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Chris LoCurto

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January 6, 2012

Are You Ready To Be An Entrepreneur?

January 6, 2012 | By | 35 Comments">35 Comments

An entrepreneur is one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise, according to Merriam-Webster. Sounds easy enough, right? Or … does it sound a little different than what you were thinking?

The funny thing is that I meet with a lot of entrepreneurs who discovered how to make a widget and sell it. They never realize, though, what comes with turning that widget into a full-fledged enterprise. It’s way more than just the widget. It’s all the behind-the-scenes stuff that makes the business work.

So to be an entrepreneur, you have to focus on three areas. OK, it’s way more than three areas, but let’s stick with the 30,000-foot view.

  • Organization – One of the biggest areas where I see entrepreneurs fail is the admin. You have to get on top of it and stay there. During EntreLeadership, I ask people to raise their hand if they love accounting. Without fail, less than 5% do. Why? Because entrepreneurs hate being bogged down in the numbers. Therefore, many of them fail. Accounting is one of the most important admin pieces of your business. But it doesn’t stop there. You have to focus on hiring and doing it well. Most entrepreneurs interview a handful of people, with a short amount of interviews, and then hire someone who ultimately doesn’t work out. And then, they can’t figure out why the person failed. Organization is key to winning!
  • Management – While an entrepreneur can start out alone, they usually don’t stay there. That’s when management comes into play. Even though that word gets a bum rap, it’s something that has to happen. I hear people say all the time, “I don’t want to manage, I want to lead.” Well, that’s great but practically impossible. You have to get into the day-to-day stuff and make sure that your operation is running correctly, team members are being led well and you’re getting information from all, yes ALL, levels in the company. We have a saying around here, “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.” Hiring a team doesn’t mean you can take your hand off the steering wheel.
  • Assume Risk – It has been said that entrepreneurs can go from sheer exhilaration to sheer terror and back in the same 24 hours. It’s what separates entrepreneurs from leaders. It’s easy to lead when someone else is taking all the risk. You have to be willing to step out there and do some gut-wrenching things. You have to be willing to put some, not all, on the line to make your deal happen. Taking chances has to be part of your life going forward—even when others around you probably won’t have the stomach. Let me reiterate, never put it all on the line!

If you’ve ever thought about stepping out on your own and being your own boss, then you’re already on your way. Just don’t be one of those who fails from a lack of planning.

Question: What skills do you need to make your business work?

 

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  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    What skills do you need to make your business work?

    Being capable of taking the risks and the ability to manage the uncertainties are the greatest challenges I face personally.

    As an employed professional, I always stuggle with the fear to run it on my own. I also find it hard to be extroverted to network with the people.

    If I am able to overcome this phobias, I can freeelance myself as a professional.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I think you can do it! You do a great job here!!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I think you can do it! You do a great job here!!

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Thanks Chris!

        Subject: [closblog] Re: Are You Ready To Be An Entrepreneur?

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Thanks Chris!

        Subject: [closblog] Re: Are You Ready To Be An Entrepreneur?

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    Some of the skills I have needed are management, leadership, organization, visionary…..oh – and RISK MANAGEMENT!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Yeah, that last one’s the toughest.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Yeah, that last one’s the toughest.

  • http://www.thehottubssuperstore.co.uk/ Hot tub

    The first thing your gonna need is the plan, the second thing is money-seed money. If I were you while you pay off your student loans, put some money away for your business and make some business contacts.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thanks Hot Tub!

  • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

    The skills I have: Quick learner, detail oriented; yet see the big picture, numbers person, both right and left brain, love coming up with creative solutions, logical, hard worker, planner, flexible….. I LOVE doing everything to make a business thrive!! Problem: I don’t have product :)

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      LOL!!! Well, let’s fix that. :-)

      • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

        I’m sure hoping to!!

