True Independence

Tips for becoming an entrepreneur

This Independence Day, as Americans celebrate the nation’s founding, when a small group of men with a vision decided to take fate into their hands and found a democracy, why not take a break from flag waving and reflect on the principle? The freedom to do as we wish and be who we are is a fundamental right in our society… a fact that sometimes gets lost in the doldrums of the day to day. However, the opportunity to pursue your own happiness, is always right there waiting should you feel the entrepreneurial spirit. Translation? This Fourth of July, why not think about becoming your own boss… 

Here are three things to consider if the idea inspires you… even just a little bit!

The Potential
Every success story starts with passion. And if you’re thinking about going off on your own – taking a risk to earn big rewards (like free time, control over your schedule and of course, money), you need to be passionate about your product. The idea of where it can take you should set off fireworks in your brain – after all, you’re going to have to be excited about it in order to get up and do it everyday – especially in the beginning. So consider carefully what your ideal job would look like and fashion your business around that. A simple example? If you’re a social butterfly bored to tears by an office job, don’t start an insurance agency. Do something that gets you out and around people, capitalizing on your friendly nature! 

The Pitfalls
Before the excitement settles you’ll want to pause and take a moment to consider the possible pitfalls on your path to success. It may seem like a downer, but nothing is always simple and smooth and there are bound to be months (especially early on) when you don’t hit your financial goals. How will you deal with the difficult times and keep going until you get to the other side? Knowing what could go wrong won’t prevent it from happening, but it will give you the confidence to know you can handle it because you’ve thought ahead. That brings us to…

The Plan
While you may be dying to tell your current boss to take your job and shove it, you’d be ill-advised to make a leap into an entrepreneurial activity without reasonable plans for the short and long term. Where do you want to be in one month? Six? A year? Five? What are the best and worst case scenarios and how will you handle each. Of course, curveballs are bound to come your way despite all of this planning, but charting your course in the first place helps you to adjust accordingly as it unfolds. The important thing is that you’ve got the map!
Stephanie K. Smith is a freelance writer working across mediums. Her pieces have appeared on sites ranging from CNN.com to National Lampoon and she’s written television pilots for Fox, CBS, The CW and Legendary Television. She lives in Los Angeles with her son, Dash and their (girl) cat, Fred.  http://www.stephanieksmith.com/

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