— April 12, 2018
Time and time again, we hear that entrepreneurs are the main drivers of economic growth.
Computers, smartphones, automobiles, coffee chains — every product or service conceived is the result of an entrepreneur’s campaign for success.
Unfortunately, not everyone is cut for this challenging path. Unlike other career choices, your success is entirely dependent on the opportunities you create for yourself.
Failures? You need to get used to them.
In entrepreneurship, you are almost always bound to experience truckloads of “failures” before you hit the mother lode.
Let’s look into several crucial touch points that aspiring people need to consider before they take the leap of entrepreneurship.
Let’s hop right in.
1. Build Your Foundations
It’s true: While education is a matter of the brain, entrepreneurship is a matter of the heart.
Being an entrepreneur requires grit, patience, and courage — essential skills that aren’t taught in formal education. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your foundations, especially if you have the opportunity to do so.
The first focal point should be your entrepreneurial skills, which can be sharpened in multiple ways. You can attend an online course, read a book, and follow thought-leaders who can provide you with expert insights in the field.
If you have the resources, you can also invest in an online MBA program, which will equip you with skills, hands-on experience, and potential connections that can accelerate your growth.
Below is an infographic that illustrates some of the key advantages of earning an MBA before entrepreneurship:
Remember, as an aspiring entrepreneur, you need to learn how to pick your battles wisely. Do everything in your power — be it through self-learning or an online program — to lower the risks and maximize the chances of success.
2. Prepare a Cash Cushion
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t cheap. That’s why you need to start saving and set a target amount even if you don’t know what business to launch just yet.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to how much you should save. Determining the type of business you want to start should push you in the right direction.
For example, if you prefer building a business from the ground up, then you can probably start part-time without shelling out a fortune. However, if you’re thinking about purchasing a franchise, consider means of closing the funding gap, such as finding a franchising partner or applying for a business loan.
3. Research Areas of Failure
Apart from running out of cash, a large number of new businesses fail to take off due to a number of other reasons. Assimilating them will serve you well as you make your entry into the world of entrepreneurship.
According to a survey by CB Insights, some of the top challenges that crippled startups before they get rolling are the lack of market need (42%), having the wrong team (23%), and getting outcompeted (19%).
You could be thinking: that’s a lot of reasons why my venture could fail.
You’re definitely not wrong. However, you have the upper hand by knowing about them here and now.
What you can do is use the information above and concoct a checklist of activities that can minimize the risk of failure for your next business.
4. Build Your Network Strategically
Regardless of your industry, your professional network is one of the most important assets as an entrepreneur.
Networking allows you to close the knowledge and skill gaps that bottleneck the potential of your business. Fortunately, the internet offers several platforms that can help you connect with the right people — from networks like LinkedIn to online communities like Reddit.
Preparing for entrepreneurship is a critical step that you can’t afford to overlook. Just be sure the experience fill you with optimism — not overcome you with fear.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with doubt, just stop thinking and take the leap. Sometimes, the best way to find the answer is to live the question and let your mind get used to the pressure.