Everyone can be an entrepreneur, but it takes a certain type of person to start a successful business on their own.
Calculated Risk Takers
There’s a difference between being a risk taker and a calculated risk taker, and successful entrepreneurs are the latter. Leonard C. Green, a successful entrepreneur and professor, teaches his students that calculating your risks is what will either make or break you as an entrepreneur.
Risk takers will bet it all and if they fail, they go out with a blaze of attempted glory. This is not what the best entrepreneurs do. They will assess and reduce risk in every step they take. By following the “Act. Learn. Build. Repeat” model, you will be able to become risk-averse, according to Forbes.
Taking little calculated steps toward your goal is much safer if you should run into any small losses. Ask yourself “How can I make this cheaper? Faster? Better?” with each step and you will reduce risk as you work toward building your company. Successful entrepreneurs are the opposite of risk takers, not leaving anything up to chance and overthinking every move.
5 Tips to Be a Successful Entrepreneur
You’ll find a lot of different entrepreneurs out there in the world, but almost all of them will admit it is a hard road to success. Entrepreneurship presents challenges that a typical job wouldn’t have. Instead of dealing with annoying coworkers or boring tasks, you will have personal and overwhelming obstacles you must overcome while starting your company. There’s a reason why many entrepreneurs like to say “the toughest boss you will ever work for is yourself.”
There are a handful of tips you should follow to ensure you reach success.
1. Quit Your Job
Like I’ve said before, entrepreneurship isn't about taking one big risk. You need tons of little risks that push you to be better and go farther. Quitting your job that's holding you back is the first small risk. This decision causes huge changes for your dream of becoming an entrepreneur. This risk catalyzes you to act because suddenly you have no job, no security, no retirement plan, and no safety net. Your only option is to succeed.
As a little caveat to this, I would hold off on doing so until you have the ball rolling in the right direction. It would behoove you to get the business off the ground while you’re still gainfully employed, and then you could quit and really throw your effort into your new endeavor.
2. Find a Mentor
You entrepreneurial pursuit doesn’t have to be a solo experience. It’s rare to find an entrepreneur who found success completely on their own, so that's why it’s always a good idea to look for a mentor. You may not even realize you need a mentor until it’s too late. Many entrepreneurs owe their success to their mentors. Having someone who is smart and encouraging of you and your dreams will help your company make progress when you feel stuck. Also, they have likely made mistakes and can help you avoid these potential pitfalls.This is true in the entrepreneurship world as it is in every field. I’ve noticed that professionals who have mentors and are preparing to take the CFA exam, do much better than those without mentors. You should always look to surround yourself with people who know more than you. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness.
3. Sell What You Know
Entrepreneurs not only create, but also they sell. You will need to sell yourself, your products, your ideas, and your dreams. And the best way to do that is to sell stuff you know or a skill you have. Everyone is good at something, so find out what area you have expertise in and start selling. Ideally what you know has some overlap with what you enjoy. That’s when you know you’ve found your calling.
4. Expand your Personal Brand
An entrepreneur's most valuable asset is their brand. It is the underlying idea that goes behind every action you take to build your company. Never stop building your brand and expanding its message. A good way to do so is to enhance your LinkedIn profile or gain more followers on Twitter. Having a consistent and authentic message across all social mediums can transform a business by cultivating a loyal audience.
5. Invest in your Education
If you are focusing on your company's progress and not yourself, how do you expect your company to grow? It’s crucial for you to invest in yourself and your education. There will always be more for you to learn. Take the time to enroll in an entrepreneurship course or any subject that can expand your knowledge. Even something as simple as subscribing to podcasts relevant to your industry can go a long way. Finding additional educational opportunities to pursue will only help your new company grow faster.
There are no shortcuts to success. You are going to have to put in the time, work, and mental effort to build your company and personally grow as an entrepreneur. You have to be all in if you have any hope of gaining success, so what can you do right now to start your entrepreneurial journey?
Matthew Stevens – Crush The CFA Exam is an online resource dedicated to helping professionals pass their Financial Analyst Exams.
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