The Best Ways To Prepare Yourself For Entrepreneurship – With the looming rate of unemployment, many individuals are already nurturing the intention of starting businesses and being independent. Many young people dream of becoming entrepreneurs and not just entrepreneurs but successful entrepreneurs. They give you instances of many successful entrepreneurs even the ones that made it at a young age.
The issue is not about starting up a business venture; it is about succeeding.
What is the assurance that your business will thrive?
How prepared are you for the entrepreneurship journey?
You might have the capital to invest but do you have the entrepreneur’s mindset?
It takes certain ability and thinking process to become an entrepreneur or let me say successful entrepreneur.
You cannot just wake up and startup a business venture. You have to prepare yourself mentally, physically and financially for everything that comes with entrepreneurship. Tony Robbins says “great leaders know how to bring the certainty into their uncertainty”
This article is here to reveal some tips and steps to prepare you for your entrepreneurship journey and channel your mindset towards making success. This journey is never an easy ride as there would be ups and downs along the way but with the guide in this article, you get to start well and weather through the setbacks and continue thriving and being successful.
The prospective entrepreneurs wanting to start up a business should see this article as a guide and also students that are aiming to become entrepreneurs should take out a jotter and start jotting things down.
We will be looking at the ways to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship in three dimensions: mentally, physically and financially.
Let’s get started…
6 WAYS TO PREPARE YOU MENTALLY FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
This is the first step to take in your entrepreneurship journey. You have to prepare your mind for what is to come. When you are mentally prepared then you are 50% ready to start your journey. There are many ways to be mentally prepared and we will be looking at them critically and also directing you on how to prepare yourself mentally.
Many successful entrepreneurs saw themselves as successful even before they established their enterprise. They were mentally ready.
Are you mentally ready for entrepreneurship? Read the steps and evaluate yourself.
- Working and preparing the mind
You start failing in your mind and also you start succeeding in your mind. When you tell yourself that you can’t do it, you won’t do it. The mind controls the actions. You cannot start your entrepreneurship journey without preparing your mind.
You might be a student and you are thinking of studying and setting up a business; if the mind does not agree, you won’t even take action.
Also for someone who has a job but is thinking of quitting to start-up a business; the mind has to be prepared and agree with your thoughts. You have to be in control of your mind in other to prepare the mind. What you say you can do; is what you will do. Always feed your mind with positive and optimistic thoughts. Relate or move with the right people and crowd.
Network with successful entrepreneurs so as to cultivate a mindset like theirs. Read great books and articles like the one you are reading now and attend seminars to inspire, educate and direct you towards starting up and starting well.
- Having self-confidence and self-determination
Since you have known that your mind is you and controls your actions; you have to be self-confident in preparing yourself mentally. You have to believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to do. You have to see achieving your goals as a “must happen”.
Never doubt it even though the beginning might seem shaky. Yes, we know it is an uncertain venture and anything can happen but you have to be hopeful and have a great confidence in yourself and your ability.
The level of your confidence will also make others follow you because people are attracted to self-confident people. Your level of confidence goes a long way in promoting your success. Even after you have started your business outfit, your self-confidence and determination will help you stand through setbacks and make your success a “must happen”.
- Understand the reason you want to become an entrepreneur
Many people see entrepreneurship as a get-rich-quick scheme and an avenue to make profit. If this is your mindset; I am sorry to break it to you, you are on the wrong path because you will get frustrated if money doesn’t start coming almost immediately.
You have to identify the reason for starting up your business enterprise and understand it. Remember we said entrepreneurship is about identifying problems and turning these problems into business opportunities, generating ideas and exploring resources to solve these problems.
Ask yourself the reason for doing what you want to do. Knowing your “why” will prepare your mind and understanding the “why” will motivate you towards success.
Why do you want to become an entrepreneur?
What do you stand to gain from this?
Who would benefit from this?
Are you going to add value with what you want to do?
Another thing is that you should know the difference between what you want and what you have to do. You have to relate your passion with what you have to do.
Bill Gates for instance had passion for computer and what he had to do was find a way to add value with his passion. He had a vision to put a computer in every home. His passion led to his vision.
Do not conflict what you want to do and what you have to do. Make what you want to do what you have to do and what you have to do what you want to do and understand the “why”.
- Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses
When preparing to kick start your entrepreneurship journey, you have to always play to your strengths. This gives you a sort of advantage. You shouldn’t put your efforts in improving your weaknesses. They are your weaknesses and could also be the weaknesses of your business outfit too.
