During my time of writing this column , speaking to audiences and serving as founding chair of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society, I have enjoyed the banter with those with a desire to pursue their own entrepreneurial journey.
But such discussions always raise the question from me — Are you really ready for entrepreneurship?
For any business leader, 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 you or the way you conduct your venture, and don’t like the product or service you want to launch.
But that’s why I love entrepreneurs. They are the folks who make our society great.
They are the same folks who will correct what is wrong, and make good things even better.
To anyone giving their blood, sweat and tears to a perceived opportunity, to anyone rocking the boat to do something many would train out of us, to the people who will shake up the norm and give us new possibilities, they have my utmost respect and appreciation,
Every year, thousands of people make the transition from employee, student, housewife, immigrant, retired, disabled to become an entrepreneur in Canada.
While many succeed, many also fail.
Those who don’t succeed were simply not ready to make the entrepreneur lifestyle change and face that challenge.
Quitting a full-time job or career position to launch an entrepreneurial venture isn’t something to be taken lightly.
How do you know if the entrepreneurial life is for you? You don’t for certain.
Even if you have the personality and drive, will you have sufficient money to launch a new venture? Is my family ready for the change? Does the market need a service or product you see as a successful business opportunity?
Most successful entrepreneurs recall a sense of urgency that prompted them to begin their journey beyond desire and actually a necessity.
Many say they knew when the time was right for them to begin, while others say that getting fired, laid off or passed over for promotion fueled the fire of their entrepreneurial spirit.
That need to control one’s own destiny is a powerful motivator for any new entrepreneur.
But the issue of investor support is one that always tends to arise.
The challenge is to make others believe in your dream, and be willing to invest in it.
I love entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurs, so for me I want to see everyone succeed.
But understand this — 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. But what is important is to recognize, acknowledge and understand those strengths and weaknesses and do something positively constructive about them.