The Pre-Entrepreneur To-Do List
Skills to develop and learn before starting a home business.
You’ll find a lot of to-do lists and checklists for entrepreneurs, but what about people who are getting ready to be entrepreneurs? There are a few major things you need to tick off your list before you can go full-force ahead with your entrepreneurial dreams. This prep time is critical and can determine whether you’ll be successful or not. For starters, write down exactly why you want to be an entrepreneur and reflect on whether these reasons are valid. If it’s to prove something to your parents or because you hate your current job, being an entrepreneur may not be the answer.
The “right” answers are along the lines of encouraging your creativity, working for yourself, flexibility, making a positive impact and the like. If your list falls into that category, great! Now here’s what you have to do to make it happen:
Get into the Risk-Taking Mindset
Having a job means having security—entrepreneurs don’t have that, at least not in the same way employees do. You need to take calculated risks in order to achieve success as an entrepreneur. That doesn’t mean you don’t research, plan or evaluate. But sometimes you need to jump in and hope for the best. Embrace risks, study them and learn how to minimize them. Even with planning, there are times your risk won’t pay off, but even failed efforts provide important feedback you can use to grow your business.
Get in the habit of stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks, even just little ones to start building your fortitude and courage.
Get Smart About Finances
Ultimately, staring a home business is about making money, but it’s very easy to lose or waste money when starting and building your business. There are many ways to learn about finances, from working with a financial advisor to taking a class or an e-course. Peruse the various ways to learn about finances and find the right outlet for you. There’s no shame in starting with a “dummies” book and there are zero stupid questions when talking to an advisor. If you can find a mentor who’s also financially savvy, that’s even better.
Use Technology (Not the Other Way Around)
Tech can make you lazy, so actively fight this trend. It can also be a distraction, which is death for an entrepreneur-in-the-making. If you find yourself checking Facebook when you should be generating a report from Mint or marketing your home business, you’re not working smart or efficiently. Although tech tools can streamline activities and help organize data, you don’t need to use it for everything. For example, you can a whiteboard for note-taking instead of your smartphone.
Stop Being 100 Percent Employee
Even if you’re a manager in your current job, you’ve probably been an employee of some kind your whole life. Now, you need to focus on becoming the boss, which requires a different mindset and character traits. You need to be self-motivated, informed, decisive and confident.
Optimize Your Tech Knowledge
While you don’t want to rely on or waste time using technology, you do want to use it help you save time. It can be helpful to learn tech skills such as HTML and other applications that can take care of busy work, such as social media scheduling. The more you know, the less you’ll have to pay “experts” to do the work.
You won’t become an entrepreneur overnight, but you have to start somewhere. Changing your mindset and skill-set is crucial. Not everybody is cut out to be an entrepreneur, but you can learn the skills and develop the needed mindset to ensure your success.
About the Author: Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media, and environmental addict. He's written for many major publications, such as Forbes and Entrepreneur.