We are not saying that you should avoid your weaknesses and that you cannot improve your weaknesses but you shouldn’t waste your time and efforts on improving your weaknesses when you can play to your strengths and become better at it.
You have a skill or talent and you are good at it, why not go for it than trying to do what you are not good at. Your weaknesses shouldn’t control your actions because they can really frustrate you.
Direct your passion and zeal to your strength. Put more effort on your strength.
- Prepare your mind to fail but try not to
You don’t expect that you would succeed without encountering failure. Failure brings you closer to your success. This is what many people do not know. You have to prepare your mind to fail and see failure as a stepping stone to success. Do not be afraid to fail even in start-up of your business; failure or setbacks are bound to come but they only make you stronger.
Prepare your mind to fail but you should try not to fail. What this means is that you should try as much as you can not to fail but if you fail, embrace it and learn from the failure. Take control of your emotions and be optimistic about failure. You are not perfect, so even when you are preparing yourself mentally for your entrepreneurship journey, understand that failure will come at one point in time.
So prepare your mind on how to deal and react to this failure. Prepare yourself to quickly recover from failure as this will help in your business growth.
- Learn about successful entrepreneurs and business owners
This is a great way to prepare you mentally for your entrepreneurship journey. Take out time to read about other successful entrepreneurs and study how they made it this far. The entrepreneurship journey is not a lone walk; you have to learn and also learn to unlearn.
These successful entrepreneurs did things that made them successful; we are not saying that you should try what they did because it might not work out for you. You will learn a thing or two from what they have done and this will in a type of way boost your creative mind.
You should also learn from their mistakes especially if you are venturing into their line of business. This will help you know how they overcame setbacks in their journey to success.
Be open-minded and always be ready to learn new things and never see yourself as an island of knowledge because nobody is perfect.
11 WAYS TO PREPARE YOU PHYSICALLY FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- Set a well-defined and specific goal
Like we said earlier, you cannot just wake up and jump into entrepreneurship or starting up a business. You must have a goal and reason to start up your business. Entrepreneurship goes beyond owning a business; it is more of adding value and solving problems.
You cannot try to aim at three birds on a tree all at once. You must have a particular one in mind else you will lose all three birds.
As someone that wants to go into entrepreneurship, you must have a clear, specific, defined and realistic goal. When we say clear, we mean it must be feasible and understandable. For a specific and defined goal, it must be aimed at a particular purpose not trying to do everything all at once. And when we say realistic goal, it must be achievable.
This is the aim or final result of your goal. It must be something that can be achieved. You shouldn’t just come with ideas that are so elaborate goals which you know that deep down you cannot achieve. You have to be honest with yourself about the goal you are setting and why.
You can also divide your goals into short term and long term goals so as to be able to achieve them within the time frame set. If it is a long term goal, break it into smaller goals.
- You should be a problem solver
This is the core feature of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are seen as problem solvers and for you to excel in entrepreneurship; you have to channel your product towards meeting a need(s). Most products fail after launching because they do not meet a need. It is from the problems that you have identified that you generate ideas and set goals.
In preparing yourself to become an entrepreneur, you have to be inspired by the problems of the people around; you have to look for ways to add value and proffer solutions. It is your problem solving ability that brings out your creativity.
As a student, you have evaluated your environment and seen that students find it difficult to do laundry due to busy schedule of school activities; you can decide to run a laundry service and try to solve that problem. In that way, you have gotten your target customers and look for ways to improve as you proceed.
Your business outfit must be established to meet the need of the people or solve a problem in order to succeed and continue thriving in the market.
- Set out a business plan or action plan
I was reading about Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and I saw that he wrote the business plan of his company (Amazon) on a road trip. After setting your goals according to the problems you have identified, you have to set out an action plan that you will follow to achieve your set goal of starting up your business.
You have mentally prepared yourself and assessed yourself fit to run a business enterprise; what action do you intend to take towards achieving that/ you have to be able to set out actions that will bring success in the end.
In your action or business plan, you have to highlight your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities; you have to look at the size of your goal and see if you can break it down into smaller goals so as to set out smaller actions to achieve them easily.
Your business plan should show where you are now and where you would want to be. Your action and business plan has to be clear and précised and directed towards solving the problems highlighted in your set goals.
It should answer the question below…
How would you achieve your set goal?
What does it take to start up your business?
How are you going to deal with setbacks and failures?
How are you going to deal with competition?
