Take the Entrepreneurial Quiz?
The world is filled with aspiring entrepreneurs—people who believe they have what it takes to launch a company and build it into a profitable business. While anyone can start a business, not everyone will succeed.
Research by Harvard Business School Professor Shikhar Ghosh shows that up to 75 percent of startups fail. Another study (pdf) conducted by the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy shows that just over 22 percent of small businesses fail within one year of being launched, while nearly half fail within five years, and approximately two-thirds fail within 10.
In light of these statistics, the question becomes: What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? What steps can aspiring entrepreneurs take to lay the groundwork for success?
Americans are turning to entrepreneurship more now than ever before. New business applications surpassed half a million in July 2020.
According to the United States Census Bureau’s Business Formation Statistics, business applications jumped by 70% from January 2020 to January 2021.
WHAT IS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
An entrepreneur is someone who launches a business venture, typically in the form of a company that manufactures and sells a product or provides a service. Entrepreneurs are often viewed as innovators who identify a problem or opportunity, then develop a solution no one else has recognized.
In the online course Entrepreneurship Essentials, it’s noted that “entrepreneurs—either individuals or teams—actively scan the environment for opportunities, or discover them as they live and work. They form hypotheses about what customers want or need and how they can deliver value to the customer.”
Successful entrepreneurs don’t just charge ahead with their ideas. First, they seek to validate there’s demand.
One way they do so is through testing. According to Entrepreneurship Essentials, entrepreneurs “recruit people and invest money to determine if customers will indeed value the product and they can produce and deliver it at an acceptable cost. They often find different, even better ideas once in the marketplace.”
Entrepreneurship has clearly become increasingly attractive to millions. But what are these individuals getting themselves into?
Here are the three sides of entrepreneurship that you should consider before taking the plunge.
1. Being the Boss
Being your own boss is one of the most appealing factors of starting an enterprise. Watching your ideas come to fruition. Knowing that you’re the glue keeping it all together.
Motivational speaker Tony Gaskins once said, “If you don’t build your own dreams someone will hire you to build theirs.” For entrepreneurs, building your own dream and doing what you love is far more satisfying than anything else.
Of course, responsibility is greater, the demands are more, and failures have more significant consequences when you’re the boss. But nothing comes without risks.
Many new entrepreneurs cite the need for flexibility behind their decision to leave their employee work life behind.
Americans want to have it all. They want to build something while also having the ability to be present for their family and friends, to have time to travel or to cultivate other personal interests outside of work.
However, some entrepreneurs find that when you leave the 9 to 5 behind, you end up working 24/7. It can be difficult to shut it off. You might find yourself thinking of your business at all hours, even on vacation. But the flexibility to choose your hours, your time off and when to take that vacation? It’s worth it.
3. Money Management
Money management can be a steep learning curve for new entrepreneurs as they develop an operating budget, allocate resources and watch their capital dwindle.
Studies indicate that new businesses take an average of 18 months to three years to be profitable. Of course, this time is shorter if you run an online home-based business with minimal overhead. But one thing remains the same: it’s unlikely that you will become instantly profitable.
The median income of an entrepreneur in the United States is $65,000.00 per year.
The website Payscale reports that first-year entrepreneurs can expect a median income of $31,000.00 per year. Individuals with 20 years of experience earn approximately $76,000 per year.
However, the average income is higher for entrepreneurs holding a postgraduate degree. For example, the median annual salary is $152,000.00 for entrepreneurs with a master’s degree.
Do you have dreams of one day becoming an entrepreneur and launching your own company? In addition to a business idea, doing so will require you to possess certain skills and characteristics.
1. Key Entrepreneurship Qualities and Behaviors
Several researchers have tried to pinpoint a specific entrepreneurial personality or profile in an attempt to quantify what makes some more successful than others.
In Entrepreneurship Essentials, it’s explained that there’s no single personality profile that leads someone to success as an entrepreneur. However, there are a number of characteristics shared by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Some behaviors that are distinct from personality traits and associated with entrepreneurship include curiosity, pattern recognition, team building, structured experimentation, adaptation, decisiveness, and persistence.
While it can be argued that some people are more inclined to exhibit these behaviors than others, each of these qualities can be acquired through proper training and development.
2. Essential Entrepreneurial Skills
Especially in the earliest stages of launching a business, entrepreneurs are responsible for performing a variety of duties—it comes with the territory. Before you have an accounting department, marketing staff, and product development team, you’ll likely need to perform some of these critical responsibilities.
Taking the time to develop certain skills before launching your business can drastically improve your chances of success. Here’s a list of some of the most critical skills all entrepreneurs should have:
- Communication skills, which you’ll leverage daily as you work with vendors, investors, customers, and various members of your growing team
- Organizational skills, which will empower you to work toward your goals efficiently
- Time management skills, which will be essential throughout your career, but especially early on, when you have multiple responsibilities
- Data-driven decision-making, which will enable you to make objective, measurable decisions about your products, services, business, and customers
- Strategic thinking, which will allow you to discover opportunities and threats that guide business decisions more easily
- Accounting basics, which will be especially important before you have a person or team dedicated to managing your business’s finances
- Resilience, because every entrepreneur faces challenges and struggles, and it takes resilience to bounce back
3. An Opportunity or Business Idea
For a new venture to succeed, the business plan must be centered around a solid opportunity. An opportunity is defined as a proposed venture to sell a product or service for which customers are willing to pay more than the required investments and operating costs.
