[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Four Key Elements of Entrepreneurship[/typography]
Guest Blog Post by James Bradrick
My parents weren’t what you’d call socialites. So when they entertained it was a special occasion, for them, for my siblings and me. We could look forward to ‘getting away with’ more than was normally tolerated. I remember one evening long ago as if it were last night.
There was a crowd of noisy adults in the living room, and I was sitting alone at the kitchen table. I had a pencil, a piece of paper and I was copying words from a book. I had not yet learned to read or write; but, I was entertaining myself as the party continued in the adjacent room. Even though it seems like an inconsequential event, it was the beginning of my love affair with the written word.
Now, more than 50 years later, I’m letting the tiger out of the cage and unleashing my words upon the world. Writing has become the focus of my life.
When I read Nancy’s post about outsourcing I was more than just a tad envious. I wished that I were at a point where I was willing to take that leap. . .where I needed to take that leap.
Happily, my envy was tempered by my understanding that to be a writer all you have to do is write. On the other hand, I was also aware that generating a level of financial comfort from writing is another matter entirely, which brings me to my topic for today – the world of the entrepreneur.
[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Entrepreneurship[/typography]
There are essential elements that go into the mental makeup of an entrepreneur. The Industrial Age, from which we are now emerging, suppressed these. In that era, leaders thought it best if you and I did not think, feel, and reason for ourselves, but times have changed. Adapting to the Information Age requires that these abilities be developed.
The list that follows is merely an introduction to characteristics that must be developed. It is very probable that all of us budding entrepreneurs will be working on these for the rest of our lives.
1. Self Knowledge
Above the portal to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece was inscribed the injunction “Know thyself.” This is where the entrepreneur must begin. What are your strengths? Weaknesses? What are your core values? Why? When you leave the room, what do people say about you? What do you want them to say about you?
Honest answers to these questions open the doorway to entrepreneurial ideas. Opportunities abound, discernment is obligatory.
In a recent post by Pamela Slim she wrote that we must “take the time to clarify our values, then choose jobs, partners and clients that resonate with those values.”
Learning what makes you tick takes work; and, it builds a foundation upon which can rest a movement that can change the world. Both Gandhi and Mandela knew a good bit about themselves and because of them the world is a better place. To get you started there are websites that can help generate ideas .
Desire coupled with persistence can move mountains. This is the why of knowing yourself. It reveals what you truly want. And just any half baked ‘I want’ won’t do. It won’t survive. If you yearn to sign your own paycheck, it must be the reason you leap out of bed in the morning. You must eat, drink and live that desire.
In the early 1930’s Napoleon Hill authored the classic self help book entitled “Think and Grow Rich.” In it Hill talks about the importance of desire and the next entrepreneurial prerequisite, persistence and how to maintain them. You could do worse than studying some of it everyday.
The road to entrepreneurship is long, winding and full of distractions. Focus and diligence are pivotal concepts – to either remember or learn.
This means doing what you have chosen to do come hell or high water. Day in, day out, day after day, night after night.…and not just until you have achieved a measure of success. Once the ball is rolling, the momentum has to be maintained.
This is the real education of the entrepreneur. There’s nothing like live, on the job training to teach a person the ins and outs of a business.
Working for yourself will be the hardest work you’ll ever do. It will also the most rewarding. It won’t seem like work in the traditional sense of the word because you’ll be so engrossed in what you’re doing that time will pass without notice.
Your niche and personal brand are the what of self knowledge. It is that one thing that you are uniquely suited to give to the world. Notice that I said ‘give.’ In the beginning it may be necessary to give before you receive. But there will come a turning point and if you have been true to yourself, the floodgate will open and you’ll experience life as few others do – or even think is possible. This also means that you’ll be serving the world. It may be in the form of a product but it will still be your gift to the world to make it a better place.
Sorting out your unique contribution can seem overwhelming. There are people like Barrie Davenport and Scott Dinsmore who have made it their life’s work to help others sort through the perplexities. Connect with them.
[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Getting to Know Yourself[/typography]
Getting to know yourself can be an adventure. Just as you change physically with the passage of time, your mental makeup also evolves. A large part of
being an entrepreneur is accepting those changes and learning to go with the flow.
A good way to begin this new adventure is to make a list of concepts that are important to you. Ask yourself ‘What’s important to me?’ Don’t rush the process. Use simple words like “love” or “environment” when you make your list.
From your list chose the five to which you feel the most connected. There is a good possibility that these are your core values. Keep in mind Pamela Slims observation that, “it is when our values are violated that they stand out the clearest.”
Develop the habit of observing yourself and paying attention to how you feel about the world around you.
As you begin to see yourself more clearly, think about ways that you would like to improve your universe. These basic and often suppressed urges are the beginnings of niche. Pay attention to them. Keep a journal.
Following ‘your path’ requires equal parts of enthusiasm and restraint. Your first path may dead end. Recover and forge ahead. Practice persistence.
Restraint is called for when you experience the urge to change course. Honest soul searching is required for you to know when to stay on your path and when to switch. Being honest with yourself is essential.
In your quest to know yourself there are two tools you should consider using that are more than just a little left of Western Hemispheric center.
The first is meditation. The continued practice of meditation stills the mind and allows you to see yourself more clearly. Science has found that practicing meditation can lower blood pressure, decrease basal metabolic rate, alleviate insomnia, anxiety and other psychosomatic disorders, and increase both creative and learning potential. It’s also pain free and inexpensive. Meditation is becoming more mainstream however it is still not a commonly practiced technique. You could help change that.
The second is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). This is even less accepted than meditation. As of this writing Wikipedia calls it pseudoscience. There is growing scientific research to suggest the contrary. It’s also inexpensive to learn and has the potential to alleviate pain and unlock creativity. Sometimes the best things in life really are free.
The foregoing was written with a slant toward writing for it is writing that I know best. Freelance writing is every bit a niche as anything else you might consider.
Regardless of your niche you will need writing skills. Promotion in today’s world requires use of the Internet, which means you must be able to write well regardless of your focus – blog posts, video scripts, articles, web page content, etc. If your talent or desire does not lie in this direction, this would be a good time to decide if outsourcing is a possibility.
If what you currently doing to pay the bills is sucking the very soul out of you it is time to begin thinking about being an entrepreneur. Remember, in the words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
About the Author
James Bradrick blogs, writes, and edits from tropical Mexico. Currently his blog, “Live With Passion,” covers writing awesome content and observations about Mexican living. Connect with him on Google Plus.