Nobody is born an entrepreneur. Different people take different paths to achieve success, and there is no set-in-stone instruction for becoming one. Entrepreneurs take on a number of different roles and these roles can vary depending on what field you choose to enter.
While there is no perfect guide to entrepreneurship, there are a few steps that should be taken before beginning the endeavor, however. As with most forms of success, one way to achieve your goal is by avoiding mistakes. Following these pieces of advice could prevent you from starting off your life as an entrepreneur on the wrong foot.
1. Have the right mindset.
I often see people who want to be an entrepreneur and can’t figure out why their goal isn’t working. In the end, they simply aren’t thinking like an entrepreneur. The first thing that new entrepreneurs need to know is that failure is likely and success is not given. Understand the risk you are taking, and also understand that you will most likely not succeed immediately.
2. Be honest with yourself.
The life of an entrepreneur can be great -- you’re your own boss, you make the rules, you run the business. However, all of these are easier said than done. Entrepreneurship isn’t an easy path. Instead, it is often much more difficult than getting a regular job.
One reason entrepreneurship isn’t easy is because, at the end of the day, you can only ever blame yourself. At a corporation you can blame your boss, or perhaps the economy as a whole. As an entrepreneur, you will be looking for a niche in the market that you can fill. Excuses won’t cut it in this field. If your business failed, chances are that you researched poorly, you hired the wrong people or you just weren’t prepared.
Related: The 7 Golden Rules of Leadership
3. Start thinking.
Just because some college drinking buddies want to open a bar doesn’t mean they should. Likewise, just because you’ve come up with what you think is a good idea doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There’s a lot of research, planning and general deep thought needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. Without proper preparation, your dream business could fail quite quickly.
At the same time, no amount of preparation is going to ensure that your business will succeed. You need to be the one who knows when you’re ready. Decisiveness is important to have, but you should have ample preparation before the big decisions need to be made.
4. Find a mentor.
This is one of the most important steps you can take to lay a foundation for success. When you have expert guidance, support, and motivation -- you are 100 times more unstoppable than you are alone. Mentorship allows you to quantum leap straight to the head of the game more rapidly than if you tediously faced down every beginner’s hurdle. Avoid pitfalls, mistakes that could cost you your future, and rash decisions by having someone in your corner.
I credit having a mentor from the outset as the reason I was able to attain success. It’s an invaluable resource for anyone who is serious about getting where they want to go. Get online, get out into the world, connect with the people who inspire you -- especially the one’s whose paths you admire -- and develop a working relationship with someone who has done what you want to do. It can change everything.