Fake It 'Til You Make It

Not an entrepreneur at heart? You can still successfully launch your own biz -- just remember these four tips.

By Paul and Sarah Edwards

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Q: I'm not an entrepreneur by nature. Will thisprevent me from being a successful business owner?

A: Self-employment or independent careers are oftenlumped into the same category as entrepreneurship. But one thingwe've learned from interviewing thousands of people over theyears is that many people who are happy and successful in their ownbusinesses do not fit the classic entrepreneurial mold.

We call these many successful individuals"propreneurs." Compared to entrepreneurs, they are lessinterested in the "business of business" and moreinterested in finding meaning in their careers and controllingtheir time, the kind of work they do and the manner in which theydo it.

The key to succeeding as a propreneur lies in treating yourbusiness in a way that leaves you free to pursue the work you dobest. That means you will need to:

  • Have a professional attitude. Take the legal steps toform your business, open a business bank account, launch a website,and so on.
  • Get business coming to you. Learn to attract customersin ways that come naturally and comfortably to you. Give awaysamples, offer free consultations, or use publicity.
  • Have a positive relationship with money. Becomecomfortable talking openly about money. Figure out what you need tocharge and when you expect to be paid, get clear financialagreements, and follow up immediately to collect the moneyyou're due.
  • Set up a support network. Line up a support team ofprofessionals (such as a lawyer and a tax professional) you canturn to for advice and assistance.

Authors and career coaches Paul and SarahEdwards' new book is The Best Home Businesses forPeople 50+.

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