Entrepreneurial Success is All in the Preparation

by Tracey Chandler

There are many ways in which young, aspiring entrepreneurs take the plunge. All involve making drastic changes and the common goal shared by all is a strong desire to live the working life that they have been dreaming of.

My dream led me to a life of freelance writing. Yes! It is possible to live, eat and pay your bills comfortably as a freelance writer. I know because I am doing it right now.

There’s no one hard and fast rule for leaving behind a life of corporate slavery and making a success of things on your own. You simply need to know what you want, what you are willing to give up and you need to be prepared.

Preparation is the key to all huge life-changing decisions that bring us joy and happiness. Over-preparation is a clear indication of fear, but under-preparation is just plain sloppy. Entrepreneurs, even those with the most ground-breaking, innovative ideas in their pockets, need to be prepared.

1. Get Educated
Education comes in many forms. Options include anything and everything from courses that can be done online, full or part-time university courses, one-day seminars to week-long intensives. Entrepreneurs need to explore education and training opportunities in order to realize their dreams and, if applicable, successfully guide their teams in the future.

As a writer for online sites and magazines, I chose to attend a variety of seminars, intensive courses and online programs in SEO Content Development. The things I learned on these programs have been fundamental to my success. I also studied on a number of language courses abroad in Spanish, Portuguese and French. As I travel the globe looking for a story to sell to English speaking sites, it helps that I can communicate with the people that matter – the locals!

Entrepreneurs exist all across the globe. Throughout my travels, freelancing and writing, almost every foreign entrepreneur I have come across has studied English abroad.

Despite having belief in their innovative ideas, foreign entrepreneurs still recognize that without English many international doors are closed to them. They prepare well and English study is part of that preparation. The future of international business looks to change, however, and I would certainly encourage native English speakers to start placing more of an emphasis on learning a foreign language as soon as possible. In particular, I would focus on Spanish or perhaps even Brazilian Portuguese.

2. Find Experience
Most entrepreneurs have to go through a period of time where they invest time in realizing their dreams without earning anything. This might consist of working for free in the form of an internship in order to gain experience. It might also mean working full time and then working extra hours on your entrepreneurial project on top of your day job.

Either way, successful entrepreneurs come prepared, the experience they have is focused and detailed and nothing is left to chance. Experimenting or learning how to do something should not be risked with your startup idea. The time for this kind of risk should be something that you invest in when working on others projects that will eventually lead you onto your special big break.

3. Invest in and Strengthen your Talents
A huge mistake would be to try to start your own business that require talents you simply do not possess. It is really important to recognize who you are, what you’re good at and what you will never be able to pull off.

For example, I love learning. I never stop and I am good at it too. I take in new information very easily and I thrive on having to start something from the very beginning. I am also excellent and teaching myself new things. I don’t always need to have a teacher or a course outline driving me forwards. This is why I am so good at learning languages and this is why I have managed to build up my travel writing career so quickly.

I am able to write in foreign languages and I use my language skills to really investigate from the ground up, talking to locals and holding interviews in my sources’ native languages.

I am terrible at selling anything. I am a disaster when it comes to the telephone (in fact, I rarely answer my telephone and operate almost entirely via social networking chats, emails and text messages). This is why I decided not to focus too much on my own blog as a way of earning money. I would need to sell advertising space, drive traffic, get involved in Google Page Rank, etc. and I am just not interested in these things.

Therefore, I write for others, I get paid for doing so and I am happy with this arrangement. Know your strengths and play to them. This is very important.

4. Discover Tools and Ideas to Save Time and Money
There are lots of businesses which devote their time and energies to supporting entrepreneurs and there are lots of networks and communities for the soon-to-be-entrepreneur to join too, all of which can help save time and money for new start-ups and set them on the road towards success with fewer hiccups along the way.

One particularly useful resource for those entrepreneurs looking to make business links between the UK and the US is Love Home Swap. I use home swap all the time as a way of seeing the world in style and comfort (staying in someone’s house or apartment is so much more civilised and comfortable than renting a hotel room, particularly when staying for long periods of time). However, I also use the service for work purposes. I have found the site really useful when traveling to the US. Houseswapping can allow you to save thousands on hotel bills in the USA, literally thousands.

Keep your eyes and ears open for other kinds of services like Love Home Swap that can be of use to you as an entrepreneur locally, nationally and internationally as it is a market that’s growing fast and definitely one to watch.

Tracey writes her way around the globe focusing on travel, culture and matters of the heart for a variety of female interest publications. She loves breakfasts that last for hours, she doesn’t have the guts to jump out of a plane and she most definitely couldn’t live without internet connection.

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Procurement Books said...

Preparation as an entrepreneur involves a lot of things and learning about your business is definitely one of the major things you have to do. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to get a degree in business school but at least know the ins and outs of the field you want to get into. It will also help a lot if you consult those who are more experienced in business.

Deb Bailey said...

Yes, you are correct. Preparation involves many things and does not always mean that you have to go back to school. However, it will help to refer to mentors and other experienced people to help you along the way. Thanks for your feedback!

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