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The topic of this month’s MBN Group Writing Project is “Your Best Advice for New Entrepreneurs.” When this topic first came up, I wasn’t sure what to think, as I’ve never really though of myself as an entrepreneur. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am an entrepreneur of sorts. No, I haven’t ditched my day job and struck out on my own, but I have built up a decent stream of side income from online publishing.
So… With that as a backdrop, I thought I’d share a few lessons that I’ve learned…
Love what you do
As trite as this sounds, I’m convinced that it’s critical to success. Working for yourself can become an all-consuming endeavor. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t have the staying power to succeed. Looking at it another way, if you’re going to hate what you do, you might as well keep you day job. 🙂
Success takes time, so try not to get discouraged early on. Obviously, you want to see signs of growth but, even for successful ventures, there’s likely to be a lag phase before things really take off. This was absolutely the case for me, but things definitely ramped up over time.
Be prepared to work hard
Since success depends largely on one thing — YOU — then you need to be prepared to work hard to achieve it. While there’s a good bit of luck, planning, etc. involved with every success, I’m convinced that a major ingredient is hard, consistent work. If you’re not willing to you’re not willing to really pursue
Consider potential partners carefully
Before involving a partner, be absolutely sure that you need one. And if you do, then be very careful about who you choose. The reason I say this is that it’s rare for anyone else to be as passionate about your ideas as you are. And if they don’t share your passion, you’ll end up doing the lion’s share of the work while taking them along for the ride.
Know when to call it a day
Just as important as being patient is knowing when to pull the plug on unproductive endeavors. In the past, I’ve fallen in love with particular ideas and ended up spinning my wheels for far too long. Don’t get overly attached to your ideas or you might end up wasting a lot of time.
And now… Here are the contributions from other MBNers:
- Get Rich Slowly – 5 Tips for Starting a Small Business
- Mighty Bargain Hunter – Are You Thinking of Quitting the Nine to Five?
- Free Money Finance – My Best Advice for New Entrepreneurs
- Consumerism Commentary – Can You Be an Entrepreneur In Your Spare Time?
- No Credit Needed – My Best Thoughts for the New Entrepreneur
- Wise Bread: Create a Business Plan by Answering 4 Simple Questions
As well as some contributions from elsewhere on the web:
- The Digerati Life – Basic Business Advice From an Accidental Entrepreneur
- Blunt Money – Of Exit Strategies and Small Businesses
- No Debt Plan – My Advice for New Entrepreneurs
- Personal Finance Analyst – So You Think You Can Sell Banana Peelers?
- Think Your Way to Wealth – 6 Key Tips for Starting a Part-Time Business
- How to Become a Millionaire
- How to Get Out of Debt
- The Best Dollars I've Ever Spent
- How Our Estate Plan is Structured
- How We Paid Our Mortgage In Less than 10 Years
- Money Making Ideas
- How to Manage Your Asset Allocation with Multiple Accounts
- Consumption Smoothing - Save While the Saving's Good
- How to Save on Groceries
- How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
- Eleven Great Books About Money
- Dave Ramsey is Bad at Math (693)
- Dish Network Customer Service SUCKS (537)
- $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit (429)
- Pay Off Mortgage Early or Invest? (424)
- How to Claim the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit (352)
- Termite Control: Sentricon vs. Termidor (330)
- How Much Should You Pay a Babysitter? (291)
- Ethanol Blended Gas = Lower Mileage? (273)
- Reduced Credit Limits? Share Your Experience (256)
- $15,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit (242)
- Buying Furniture off the Back of a Truck (237)
- Will Mac OS X Lion Kill Quicken 2007? (191)