How to be an Entrepreneur – What Does it Take?

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Are you asking how to be an entrepreneur? Are there any rewards of entrepreneurship, other than long hours? Thought of being an online entrepreneur? Do you need an entrepreneurship degree? Do you even have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

You will find it pretty challenging to interact with someone who does not complain about their job to some degree. Maybe they hate their boss, hate their tasking, or perhaps the thought of doing the same work until they retire is downright mentally torturous.

We have had it ingrained into us ever since we were kids to earn a degree, find a stable career, and save up for retirement someday. However, that is not enough for some people, and they decide to venture into the unknown battlefield of entrepreneurship to break away from that path.

Being able to sustain yourself and work on things you genuinely love is the heart of entrepreneurship. Some people were born with that entrepreneur gene, while others may have entertained the idea as they realized each job they go to is just not as satisfying as they had hoped.

It can be scary to take the leap into becoming an entrepreneur, but the journey is worth it.

Top 5 Rewards of Entrepreneurship

There are tons of rewards you can get, especially if you choose to be an online entrepreneur (getting to work anywhere you want along as you have a computer and internet).

Here are the top five of those reasons that may help you determine that this is the right path for you.

  1. Constant Growth and Development – As an entrepreneur, you will be forced to change and improve your skillset to stay relevant in the demanding market. This is a reward because you will always be growing, developing, and learning, which will feel liberating and increase professional success.
  2. You Are in Control – The number of hours you work, where you work, your schedule and everything else in between, you are in control of all of it. You never have to ask someone for PTO or worry about running out of sick day allocations anymore, which is quite a fantastic reward.
  3. You Are Your Own Boss – This is probably the number one reason why people opt for entrepreneurship. You are your own boss, get to make all the decisions, and do not have to take orders from anyone.
  4. Your Earnings Are Unlimited – No more salary jobs with small yearly raises. You can go from making a few thousand a month to becoming a millionaire in no time if you put your mind to it. There is no cap and no earning limits.
  5. You Love Your Work – Working and loving every moment of it, both good and bad, is an incredible reward as an entrepreneur. They enjoy and are entirely passionate about what they do and the entire process that goes with it, and that is something very rarely found in traditional 9 to 5 jobs.

7 Signs You Have What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur

The reality of this career choice is that it is not made for everyone, and that is okay. Whether you were born with the entrepreneur seed or planted it later on, there are some tall tale signs you are an entrepreneur and should follow that profession.

  1. You Are Not Complacent – You never settle and are always striving to get and do more out of life. If you exhibit this trait, you would be a great entrepreneur because these folks are always looking to improve and move out of the comfort zone.
  2. You Like Control – Do you have a hard time taking orders from someone else and would rather be able to be the one controlling instead? Then you would be ideal for embarking on entrepreneurship.
  3. You Love Taking Risks – Some people like to stay in their bubble and not come out. If you like to step away and take calculated risks, then the cubicle life is probably not for you.
  4. You Like Making Your Own Money – If making your own money and on your own terms is stimulating to you, then you should get out of the corporate environment and be responsible for your own income without “higher-ups” involved.
  5. You Don’t Fit In – When you are walking around the office, do you feel that you just do not fit in or belong there? Do you feel like you would rather live your life on your own terms rather than going through the 9 to 5 routine every day? If you are the black sheep of the office, you may want to start planning your entrepreneurship escape.
  6. You Value Hard Work – You are passionate about your work, and you do not mind putting in hours upon hours into something to make it the best it can be. You work smart, hard and are not afraid to get your hands dirty.
  7. You Are Curious, Confident, and You See the Big Picture – Each of these traits are what makes up an authentic and successful entrepreneur. They are constantly curious, seeking out innovative ideas, confident in their abilities to succeed, and they focus on the big picture rather than getting bogged down by small things. If this describes you, then you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

So, You Have What It Takes. Now What?

Knowing that you have the qualities to be a great entrepreneur is great, but that is only the surface of the hard work that you will need to put into it.

If you decided to leverage your personality and traits, and jump into becoming an entrepreneur, then the next step is to figure out what you are going to be doing.

For example, the very first thing you will want to do is find out the product or service you wish to provide. It can be anything, but if you’re going to stand out, make it something that fills a demand gap in the market. It needs to be what people want and something that can solve an annoying or hard problem they have.

For example, mobile phone chargers stop phones from dying at inopportune times. Wireless headphones make it much easier for people to enjoy music without a pesky cord in the way.

Be creative, think outside the box and brainstorm things in the world that can be improved upon that you can fix.