You should be able to answer these questions in your plan as this prepares you physically for the journey. It is important you have contingency plans so as to help you weather through challenges and setbacks.
- Be ready to take and manage risk
Every entrepreneur is a risk taker. I said it and I am not the only one who has said that. Starting up your own business is a risk but not everyone has the courage to take that risk especially for someone that has a job; quitting that job to startup your business might not be really easy.
Taking risk involves sacrificing a lot; it could be your career, education, family and friends or comfort zone. You cannot remain in your comfort zone and expect to excel in entrepreneurship. Risks are what yields results.
So you should be prepared to take risk but mind you, not all risks are to be taken. You have to take calculated risk. You have to look at the benefits or rewards and the negative effects of taking the risk. This is why you need to know the reason for embarking on your entrepreneurship journey; this serves as a motivation to take risk.
You have to be ready to embrace discomfort just to get to where you are going to. The road is never easy. Your plan doesn’t just make your vision, goals or ideas come through, and the action has to be taken. You have to be innovative; this means that you should implement your ideas and actions so as to achieve your goals.
The act of being innovative involves taking risk and also discomforting yourself. Not taking risk is failure itself because you have failed at learning something and gaining experience. Even if you fail, it is a plus to your experience and knowledge.
So sit down and critically analyze the kind of risk you want to take, the rewards and negative effects of taking the risk as this will help you take calculated risk. Do not just jump at taking risk; it is not all risk that leads to a successful ending.\
- Do not expect to be successful overnight
Remember we said that entrepreneurship is not a get-rich-quick scheme so do not expect to be successful overnight. You have to put in a lot of effort and resources too. Don’t think that being an entrepreneur will give you all the time in the world; this is not true. In fact, you will have to work very hard if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Be ready to work longer hours and even skip meals in your bid for success. Entrepreneurship is not only about having a fantastic idea though it is part of it but only that idea won’t give you success. Most success takes years of hard work, failure, patience, resilience and perseverance. Success never comes overnight.
So prepare yourself not to get frustrated when success doesn’t come at the point you anticipated; just a little bit more and success is yours. Be patient even when things are not working out as plan and instead of nagging or complaining, try to understand or figure out why it is not working and what should be done to improve and be better.
- Try, fail and try again
Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I have just found out 10000 ways that it won’t work”. That is the mindset of someone that wants to succeed.
Like we said initially, failure is part of the growth process and success journey. It brings you closer to success and gives you new experience. When you are in business, you have to try, fail, embrace and learn from the failure and try again.
Failure is just temporary setbacks so even when you have implemented your plans and they didn’t go as planned, learn from the failed attempt and try again as you have definitely learnt something new from the previous attempt.
Avoid self-pity and brace up from failure. Do not consider giving up, this is why we talked about preparing yourself mentally for the entrepreneurship journey.
- Do you understand the market for your product and your target customers
This step is very important in getting a foothold in the market and building customer loyalty. How well do you know your customers and their needs? This is the basic thing in becoming an entrepreneur. Knowing the problems and understanding the needs you want to meet will help determine your target customer.
The problems you have identified will help you know what to produce, for whom to produce and how to produce. You should be able to define your ideal customer and clearly state how you intend to meet their and gain a foothold in the market. In solving the problem and creating a business, you don’t necessarily need to produce something new; it could be a modification of existing product to best satisfy the needs of the customers.
You have to understand the market very well and in doing this; you have to conduct a market research as this will help you know the level of demand for your product and also your share in the market. It is not about producing everything; it is about producing something that is unique and thriving in every business situation.
You should also understand that your customers are always right; this will help you work on establishing a long lasting enterprise. In as much as you are after making profit as a business owner, you should make satisfying the needs of your customer a priority as this will definitely help your business.
Remember that not all customers are for you. When you know and understand your customers and product market, you will find the right customers for your product.
- Build the right team to work with
Being a successful entrepreneur is never a “walk alone” process. You need the right people around you to fast track your creative ideas into a reality. You might be the brain of everything but you will need a team of competent workers to reach success. It is a myth to think that you can do it all by yourself; it doesn’t happen that way no matter how smart and hardworking you are.
Your labour force will boost your success and the speed of attaining success. Prepare yourself to entertain a competent team. Plan your business in a way that it will attract the right people and make them put in their best to the success of the enterprise.
The business should be about getting people who have the same passion as you. You have to plan out the kind of team you intend working with and see that you hire the best people suited for the job. Do not let favoritism or nepotism cloud your judgment.
