Compared to the generations before them, the newest cohort of workers value different things in their careers. Millennials are looking for freedom — the ability to work hard while maintaining a fulfilling home and work balance. As a group, this generation is built to produce entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is not just a means to an end. It is a way of thinking and living that will require you to dig into your core beliefs to be successful.
Make Entrepreneurship Your Job
It may be a hard nut to swallow, but your first business will probably fail. Though some people like to claim that nine out of 10 small businesses fail, the real numbers are closer to 50 percent, according to the Washington Post. The good news is that most of the failures should have quotes around the word because they are not going under. Instead, they are closing so that something new can be created. The simple fact is that you are not your company. As an entrepreneur, your job is to create the business. You must look at your career as it relates to the long haul and let your ventures transform as necessary.
Become a Salesperson
No matter what type of business you create, there is one skill that you must hone. Every entrepreneur is a salesperson. You may be selling your product, your idea, or yourself as a freelancer. Either way, you need to have the ability to express yourself and spotlight your benefits in such a way that a person will sign a contract and give you money.
Becoming a good salesperson is a matter of practice. Take a look at health and beauty product leader Amway as both a resource and a platform for you to practice your skills without harming your primary business.
The entrepreneur is a unique breed of person. According to Entrepreneur magazine, they need to be determined, confident and risk-takers. The only way to tell if you qualify is to look at yourself honestly. Do a self-assessment and decide if this is the life that you want.
There are benefits to the non-entrepreneurial track. At the top of the list is a steady paycheck. The Banque du Canada, Canada’s national bank, has a nice self-assessment tool for entrepreneurs. Consider giving it a try to see if you have what it takes.
Plan and Plan Some More
Under the must-have category, you are going to want to have a business plan. Going under the assumption that you are not your business, then you will probably want two business plans: one for your business venture and another for yourself as a brand.
A business plan is a tool to guide your new company as well as generate investor interest. It will include your vision, operation plan and the financial projections for the company. Take a look at the United States Small Business Administration for resources and a great business plan template.
Have Money to Spend
You are going to need it to make it. During the business planning process, you are going to create a budget, startup requirements and reserve funds. You will need this money in the bank. You might be able to secure this with a bank loan, especially if you have assets, or you may need to have an angel investor. As a startup, investors can range from family members to established equity investors, depending on the amount of money that you need. Make sure that your business plan is tight before making the bank or investor pitch.