Entrepreneurialism can sound a frightening word (and that's not just getting the spelling right!) The trouble is that many people assume that entrepreneurs are go-getters of the modern world, the high flying successes with bank balances bursting at the seams, and the Midas touch that turns ideas into gold overnight; they're the people whose bank managers call them up asking for a loan.
The truth is very different. Ask any entrepreneur and they'll gladly put you right, and assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the common assumptions people associate with independent business owners, or sole traders, are woefully inaccurate, often gleaned from the media's obsession with personal individual success and the American Dream. Let's look at what being an entrepreneur really means, and who these people really are.
Most entrepreneurs are ordinary people like you or me. They are very rarely the high flying successes, flung skywards through their success in the city; in fact, those who already have a successful city career, in what one might term a 'traditional' or 'normal' job are the least likely to step from behind the security of their desk, and brave the world alone. Generally those who do take the initiative are those who are either fed up with the monotony or sheer frustration which can come with many jobs these days, or who have a burning personal desire or passion, a dream they feel compelled to follow.
We all have dreams, hopes and ambitions; entrepreneurs are, in the main, simply those people who have got up from their comfortable office chair with lumbar support and arm rests and stepped outside to do something about those dreams, ambitions and desires. They are, largely speaking, passionate people, with self belief and determination.
But let's consider the next assumption that tends to walk into such a discussion: risk. Most people, at least, most people who have never tried, will happily tell you that starting out on your own, becoming your own boss, and starting up your own business idea is incredibly risky, and that it is likely to cost you a fortune, and that you'll see very little income for years, and even that is assuming you survive long enough to earn anything.
Most of this scaremongering is meant well, but generally comes from those who could never become entrepreneurs because they have no self belief, no courage, and have packaged away their dreams and ambition in a small cardboard box which has been locked away in a filing cabinet in the basement of the office block in which they have willingly becoming imprisoned until released back into society when they retire.
There is risk in anything, as we can readily see today, with the stock market looking gloomy, traders panicking, businesses crashing, and increasing number of people finding themselves out of work. There is no longer such a thing as job security, or a job for life - in any business. Entrepreneurialism is a way of protecting yourself, to a certain degree, by taking greater control over your finances, job and future.
You become the boss, aware of all aspects of your business, and able to make sensible decisions both within your business and your personal life, in full knowledge of the situation, and all relevant factors. Who can honestly say that, while working for a company or business, your boss keeps you fully informed of every possible risk and problem occurring which could potentially jeopardize the future of your job, income or even the company? Very few!
Entrepreneurialism is not risk free - that would be absurd to suggest, but the risks are known, and manageable. You're in control, and that alone can make a world of difference to your peace of mind. Stress is largely down to a feeling that you are not in control; no matter how much needs doing, or whatever the pressure, stress only becomes an issue when we feel over burdened with worries and pressure, and unable to control where we are and what we are expected to do.
If you have a business idea, a hobby you'd like to turn into a home business, a work from home opportunity you'd like to pursue, or a ground breaking product or service you'd like to launch, then running your own business may well be for you, giving you the opportunity to follow your dreams, lower stress, feel in control, and be positive about your future. All you need is a plan, and a dream and, of course, belief in yourself.
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