Many people think of entrepreneurship as a big, scary, monster. Although those individuals probably think of how nice it would be to be their own boss, there are a lot of things that hold them back from taking the leap. Starting your own business at a young age can be the best thing for your personal success and self-worth. It can open so many doors in the future, but it’s something that doesn’t happen overnight. We want to offer a few pieces of wisdom to you from our experience, as well as other entrepreneurs that we respect.
Open Your Eyes
A lot of people think that they want to be an entrepreneur just for the benefits of working for yourself. Many people miss 100% of the shots they ever take. This is probably one of the most common failures of small business owners. Another red flag is the failure to see the big picture of how a business idea will help in solving a problem. Many business ideas are usually good ones, but you must be aware of your purpose in your industry. It’s super important to be mindful of your market audience, industry competitors, and relevant business models before starting your own business. If you’re stuck, here is an article on market research that may help you.
People tend to overlook what all goes into starting a business. It’s almost like having a baby: long nights, little sleep, and basically no social life at all. Oh, and don’t forget about all of the CRYING. Your business is your priority. You have to be prepared to take on 10-12 hour days in developing the necessary fundamentals to ensure your business idea is even feasible. In the beginning stages, stress is the most difficult thing to overcome. Artem Mashkov, a successful serial entrepreneur, writes, "Stress almost killed me. Around three years ago, I lost 20 pounds due to stress. It wasn't because things weren't going well. I was stressed because things were going too well, and I couldn't capitalize on all the opportunities coming my way. But then I went full Zen mode. I started paying attention to my well-being, and the stress went away. Stress isn't external. It's internal. You choose whether you let stress control you. It's all about your perspective on life.” Although you may become preoccupied with the development of your business, don’t forget to make time for YOU! We all need a little R&R away from our busy lives, and we’re here to tell you that it’s okay to take a break every now and then.
One of the most important things to consider when starting a business is being mindful of your spending. Be sure you’re using good judgment before you put any of your own earned money into something. With any entrepreneurial venture, there will be loss. It is crucial for you that you don’t dig yourself a hole up to your neck in debt. Blogger Lindsey Carmen states “mapping out specific costs (and, of course, setting aside funds for emergencies, too) is the best approach.” She gives her 4 most important tips on how to best manage your funding. Click here to read more.
Have A Heart
Sure, hard work is going to be the backbone of your business. However, hard work doesn’t really come in handy when you don’t acquire passion. Passion is what fuels the fire. It is up to YOU to build your own success. The world of entrepreneurship is incredibly risky. There are no guarantees. It takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur; some people are born with the entrepreneurial mindset, but it is still possible to acquire it later in life. Take that passion and run with it. Create a vision. Sit down at your computer, grab a pen and paper, and really dive into what you think your purpose is. What is it that you want to accomplish? Write down your own personal values, as well as a few for your business. This is key for establishing your brand, as well as your brand values. You need to sit down and ask yourself “What kind of people will I attract?” and “What does my business mean to me?” and “How am I going to engage or relate with my customers?” Asking yourself these types of questions will not only cause you to challenge yourself, but it will help guide the path as you continue to grow your ideas and work. We created a resource that will help you in figuring out your brand values. Click here to take a look at ours.
Integrity is the skeleton of any successful company. It is something that is built on honesty, and honesty comes from no one but YOU. The big picture is plain and simple: doing the right thing. This is the biggest issue among small businesses because their founders forget to keep this mind. They are money hungry, and they put their egos first. What can sometimes be overlooked is the importance that integrity brings from business partnerships, company cultures, and client relationships. Also, how integrity assists in maintaining those business relationships. A business with no integrity will not be sustainable long-term.
Take a look at some of our favorite local entrepreneurs!
Alex Budin: Owner of Jukebox
Lora DiFranco: Founder & Creative Director of Free Period Press
Samantha Phillips: Owner & Founder of Venus in Aquarius Apothecary
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort. It's choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. It's choosing to practice your values rather than simply professing them.”
It wasn’t until my recent college years when I started to consider entrepreneurship, myself. When I was fresh out of high school in the summer of 2013, I did a summer work experience with a Startup Accelerator called Bizdom that was ran out of Tower City in Downtown Cleveland. My summer work experience turned into a part-time internship that lasted just shy of two years. It was so inspiring to me to be surrounded by such creative minds, and that must have sparked something in me. I had such a great experience in helping young entrepreneurs with their businesses that it caused me to think bigger.
That is the reason that I fit into this audience. As I went through college, the things that I had passion for really started to resonate. I want to be able to take that and apply it to real life. I realized that maybe starting my own business within the music industry, such as an artist management, record label, or promotions company would be my ideal outcome for my future. Music has always been a creative outlet for me, a way to cope with certain emotions, and it’s one thing in life that will never die. However, it’s not the creation of music that I’m necessarily interested in. It’s more the behind the scenes type stuff. As I step further into the real world, all I know is that I want to be able to give back in some way. I want to give back to something that has always been an outlet for me.
I have already taken some of the steps in reaching this goal that I have set out to achieve. I’ve begun research, established some of my values, and have already begun to network with other individuals who would be able to help guide me in the right direction to success. I have already thought of a business name, and have even begun thinking of brand and logo design ideas. Moving forward, I will need to conduct a business plan, choose a business structure, register my business, and get proper licensing and tax forms. Once I have those completed, opening up a business bank account will be the final step to make this dream a reality.