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As an Entrepreneur

It seems that more and more good men and women are falling victim to corporate downsizing strategies, and are considering starting their own business.

If this has happened to you, or if you just think that maybe you'd like to strike out on your own, perhaps this little one-page discussion will help you organize your thoughts.

I have used this piece for years in my Small Business Development classes, as well as in the QuickBooksÔ classes, because so many of these students have strong entrepreneurial interests, and the article has always been a favorite.

Skip Weitzen in his book Infopreneurs, Online and Global wrote the article. He lists a number of benefits that can come to those who start their own businesses.

Which of these most appeals to you? I'm in my 9th year of self-employment, and I have noticed that my favorites have changed over time.

When I started, I was most interested in freedom from the bureaucracy, gaining independence, and avoiding downsizing.

At this point in my life, I find that I most value creating a corporate culture, hiring people more capable than myself, and dedicating myself to innovation, growth, and personal development.

Which position is riskier?

For years, Zig Ziglar has posed an interesting question: which would you consider more risky? A middle-level management position in a large, well-regarded company, or a commission-only sales position?

He's hoping that you will say the sales position is the more risky, because he wants to spring his trap. Zig makes the argument that a sales position is actually less risky, provided that the salesperson keeps good records and maintains good daily sales discipline.

Zig explains that good sales record-keeping will tell you how many cold calls you must make to get a presentation, and how many presentations you must make to get a sale. Your records will also tell you the average value of a sale.

He points out that these numbers almost seem absolute, in that while you never know where or when the next sale is going to happen, you do know that if you make the appropriate number of calls (here comes the discipline part), the sales will follow as surely as night follows day.

The Payoff

So if you need to make another $1500 next month, he argues, you know pretty accurately how hard you have to work-how many calls, presentations, and sales.

The Common Thread

What both men are saying, I think, is that your entrepreneurial success is directly linked to your self-discipline, your belief in yourself, and above all, your personal performance.

Corporate success or failure is often influenced by factors beyond your control. Starting your own business places both the control as well as the responsibility in your hands alone.

So use this little piece to help organize your thoughts if you are thinking about making that big leap into entrepreneurship.

Bill Belchee

Beacon Small Business Solutions



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