Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Do you have what it takes?

Yesterday, I had the enjoyment to celebrate one year of being a business owner. With fellow team mates and customers we gathered together, raised our glasses, and reflected on the past year’s worth of great accomplishments and achievements. From an outsider looking in, the one-year of business seemed extremely successful, attractive to pursue, and relatively smooth sailing with very little headaches. Although, I am extremely proud to say that it was a great year, I can also tell you that the reality of being a business owner is that the position is NOT a walk in the park.

Now day and age, everyone wants to run their own business, yet fail to realize the sacrifice, hard work, and persistence that are required to be successful. Business is hard work. There is a big difference between being good at what you do and being proficient at operating a business. Remember,

8 of every 10 businesses fail.

Ownership can be 24 / 7 including evenings, weekends and holidays and you cannot hide from it. Being the owner means you have the responsibility of sole accountability to every mistake. And then being an effective business leader requires a special determination to continue swimming upstream while literally millions around you are floating downstream with their hands behind their heads wondering why you are working so hard. And once again…managing people is everyday.

So, the next time you tell yourself that you want to be a business owner and reap the rewards (because there are definitely some) that come with the position…evaluate what you want and what it takes to be great. Ask yourself:
  • Am I persistent and will not take no for an answer?
  • When I’m interested in a project, do have any problem giving up sleep?
  • When there’s something I want, do I keep that goal clearly in mind?
  • Do I examine mistakes and then learn from them?
  • Do I have a strong personal need to succeed and be great at what I do?
  • Am I adaptable to different people/situations/expectations?
  • Do I realize that it is not always about me…but actually those around me?
  • Am I intuitive and able to think proactively instead of reactively?
  • If something can’t be done, do I find a way?
  • Do I see problems as challenges and have the ability to find solutions?
  • Do I have the confidence in taking educating risks?
  • Do I understand that there will be emotional setbacks and I will have to recover from those?
  • Am I confident in my abilities and the direction I am heading?
  • Am I willing to undergo sacrifices for potential long-term rewards?
  • Am I willing to learn about myself, evaluate my weaknesses, except that I am not perfect and work to improve in all areas through education, self-reflection and listening to those around me?

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