An opportunity is more than a product idea, and it extends well beyond the initial act of getting into business. According to Entrepreneurship Essentials, “it’s a plan that shows how a venture will attract, retain, and reward all stakeholders, including customers, founders, employees, investors, distributors, and suppliers.”
That plan doesn’t end once you’ve identified an innovative business idea. Ideally, your concept should be validated before you commit resources, time, and effort to bring it to life. Once validated and pursued, you must constantly reevaluate your business to determine whether you need to adapt to new opportunities or threats.
4. Resources and Funding
Finally, to launch your business, you’ll need a source of funding to purchase equipment and materials, develop your product or service, iterate upon your offerings, and refine your processes. Exactly what funding looks like will vary depending on the type of business you’re launching and your industry.
For some entrepreneurs, self-funding is possible. In such cases, an entrepreneur might set aside enough money to pay for their living expenses while they get their business off the ground, in addition to the costs associated with the launch.
Self-funding isn’t the only option available. There are many other paths you might take, such as:
- Securing an SBA loan from the Small Business Administration
- Raising capital from investors
- Applying for grants (this may be especially suitable for nonprofit organizations)
- Crowdfunding from the public
- Relying on a line of credit
Every form of funding comes with benefits and risks. Self-funding, for example, allows you to retain complete control over your business and potential profits, but also requires you to carry the risk of failure. Raising capital from investors, on the other hand, allows you to spread your risk and, potentially, launch your business quicker—but it forces you to give up a portion of your control. Ultimately, you must decide what makes the most sense for your business.
YOUR PATH TO BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR
Countless aspiring entrepreneurs have an interesting, innovative, and compelling business idea, but don’t have the skills or qualities to carry it through to fruition. Similarly, many others have the skills and qualities, but lack an idea to pursue. Even those with a brilliant idea and the necessary skills can fail to get their project off the ground if they don’t have access to funding. Successful entrepreneurship requires a blend of all these components.
The good news is: Successful entrepreneurs aren’t born—they’re made. With the right training, instruction, and development, everyone has the potential to become an entrepreneur.
If you or anyone you know wants to be a rising star in the entrepreneurial world, contact us today!
Are you interested in learning the ins and outs of entrepreneurship? Explore our four-week course MKS Master Key System Entrepreneurship Essentials and our other entrepreneurship and innovation courses to learn to speak the language of the startup world. If you aren’t sure which course is the right fit, contact us for a Free Discovery Session to determine which best aligns with your goals.
If you or anyone you know wants to be a rising star in the entrepreneurial world, contact us today!
: How Is the MKS Master Key System Plan Different From Other Planning Processes?
The unique approach of the MKS Master Key System Plan process is the attention we devote to getting perspective. All too often, the temptation is to move straight to planning.
In the process, which has been around for 100+ years, we spend up to 70% of our time getting clear perspective across every area of your life – your backstory, your current reality, your talents, your heart, and your thinking; and across every domain of your life – personal, family, vocation, and community.
Only when you have clear perspective do we move to planning. We don’t just guide others; all of our Life Plan Guides have themselves gone through the process and are living out their own Life Plan; we only guide others on a journey that we ourselves are on.
: What’s the BEST MKS Master Key System Plan Option for Me?
All of our offerings can help you to craft a plan for your life that activates your life purpose and moves you toward your life vision. Our recommendation is always for our customized 2-day experience (3-days for Couples) facilitated in person with one of our MKS Master Key System Guides.
There’s nothing quite like setting aside dedicated time to strategically pause from life to discover what’s truly unique about you and to put a plan in place for moving forward.
If the full MKS Master Key System Plan experience is beyond your means for now, our self-guided Plan Launch option is purposefully crafted to help you to discover your unique creative purpose. Each MKS Master Key System Plan experience is designed to guide you towards increasing levels of clarity around your identity, purpose, and impact.
: How Much Does the MKS Plan Cost?
The MKS Master Key System Plan experience is an investment of time, effort, and resources, and is crafted to pay dividends throughout the rest of your life. The 2-day Life Plan is $6,000, and the 3-day Couples Life Plan is $9,000.
For those in full-time nonprofit we offer discounted pricing that reduces the cost of the 2-day Life Plan to $5,000, and the 3-day Couples Plan to $7,500.
The cost of our MKS Master Key System Plan Retreat offering for teams is set once we’ve customized the approach for your team. We are honored to come alongside you in your Plan journey; nothing matters more to us than guiding you to make your greatest impact in life.
: How Do I Get Connected with a MKS Plan Guide?
We will connect you with one of our team of Guides who will speak with you by phone to learn more of your story and determine the best path forward. We continually engage with our Guides to ensure their work is of the highest quality.
We are deliberate in matching the right Guide with each client to create the greatest leverage of your time and investment into you MKS Master Key System Plan. Sometimes the Guide is in the same geographic area as you, but not always; fit is more important to us than location. We also offer opportunities on Zoom or over the phone.
Learn more about how the MKS Master Key System Plan can help you discover your purpose and future success.
We love coming alongside people making their greatest contribution, and we’re excited to talk to you. Our calls are a lot like our work — curious and creative conversations to explore where you’re at and where you want to go. Based on the perspective we glean together, we’ll talk about what next steps might serve you best.
Thank you for your time in reviewing this information. I hope you understand how we have helped others and how they can help you.
Wishing you prosperity and success. Remember You Were Born To Win!!
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