“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker
What is entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is building a new business from the ground up. It means coming up with an idea you think will be successful, and then doing the work to make that business a reality – including raising money to get started, developing a brand, producing products, and managing the business.
What counts as entrepreneurship?
All big businesses start out as someone’s idea, but not all entrepreneurs need to aim so high. Any type of business can be entrepreneurship:
- Starting a manual labor service, like landscaping
- Developing an app
- Creating and selling art
- Starting a food truck
- Freelancing online
Pros and Cons
Goals of entrepreneurship
There are plenty of benefits to running your own successful business, but it’s still a ton of work. Entrepreneurship can mean making your own hours and (eventually) writing your own paycheck, but many entrepreneurs start businesses for other reasons.
- To be the brains of the operation
- Example: A successful restaurant that allows you to hire staff and management to run things while you work on high-level strategy and expansion ideas instead of working the grill.
- To generate passive income
- Example: A website that sells downloadable educational content and requires infrequent updating.
- To get bought out
- Example: A social media app to compete with Facebook will likely be purchased by Facebook if it’s good enough.
Find an Idea
Solve a problem for people.
Create a product that fills a need.
See what others are doing.
Find out if demand is strong.
What needs to happen to make this a reality?
Make a Plan
Design your product or service.
Outline steps to build your business and your brand.
Does your business need capital?
If so, consider your assets, personal loans, business loans, crowdfunding etc.
Do the Boring Stuff
Pick a name, get a website, file for any necessary licenses, choose your business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership), talk to a CPA about tax considerations.
Get the Word Out
Before you launch, start promoting your business online and in social media.
Consider creating (or increasing) an advertising budget to increase your reach as your business grows.
Bring it to Life
Launch your website, open your doors.
A business doesn’t have to be perfect right away.
Get as close as you can and tweak things along the way.
Where can I get ideas?
Keep a journal and make a note any time you think of:
- Products or services that you wish existed, but can’t find
- Ideas for things that would fulfill a need many people share
- Ways existing products or services could be better
- Ways to help people access information or products more easily
You don’t have to wait until you have your Big Idea™ to start your entrepreneurship journey. There are already tons of ways to start your own small business to get the entrepreneurship ball rolling:
- Sell things you own or make through an auction site (Ebay, Bonanza) or build your own retail site (Etsy, Shopify)
- Sell your services or labor (Craigslist, Fiverr)
- Start freelancing online (Upwork, Freelancer, Guru)
Myths about entrepreneurship
A lot of people think it takes something special to become and entrepreneur. A bunch of advanced degrees, a ton of money, or a sky-high IQ. Really, anyone with an idea for a product or service other people will pay for and the guts to put the work in can become an entrepreneur.
- Myth 1: You need a college degree to start a business.
- Reality: Many very successful business owners actually dropped out of school or weren’t very good students. Education is important, but intelligence and drive aren’t limited to the classroom.
- Myth 2: You have to be rich to start a business
- Reality: While some business will require money to get off the ground (like a restaurant), other businesses (like a website selling online services) need very little funding. Plus, the rise of sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe means it’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs to raise funds, even for business ideas that require a lot of dough.
- Myth 3: Everything has already been done.
- Reality: Many successful businesses are built off of existing products and services – there’s always room for improvement. If your idea is good enough to compete, you might end up having your business bought out by a big competitor. Cha-ching!!
- Myth 4: Failure is your enemy
- Reality: Most successful entrepreneurs don’t hit it out of the park on their first try. Many even have a long string of failed businesses before they find the right fit. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t be afraid of making them!
- Famous entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates were all college dropouts.
- Many famous business owners – like Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk – are ‘serial entrepreneurs’, starting many different businesses and trying new things all the time.
- As of April 2018, more than 15.5 million Americans were self-employed, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Entrepreneurship means building a business from the ground up.
- Anyone can be an entrepreneur, regardless of education or finances.
- Entrepreneurs take on both the risks and rewards of their businesses.
- Keeping track of business ideas in a journal can help you find your focus.
- You can easily start online businesses using sites like eBay, Etsy, or Upwork.
Entrepreneurship sounds like a fancy word, but it really just means taking the leap to build a business of your own. Starting your own business can mean building an online store, creating a podcast, starting a restaurant – anything you can do that others will pay for. If you have an idea, the will to take on risks, and the drive to make your idea a reality, you can be an entrepreneur.
- https://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet (add the incorporated and unincorporated figures for April 2018, multiply by 1000 = 15,585,000)