For guidance, answer these three questions and be as specific as possible for each one:

  • What is the product?
  • What is the problem it solves?
  • Who is my target audience?

Validate Your Product

Let’s say you get to the point where you have your entire business structure laid out, and you know precisely what you are going to create and who you will provide it to.

The next step is to validate your product and really dive deep into seeing if there are customers that will make it viable. No customers mean no sales.

A good way to get better stats is by developing a Minimum Viable Product. This is a version of your product that has just enough features to satisfy your early customers so you can get their feedback to make the final product or service better.

Keep iterating this process until you’re delivering a product or service that’s customized for your customers.

Remember, you’re not looking to hit the mass market, you’re looking to hit your target audience. Once you’ve saturated that market (and making millions), then you can start thinking about the mass market.

Build Your Team

Even if you are an online entrepreneur, you will still want to get a good and experienced team to help you grow. Starting out, you’ll probably bootstrap and do most things yourself. But you’ll want to start get some help, starting with freelancers (eg., graphic designers) to free you up to focus on your business.

Building your team will strongly depend on the product or service you are planning on selling. It will also dictate the type of person and the number of heads you will need.

It can be hard initially to get people to trust a startup business and join you, but don’t despair. Continue showing your passion, positivity and the future. You will surely find the right people to join you.

Fund Your Business

You’ll need some startup funds. Depending on your product or service, you could start with less than $100 or need $5,000 or more.

Whatever your amount, it will be an initial investment upfront. But the idea is that you will sell your product or service so well that you will get many multiples of return on investment.

Some ways you can get funding include friends and family, crowdfunding (Kickstarter and Indiegogo), reaching out to respected investors, bank loans.

And remember, before contacting any of these people or companies, make sure your business plan is strong, so they have a tough time saying no.

Incorporate Your Business

Something you will want to consider doing is to incorporate your business. If you’re doing everything yourself, you can delay incorporation until you’re generating decent revenues, because there’ll be costs associated with incorporation,

Making it an LLC can protect your personal assets, in case there are any legal judgments claimed against your business. For example, if there is an angry customer who sues you, they cannot take your personal assets like your house, because you have separated it from your business. This gives you limited liability for business debts and obligations, and adds more credibility / authority for your brand. Another thing to note is by incorporating, you can avoid double taxation by electing Subchapter S tax status.

I started an LLC through IncFIle.com. IncFile specializes in business formations. The process was super easy. I went on their site, filled out some information, and came back to be a couple days later that my LLC was all setup. They have different packages, but you they can register your LLC for as little as $40. The incorporation fees will differ depending on the state you want to incorporate in. Different states have different benefits, so you’ll want to do some research on different state benefits.

Conclusion

If you’ve read everything and have found that entrepreneurship does not apply to you, that is okay! Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur.

The unpredictability of income, schedule, workflow, and the long hours might not be something you want to take on. It is not all butterflies and rainbows. Working at home will blend together work and life, it’ll be unbalanced.

But if you are still ready to take on the challenge, then all I can say is go for it. You will regret not at least trying.

Once you’re ready to get going, start the How to Start an Online Business series now.

Becoming an entrepreneur is an unpredictable adventure that can be quite liberating and fulfilling as you start to see your hard work finally paying off.

You are your own boss, and you get to call your own shots, which are some of the ultimate rewards of entrepreneurship. Remember, you only have a limited amount of time on earth, so you should take this as an opportunity to live the life you want and make a difference in the world.

Even if you fail the first time, it does not mean the game is over. After all, Edison made a thousand unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb, and look how that turned out.

Great discussion with Gary Vee and Tim Ferriss on Where to Start as an Entrepreneur:

Let’s do a quick recap of the highlights:

What are 5 rewards of being an entrepreneur?

Here are the top five rewards to help you determine if this is the right path for you:

1. Constant Growth and Development
2. You Are in Control
3. You Are Your Own Boss
4. Your Earnings Are Unlimited
5. You Love Your Work

What are 7 signs you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Tall tale signs you are an entrepreneur:

1. You Are Not Complacent
2. You Like Control
3. You Love Taking Risks
4. You Like Making Your Own Money
5. You Don’t Fit In
6. You Value Hard Work
7. You Are Curious, Confident, and You See the Big Picture

What are the first 3 questions entrepreneurs must answer?

First questions you have to answer on your entrepreneurial journey:

1. What is the product?
2. What is the problem it solves?
3. Who is my target audience?

If you haven’t yet, check out the other parts of this series on being an Entrepreneur and starting an online business:

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