Entrepreneurship is the act of making dreams come true. We’d all like to do it, but we’re waiting for the ‘right time’, and if there’s one thing worse than wasting life away, it’s ‘waiting’ it away. There is no right time. The right time is the moment that you decide to do it, to turn your dream, your idea into reality.
Many of us are plagued with worry, fear and even sheer terror at the thought of becoming entrepreneurs, simply because there is no guarantee in such an endeavour. It is, in fact, a gamble. But then, isn’t all of life a gamble?
Marriage, for example, is a massive gamble. It’s essentially a risky bet that our chosen one will remain suitable over the long term. That they’ll not fundamentally change, that we’ll not fundamentally change and that if such changes were to occur that we’d be able to accept that. We weigh the risk vs. the reward and find that the reward, fulfilment and meaning to life, is worth the risk and so it works for nearly every decision.
When thinking about entrepreneurship, our main concern is losing the security of our monthly salary. A big concern and yes, if you are really serious about entrepreneurship and your idea takes off, ultimately you will need to leave the harbour that is your salary. But here’s the great news, you don’t have to worry about losing your regular income at all to get your feet wet. You can always start on the side, in your free time. The key is to actually get started and may be your goal is not to be a full-time entrepreneur, which begs the question, what are you waiting for?
The minute you start, though, you’ll run into what might seem like a brick wall, a need for capital. Financing your venture can be challenging and at the beginning you’ll need to be your own investor, even liquidating some assets you may own, if necessary. With progress, there are other ways of raising capital like through friends and family. You’ll also be surprised at how many people will be willing to volunteer.
Ultimately, if your idea seems promising you can approach investors. Now, you might think, ‘Yeah, right! Who will invest in my idea?’, however the truth is that investors know that good ideas are the source of real wealth creation and they’re constantly on the lookout for entrepreneurs with unique ideas. Once your venture has finally taken off and is a functioning business, you can look toward raising capital through debt. However, debt financing should be approached with caution and is best left until the business is showing signs of real potential. Next, whatever your idea may be, as little as a home baking operation or as massive as a global enterprise, you must start with a plan. Failing to plan is simply planning to fail. You must have a detailed business plan listing not only your goals but how you plan to achieve them. This will be your rock, your reminder of purpose when the inevitable times of slow or no progress come along. Ultimately, successful entrepreneurship is more about refusing to give up than luck or any other factor. Apparent overnight success is usually at least a decade in the making. If you do decide to embark on the journey, know that the real secret to entrepreneurial success is to find something you love to do or make and which people will be happy to pay for.
When we sit back and really think about the risk vs. reward of entrepreneurship, what are we looking at?
We are risking stable income, our time, may be sleep, sweat, blood, tears and certainly, our egos. So what is the reward? Financial independence for us and our families, real wealth and fulfilment in life and a sense that we have made something of ourselves instead of wasting our lives away or worse, ‘waiting’ them away.
The reward of entrepreneurship is, in a word, ‘freedom’. A reward totally worth the risk.