    • Anonymous

      Can totally relate to that! Don’t tell anyone but the word “entrepreneur” is still quite intimidating… : )

      • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

        Agreed! :)
        I don’t think anyone else knows you told me that… ;)

  • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com Misty Gilbert

    I think you have to learn to focus on all the details and not just look at the big picture. Being an Entrepreneur means you are the go to person for the dream, the motivation, the encouragement, the learning skills, the mission…what you impart to your team is how they will take it from there, but they will always come back to the source. I think too many people get big too quickly and this forces them to make decision they regret, shove stuff aside they don’t have time to get to, and we all tend to prioritize on what we “think” is most important instead of keeping the wheel balanced. We all have strong points and those are the things we will tend to be the very best at. I think we have to remember our weak points and do a little bit of work on them so we don’t end up with chaos. I am preaching to myself! ;)

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Preach on preacher!!

  • Kathi

    I LOVE the accounting part of our business and Kevin LOVES the cooking part of our business. We are a match made in heaven professionally. When we first met he looked at me kind of sideways and asked, “Can you clean?” and I looked at him kind of sideways and answered, “Yes, can you cook?” Our business, The Singing Pig BBQ was thus born 8 years later. I would encourage entrepreneurs to do what they do best and either hire or partner with those who will make up your deficiencies. It’s made our whole day-to-day business a dream!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      That I would love to see. ☺

  • Anonymous

    Makes me crazy to spend time on organization and then realize I don’t have enough work to sell because I wasn’t producing. Makes me crazy to need help and not have enough income to hire it. Makes me crazy to pour my heart into a large project and not have the necessary customers to buy it.

    Sincerely,
    The Crazy Artist

    P.S. Seth Godin differentiates among business owner, entrepreneur, and freelancer. (sorry, can’t find the specific blog entry)

    • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com Misty Gilbert

      I relate!

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com/ Loren Pinilis

    Entrepreneurship is a skill in and of itself. So many people think just because you’re skilled in your industry that you’ll have no problem running a business. They normally get a rude awakening.
    I think organization is a weakness for many in particular. Payroll, accounting, government licenses – it’s annoying and draining. But it’s part of the work, so it needs to get done and get done with excellence.

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric

    These were some good points to make. Few entrepreneurs enjoy the day to day managing of things. In fact, few of them are good at it. That’s why I think one of the most critical aspects is to put the right people in the right seat on your bus! Without this we are destined to fail. Even when we hire the right people we still have to lead them.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      People don’t get that last part.

    • Kathi

      Well said Eric. We still have to lead them.

    • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

      Very well said, Eric.

  • Greglrf4dc

    You’ld better know how and be willing to perform EVERY job that might need to be accomplished. That includes fixing plumbing, vacuuming floors, answering phones, sending out bills and posting payments, operating machinery, prepping food and whatever else you will hire someone to do for your company. If you don’t know how to do it, how can you inspect someone else’s work? If they quit, get sick, or you need to fire them, you’ll either have to do it yourself, hope someone will step up to the task or the terrible situation of having to rush-hire someone to fill that slot. Been there done that!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      So absolutely true! You can’t inspect what you don’t expect. And you can’t expect what you don’t know.

  • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

    I think VISION is a major part in making our businesses work. Listening to a recent EntreLeadership podcast, we need to have MISSION statements that help keep us on track. I think ACCOUNTABILITY can also be a key ingredient in making business work.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Both huge parts of success!!

  • Tony

    Would you argue that to a small business, paying off debt is a risk? I have had the argument time and time again, about how cash is king. We have been aggressively paying off debt in our business, actually we should be debt free this year.

    Regardless of this success, it has come at a price. That cash could have been reinvested or my stress level would have been much lower had the cash been in the bank.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I always tell people that debt robs you of your options. I don’t think anyone should be using debt in their business, especially small business. Right now my personal business is growing at the rate I can afford and it’s not stressing me out.

    • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

      Congrats on becoming debt free this year! I think that’s a huge step in making your business work.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com/ Loren Pinilis

      Paying off debt is a risk in the sense that then you don’t have that cash for other things. But spending the cash would be a risk. Saving the cash would be risking whatever good could have come from reinvesting or whatever good could have come from being debt free.
      I think you did the right thing!

      • Kathi

        I agree with you Loren. The sacrifice will turn out to have been worth it.