Sort for the best people suited for the job; the kind of team you have helps to propel you to success (all things being equal). You can also include family members and friends you can count on.
- Be ready to do more than expected
It is good to know what your customers want and channel your business towards meeting their demands but let me open your eyes to one secret; do more than people expect. This will bring them back to patronize your product. This will build a sort of customer loyalty and they become loyal to your brand.
Go the extra mile to deliver more than you promised; exceed their expectations. They will definitely come back for more.
Be prepared to exceed the expectations of your customers and even your team.
- Break your action plan into smaller steps
Like we have said earlier that building your enterprise is not an overnight success. It would be better to break your goals into sub-goals and take smaller steps towards achieving your goals. Taking smaller steps definitely means you would be taking smaller risks and encountering smaller problems or setbacks that can be overcome.
We are not saying that you cannot take bigger risk but it is safer to break down these goals and risk into smaller risk and achieve your goals one at a time. So prepare your goals and set smaller goals with your action plan geared towards achieving them and you would see that as you achieve them, you improve your knowledge and experience and also your success grows closer.
You just have to be patient with your success.
- Educate yourself
This is very important though many people have argued that education is not necessary to become a successful entrepreneur but when we said educate yourself; we mean that you should try to learn about the business or industry you want to venture into. Before you start up a business outfit, you have to learn about the market for your product and also the industry you want to enter into.
It might not necessarily mean going to an institution, it could be by reading books, articles, journals, consulting other successful entrepreneurs in your industry to know about the market.
We also recommend that you become an understudy; this means that you should work in the industry you want to venture into for some time so as to learn about the industry and how to operate in the market. This will help to prepare your physically for the journey ahead.
5 WAYS TO PREPARE YOU FINANCIALLY FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Raising funds and the amount of funds you raise for your business is very important as it determines the size of the business outfit. Getting funds to start up your business is not really easy. It is only few individuals that will want to risk investing in your business. 80% of funds for start-up business are from personal savings and loans or gifts from family and friends. Let’s guide you through preparing yourself financially for startup.
- You have to cut down your personal spending
This is really important in order to save up to start up your business enterprise. You cannot be an extravagant person and expect to excel in your business. You have to cut down your personal expenses and spend money on important things. Your level of spending will determine the amount of money you can save up to start up your business.
Most successful entrepreneurs make a lot of sacrifices in order to curtail their spending. You do not have time for luxury as your resources are limited. You can also make a budget that will help you control your spending.
- You need to be in control of your cash flow
Many start-ups fail as a result of mismanagement. Running out of money for your business can really affect your business. You have to be in charge of every penny that comes and goes out of your business. You have to be able to track your spending and how you spend.
You should have an account book to record every money that comes in or goes out of the business. You have to create a budget to track and monitor your spending and you should make sure you stick to the budget. Be disciplined when it comes to using your budget.
Your spending should never exceed your income so that you will be able to save up to start up your business.
- Prepare for the worst but still hope for the best
Remember you are taking a risk and risks are uncertain as anything can happen in your startup and also after start-up. You have to prepare yourself for any eventuality but still be optimistic that things will work out.
You have to plan to keep reserves so as to meet up with bad times. Do not be in a haste to quit your job if you are working; you have to track the profit from your business and know if it can cover up your expenses before quitting your job.
Bad times will certainly come, they are there to make you stronger so plan for these times though you cannot be too prepared.
- You should know that time is money
It is a popular saying that “time is money”, therefore every minute is valuable. Never think that being an entrepreneur will give you enough time. Definitely, you are in control of your time but the time is just enough for your business. Starting up a business requires much time and effort.
With what we have said, every minute and second matter and you should use it judiciously as every time wasted is money wasted.
- Set financial goals for your business
This is very important in setting up a thriving and successful business outfit. You should set financial goals that are measurable and achievable. You could even break down these financial goals into smaller achievable goals.
This will help you attain your goals easily. It could be about making a particular amount of profit in a week or month or even in a year. It will help to give you direction and for every goal you achieve, you have a sense of fulfillment.
Starting up a business is not always easy as you need to be mentally, physically and financially prepared. We have critically analyzed what it entails to be prepared for entrepreneurship and how you can be prepared for it. This article is here to guide you in making your decision as to whether you are fit for the entrepreneurship journey or not. Entrepreneurship is not for everybody but it is sweet to be your own boss and be in control of your time and activities.
Do well to ask yourself if you are in for the sleepless night and longer work hours that come with being an entrepreneur.