Young: No guarantees on the journey for entrepreneurs

Every year, thousands of people from all walks of life­…bid to become an entrepreneur. Many succeed, many fail.

During my time of writing this column, speaking to audiences and serving as founding chair of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society, I have enjoyed on many occasions the banter with people expressing their desire to pursue their entrepreneurial journey.

The reasons are many for exploration of this pursuit, all of them honourable and admirable.

I am mindful this week of the cloak of uncertainty that enshrouds my thought when I embrace such discussion. Are you really ready for entrepreneurship?

Let’s take at a look at some thought-provoking insights into this world, maybe your world for tomorrow.

Some harsh realities about life when entertaining the thought of becoming entrepreneurial that never leaves my thought process is the only way to not be criticized is to do nothing. To say nothing. And to be nothing.

A lesson new entrepreneurs often find difficult to talk is this: No matter what you do or how well you do it, there will always be people who will criticize, do not like the way you conduct your venture and ironically do not seem to like your product or service idea.

It is a truth of entrepreneurship that all of us in the entrepreneurial world must accept and embrace.

So consider your readiness to become a budding entrepreneur.

Every year, thousands of people from all walks of life­—employee, student, housewife, immigrant, retired, disabled—bid to become an entrepreneur. Many succeed, many fail.

For those who do fail, often it’s because they weren’t ready for the demands of an entrepreneurial challenge.

Quitting a full-time job or career position to launch an entrepreneurial venture isn’t something to be taken lightly by anyone.

How do you know if the entrepreneurial life is for you? Even if self-assessment tests indicate you’ve got the right personality for entrepreneurial success, that still doesn’t guarantee it will happen for you.

Do I have enough money? Is my family ready for the change?  Does the market need a service or product such as I am embracing as my opportunity entry?

If the answers to those questions are a resounding yes, that is a first step in the right direction.

Most successful entrepreneurs recall a sense of urgency, a necessity to earn a living, that prompted them to begin their journey.

Many say they knew when the time was right for them personally to start their own venture.

For others, getting fired, laid off or passed over for promotion fueled the fire of their entrepreneurial spirit.

The fundamental need to control one’s own destiny ranks very high on most entrepreneurs list for pursuing an entrepreneurial dream.

Often this “need” resonates so strongly that entrepreneurs will risk family, future and careers to become their own boss.

Unable to feel truly fulfilled working for someone else, many of us grow to disdain taking orders in any fashion from someone higher in the pecking order.

A key element that determines your readiness is raising the money required from investors to launch an idea.

I am confronted with this issue every other day in my function as an investment/finance broker, working to assist the good folks of western Canada to find investment/finance funds for their dreams.

If you can make other people believe in your dream and put up their cash behind it, that is a big step towards finding success.

Besides investment capital, the other reality check involves market research for a business idea, and how it will impact the lifestyle for you and your family.

All entrepreneurs at the start must be ready to defer gratification and make substantial sacrifices to ensure your rewards eventually come your way.

It is a rarity that one person has all the qualities needed to be successful in venture creation. Everyone has strong and weak points in their makeup.

What is important is to recognize, acknowledge and understand those strengths and weaknesses and do something positively constructive about them.

Let me leave you today with this quote of inspiration:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how a strong man stumbles, or where a doer of deeds could have actually done them better.

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again.

“Because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who is at the best, knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”


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