Remember waking up before dawn to jump into the lake at summer camp? The hardest part was the moment right before you jumped, when you knew the water would be freezing cold but didn't yet trust that you'd acclimate. For would-be entrepreneurs who want to follow their passion but haven't made the leap, the fears about starting a new business can feel just like staring at that frigid, early morning water.
Maile Ehlers, a graphic designer and founder of PGH Papercraft,
felt torn between freedom and stability. "I was climbing up the
corporate ladder (at a paper packaging company), but I really wasn't
happy," she says.
She put off quitting for fear of stiff competition and
unpredictable earnings, but after building a customer base in her spare time, she finally struck out on her own.
"New entrepreneurs are not confident about their own competencies,
and thus aren't sure if it would be the right decision," says Hao Zhao,
associate professor of management and entrepreneurship at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute. "Such hesitation is normal."
Today, Ehlers' business is booming and she's branching into new
markets. "Seeing that my business has been successful gives me the
confidence to keep going and expand," she says.
If you find yourself making excuses about why your new venture should
wait, these four tips can help you gain confidence and make a firm
1. Decide if you're truly passionate.
"(Entrepreneurship) is not for everyone," Zhao says. It may sound like a
sexy career, but the reality is that it takes self-motivation and
fortitude. If it isn't for you, that's okay. "Be honest with yourself
about whether you have the tenacity to be an entrepreneur," says Paula
Caligiuri, a psychologist and author of Get a Life, Not a Job
(FT Press, 2010). "You'll eventually need it to push yourself beyond
your comfort zone and persevere when the tasks become challenging."
Ultimately, passion drives that momentum. "Taking the successful leap requires both caution and passion," Zhao says.
2. Get to know your market.
Before launching a new
venture, scope out your competitors, get to know your customers, and
meet entrepreneurs that you might emulate. "Success requires expertise
with the product and market, as well as careful planning and execution,"
Ehlers launched her shop on Etsy before quitting her job, which
helped her assess the demand. "When I saw (business) was consistent, I
put my two weeks in," she says.
3. Create a safety net.
If you're serious about
starting your own business, save up the resources you'll need in order
to succeed. "Lack of time and debt are the two greatest pitfalls that
prevent people from starting a new gig," Caligiuri says.
At first, cut out TV time in favor of business planning and curb
unnecessary spending. Ehlers didn't quit her job until she saved enough
money to cover two months of costs, a precaution that helped reduce her
4. Turn to family and friends for support.
people closest to you can be a vital resource as you prepare to start a
new venture. "Encouragement from trusted family members and friends will
help build entrepreneurial self-efficacy," Zhao says.
They can also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. "Many
people cannot name their own natural talents," Caligiuri says. "Family
and friends can help us see what we are good at and what our challenges
might be as entrepreneurs."
[Source : entrepreneur.com]
September 10, 2012
Diposkan oleh : Tjuk Emet September 10, 2012