I constantly balance running a small business with my other career(s) as well as with my personal life. It is an interesting balance. It is one that I have been doing (on and off) for over a decade. Here is what I learned about how to become an entrepreneur:
"Just Do It"
Not to steal from Nike, but the idea is to just do it. Think about what it is you have to offer the world – be it a product or a service and then think about how to offer it. There are so many options with technology today for small businesses, which I have created a post (or two) about already. You can have a website up and running with integrated e-commerce capabilities faster than you would believe.
This and all other aspects of going from zero to launch are covered in my course Entrepreneurship: Building Your Own Business with Wagner College Office for Lifelong Learning. I am skilled at teaching and doing these topics. I have helped small business owners become small business owners. In fact, I have even helped some undergrads conceive, develop and launch their own businesses over the last 10+ years as an adjunct. I have always pushed my students to present (as you well know if you read my blog) and to make things actionable, interesting and potentially lucrative, I have had them create their own business plans and “launch” their own businesses.
Some students did it just to get the “A” but some of them did it to really have a “back up” plan and some did it to shock me - the first year I did this, one of my students started his own p*rn site. I should have known that would be an option and I learned to have a list of the companies that could NOT be created/ presented after that experience!
I treated my classes like mini-incubators to get them thinking and launching these initiatives. I have even gone so far as to push some of them to get patents on their ideas because the ideas have been that innovative and that amazing. I even did this as a student; when I was an MBA student in Rome and my group had to invent something. We "invented" a wireless mouse for computer use. This was in 1999 and I do not think it existed yet but we set up a business plan and a production model and more. It got us an "A" and years later we met to talk about it and we realized one person from our group was missing... so we tend to think that missing person actually patented the idea and is retired in Belize or something... But, I digress.
When I teach, these are all college students who come up with real plans and some actually execute them. I also do this as a consultant through my business and have helped people launch and / or plan to launch their businesses. Imagine what you could accomplish if you decided to take your years (however many) of real work experience, life experiences and more and package that into your new business – your journey into entrepreneurship can begin in 2016 with a very experienced guide/teacher if you register soon!
What do you think about being an entrepreneur? What would you want to launch? Happy Hunting!
Lisa Vento Nielsen