For many entrepreneurs-in-the-making, the perfect business opportunity is the Holy Grail of business concepts. Potential investors seek this objective with the passion and commitment of a medieval knight on a quest. And it's no wonder-legend has it this ideal business opportunity is a self-contained, inexpensive program that will start you on the path toward personal wealth. You'll be able to spend more quality time with your family, take vacations you could never have afforded on your previous salary, and make more money on a Saturday morning than you did clocking 40 hours for "the man."
Before you know it, you'll be leaning casually on a Rolls Royce (a steed worthy of a knight of the Round Table) in front of a splendid mansion surrounded by smiling servants, just like the guy in the advertisement . . . right?
Hold your horses. Sure, knights need to be courageous, aggressive and visionary, but they also need armor. Not only can buying a business opportunity be expensive, but you could lose your entire investment if you make the wrong move.
Unlike the gallant quest of Arthur's knights, your search for the perfect business opportunity has a 21st century twist: The Holy Grail of business opportunities isn't a single object. There's no perfect business opportunity for everyone. Each knight should recognize that he or she has individual goals and objectives that are different from those of all other knights. Here are some ways to figure out exactly what you're seeking before you begin your journey:
- Clarify your personal definition of success. Be realistic, and be honest with yourself. Consider the effort and energy you plan to invest, and realize a Rolls Royce may not be in the picture.
- Talk to the people who know you best. Can they see you in business, and do they encourage you to branch out on your own? Although you can't allow others to define you or your ambitions, you should carefully weigh the insightful guidance of the people who care about you.
- Think hard about your personal and business objectives. Do you want a part-time business to supplement your current income? Or are you interested in a full-time career change? Do you like selling, or are you inexperienced in sales and marketing? Would you enjoy telephone sales or do you feel you'd be more effective promoting your products or services in person?
- Do your research. Do you know people who have blazed the same trail? Track them down and get more information on how they started.
- Evaluate your financial resources. Do you have savings you're willing to invest in a risky business venture? Yes, we did say risky venture. Don't be blind to the risks just because you have drive and the determination to succeed. Business, by definition, is risky. Are you willing to put it all on the line and can you afford to lose it all?
- Finally, set realistic goals and prepare to go for them. Remember the wisdom of the ages, which is as true for you as it was for Arthur's knights: If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.