A great deal of attention has been paid in recent years to the incredible opportunities that await new small business owners. Some of the benefits include: 1) being the boss; 2) not having to answer to anyone else; 3) making a fortune off of an innovative idea; 4) and working flexible hours. While becoming a small business entrepreneur can be all of these things, it is essential to examine closely what it will take to succeed before dedicating valuable resources to a new venture.
Successful Entrepreneurship Requires Attitude, Focus, and Perseverance
Small business entrepreneurship is not for the weak of heart or pocketbook. Entrepreneurs can be either gender, any race, pretty much any age, from any area of the country or world, or any socio-economic class. However, two broad characteristics that will identify any entrepreneur is absolute commitment to an idea and considerable confidence that the idea will generate a profitable product or service. Although there are a host of specific characteristics that define a successful entrepreneur, attitude, focus, and perseverance are at the top of the list.
Why is attitude so important?
- Attitude is the foundation from which everything else is generated. An entrepreneur must “know” that their innovative idea will be marketable and profitable and be prepared to do whatever it takes to be successful.
- Halfhearted commitment to the new business venture will, most likely, spell doom for the entrepreneur. There may be times when a new small business owner is the only person who believes in the new venture with many people attempting to dissuade an entrepreneur from moving forward.
- This does not suggest that entrepreneurs must be cocky or “hardheaded” about their dream as those characteristics will lead to carelessness and failure. The point here is that less than total commitment to an idea or concept will probably lead to self doubt and ultimately reconsideration, so a strong believe in the success of a new venture is critical.
Why is focus so important?
- Attitude is not enough to make an entrepreneur successful. Small business ventures require the ability to focus on the objectives and understand what it will take to reach them. This is why business plans and other documents are so important because they help to keep a small business owner focused on the big picture and all of its pieces.
- Distraction is the enemy of an entrepreneur. If a small business owner becomes sidetracked by new ideas or priorities that do not relate in a reasonable way to the initial idea that fuels the venture, focus will be lost and the business will fail. It is human nature to become excited about new possibilities or things and a bit bored with those that have been around for awhile. However, if an entrepreneur loses sight of the reason for being in business in the first place, the loss of focus will be devastating.
- There is a difference between distraction and flexibility. Entrepreneurs must remain flexible to adjust to changing environments and new opportunities. Flexibility allows the small business owner to remain sensitive to emerging challenges and issues while remaining focused on the initial idea or concept. Distraction causes the entrepreneur to react to the seemingly endless list of potential priorities and ideas that will lead to muddled thinking and lack of focus.
Why is perseverance so important?
- Perseverance is similar to focus but with a long-term perspective. There are those wild, wonderful stories of entrepreneurs becoming successful virtually overnight. While that does occur, any entrepreneur must instead prepare for a long, often arduous journey. A turtle better describes the small business process than a hare because attention must be paid to the process of building a business and then growing it steadily over time.
- There are many people who will try to distract an entrepreneur from realization of the dream. It is generally true that the only person who really cares about the idea or dream is the person experiencing it. There are so many new and interesting things in the world to focus on; it is often easy to be pulled away from the purpose of the business, especially during difficult times. A successful entrepreneur will have the strength to stick to the dream or idea over a long period of time.
Being a Successful Entrepreneur is a Lifestyle, Not a Job
Small business ownership is hard work and requires a strong and positive attitude, focus, and perseverance. The successful entrepreneur will have all of these characteristics and will also understand that 9-5, Monday-Friday working hours will just not be sufficient to succeed. It is true that incredible opportunities can await an entrepreneur starting a new venture, but only through hard work, planning, and commitment to the dream.