Building a Business from the Ground Up

In the past few years, the economy has affected every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Pink slips have become the currency of corporate America and the unemployment rate has reached staggering levels. However, it is from job-loss and uncertain futures that many people, women especially, have brushed off their aversion to risk and decided to take matters into their own hands.

Women who decide to go out on their own do so for a variety of reasons, ranging from a passion turned profession to distrust of the corporate giant. Whatever the reason, women are making strides. According to a 2009 study conducted by the Center for Women’s Business Research, 8 percent of the total labor force is working directly for women-owned businesses.

Thinking about letting your hair down and giving business ownership a go, or recently been hit with what Michael Gerber, the author of the “E-Myth”, describes as the Entrepreneurial Seizure? First, may I say congratulations on taking the initial step in becoming your own boss. Now that the seed’s been planted, I suggest answering a few questions about who you are and what makes you tick. Can you handle not knowing when you’ll get paid next? If you don’t get paid, will you have the cash security to pay your bills? What kind of personal lifestyle do you aspire to and will the business you are creating allow for such a lifestyle? Do you prefer to be a leader or a follower? How risk averse are you? What are your business goals/life goals – do they complement each other? These questions may seem slightly strange and you may even gloss over them, but from experience, they offer great insight into how you will function as a business owner.

Over a year and a half ago, two friends and I decided to start a business. We didn’t answer any questions, but I am pretty sure that had we answered them we would have been more prepared for the adventure that is entrepreneurship. Starting a business is not just a career change, but also a lifestyle change and with it comes the good and the bad. For example, not having a steady paycheck means you’ll probably not venture into the mall much and pennies will be counted, but then again, how many trips to the mall could ever add up to the satisfaction of signing your first client or seeing your name on the letterhead. Starting and growing a business is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. So my advice to you is answer the questions, gather your support system and start tapping out that business plan because no time is better than the present to become an entrepreneur.

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