After joining a room of 70 women this past week, at the She Hustles inaugural event, I started thinking. All of these boss babes were there with a common goal – to network and learn how to grow their own business from other successful entrepreneurs. It’s also possible one or two may have come just for snacks and swag bags because those were pretty kick a** too… but I digress.
What is Entrepreneurship?
In this current economy, where companies are hiring right and left, what makes some of us desire to move against the tide and start something that’s ours? Truth be told, not everyone is cut out become an entrepreneur. I mean the very definition of the word entrepreneur means someone who takes on “greater than normal financial risks” to build a business venture. Entrepreneurship is a risky travel down uncharted teritorry full of risk taking, hard work and dead ends. An entrepreneur identifies a need that no existing businesses addresses and determines a solution for that need. I certainly have experienced that, as many entrepreneurs have – moving a large portion of my savings into the few companies that I have owned over the years. And yet, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. WHY? Perhaps a tiny little entrepreneurial gene they have yet to discover? Nah… Here’s what I think it really means – and why I will be doing it until my hair turns gray.
Entrepreneurs have one thing in common, and that is, to solve problems. Wether its a social entrepreneur looking for innovative ways to help community or an innovative entrepreneur like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or even simple web designer, your own goals will involve taking risks and doing things differently in order to solve societal problems.
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
Here are 3 ways entrepreneurship means for me and plenty of other small business owners.
It means you care more about something than you do your own comfort. Now that thing could be as simple as money. I mean, I like money. But more often than not, the entrepreneurs I know care about things like helping others, getting more time with family, building a legacy, changing the world, serving their clients. And they care so much, that they risk their own security at a “job” to make it happen.
It means you’re not afraid to work – hard. When you are the CEO, CFO, administrative assistant, sales team and janitor, the hours add up. Overcoming challenge after challenge takes time – so does delivering what you promised to those clients that are on the journey with you. If you’re dabbling in the world of being your own boss babe (or director dude), but you like to be in bed by 10pm, you may want to reconsider. Being a successful entrepreneur or business owner does not come cheap, so be reassured whatever entrepreneurial spirit you have will be put to the test.
It means you believe in yourself and your team. So yes, there are going to be days (many) that you think to yourself, I am crazy. This business idea or model won’t work. This is ludicrous. Why did I quit my day job?! But deep down, you believe that you can do this. That you have new ideas that matters – whether it’s an invention for the masses, a not-for-profit to do good or a service you can’t wait to share. And you trust in yourself and your team when it comes to your own security, more than you do a corporate entity. I also happen to put a fair amount of trust in God, but he’s pretty much part of my deal wherever the paycheck comes from.
Whether or not you have built a business or are dreaming (and scheming) of one in the future, know this: It will challenge you in ways you never thought, it will stretch you to be better and it will be an amazing adventure. You may try it and know you’ll never go back – or decide it’s really not the life for you. Either way, you’ll be better for having tried and who knows, you will make great impact and inspire others along the way.
One of the biggest challenges you will face will be business financing. While there are many financing options for small businesses, many unproven new businesses don’t often qualify for financing such as angel investors or government funding.
Cheers to the journey!