeschool education had been focused on the domestic arts – childcare, cooking, cleaning, etc. – and neglected subjects like math, science, and finance (all the things you wouldn’t find in the job description for a housewife).
My junior year of college, I finally encountered a real-life professional woman – a visiting professor of biochemistry. She was confident, educated, and owned her own house. I knew I wanted to be just like her, but I had no idea how to get there.
Remember Raymond Tusk from House of Cards?
The Koch-inspired billionaire who headquartered his company in Missouri (of all places), lived in a modest house with his wife, and spent his free time roaming the Ozarks bird watching? Despite living thousands of miles away from politic power houses and industry hubs, Tusk’s enterprises extended their reach into international markets from the Show Me State, all the way to China.
While I’m not much like Gerald McCraney’s House of Cards character (we exist in totally different tax brackets), we do have one similarity – running a business from the middle of nowhere.
Throughout business school, I carefully researched up and coming metro areas and startup communities, trying to identify the “perfect” place to headquarter my consulting firm. Continue Reading…
Sometimes you just hit the jackpot – a dream client that is a pleasure to work with sends you fabulous referrals, and always pays on time.
Other times, you find yourself tethered to a client from hell – a psychopathic cheapskate that’s a grab bag of ageism, sexism, and racism, threatens to slander your business name and is always late on their bill.
Mean clients have a way of taking something you love – your work, your company, and your entrepreneurial lifestyle – and turning it into a complete nightmare. The dark clouds of doom these bad clients bring along with them leave you second guessing your skills, your career, and even yourself.
Don’t let mean clients ruin your business.
Follows these three tips for dealing with mean clients successfully and enjoy the benefits of business again: