10 Commandments for Moving from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur
You know the feeling. You sit in your cubicle or office dreaming of saying goodbye to your manager and becoming your own boss instead. Maybe it’s when inspiration strikes—you’ve got a better way of doing something or an idea you just know the world wants. Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home mom with an amazing skill your friends keep saying you should turn into a business. Or maybe you just have a passion you secretly want to share. Dreaming and talking about starting your own business but doing nothing makes you a Wantrepreneur because entrepreneurs take action.
We all get stuck on how to start. So here are some tips to consider:
- Be Self Aware
Know who you are and what it takes to become an entrepreneur. Are you comfortable with risk? What are your business strengths/weaknesses? How do you make decisions?
- Approach is Everything
Understand the specific approach you need for your circumstances. For example, do you need to keep your day job and toil away at night on your idea or push yourself to commit to building your business full-time.
- Conduct Research
Do your homework. Really understand your audience and who will be your ideal customer. Are there others doing what you’re doing? How will yours be different? What unique value do you bring?
- Shift Your Personal Life
Your availability and finances will change, so be prepared. Do you have savings you can live on? Are you prepared to reduce your living expenses? How much time are you willing to give your business? For example, prepared to pass on Saturday night plans when duty calls?
- Establish Your Support Team
No one who starts a business ever really does it alone. Who will be your cheerleaders when you want to throw in the towel? Who are your trusted business advisors? Who can help you? Do you have buy-in or support from family?
- Know What You Want
Wanting to branch out on your own isn’t enough—you have to know what you’re building. Do you want a lifestyle business that allows you independence or do you want to one day run a corporation? What is the right size for you? Do you want to build upon your own idea or build upon an existing idea (for example, a franchise)?
- Structure Keeps You Safe
Treat your business like a business. Carve out your schedule and workspace. It’s hard to be disciplined when you’re defining your day from scratch every morning so plan your time. And set up your home office, garage or co-work space in a way that’s exclusively for running your business.
- Be Inquisitive
Ask questions, lots of questions. Often we can be guarded when it comes to our ideas. But the sooner you realize ideas are about execution, the better off you’ll be. Share things in broad strokes. Each conversation will be clarifying, helping you determine whether the idea is truly viable.
Build your network in a meaningful way. To grow you’ll need a healthy ecosystem of vendors, employees, partners, advisors and advocates. Collaboration is key so be certain you have a rich and growing network to draw upon.
- Finally, Be Fearless
Don’t wait till the fear goes away—it won’t. The biggest difference between wantrepreneurs and entrepreneurs is action. As the famous quote goes, courage is not the absence of fear but action in the face of fear.
There’s a good reason why it’s called a start-up, because the biggest and most difficult step is beginning. Stop thinking about it and start today.