In Today’s Marketplace We Are All Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs who successfully create multi-million dollar businesses know how much hard work, disappointment, persistence and dedication it takes to build a business from nothing and then to keep it working. So when someone starts copying the company, ripping them off or the government threatens to over tax that creation they tend to fight!

And they better!  This may be why some many are scared to start their own business. Statistics say that over 50% of all businesses started fail in the first year.  None of them started to fail, but all with the idea of success in the future.  We all start small, even the most successful of companies started small. You might start with a big idea but the company always starts small – typically you and another person or two. Owners, managers and operators of all business sizes know what I mean when I say it’s tough working for yourself. They will also tell you it’s worth the hard work and the risk when it works.

Starting your own business can be scary but so is working for someone else.  The world has changed from the days of our parents with technology and economics shifted so fast even working for the most stable of companies no longer provides security.  Ask employees of Wachovia in Charlotte, NC what happened to them during the banking crisis or the “secure” employees of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Circuit City, Blockbuster, Borders Book stores, Best Buy and on and on. There has never been a time when it’s more important for you to consider becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business. What’s at risk really? Every job in the marketplace today carries some risk today due to economic conditions, downsizing, technology and the shipping of jobs overseas. So many people go to business school then don’t have the guts to start up their own business.  What is the point of going to business school if you aren’t going to go into business?

The great paradox and misunderstanding of the job market is that you are already in business for yourself even when you get your check from someone else and work for a company that doesn’t bear your name.

You are a business within a business – and that is how all of us should approach our jobs!  Whether you run the company or not you must now operate as an independent entrepreneur or business owner within the business. The security of your job, your paycheck and your financial security are not determined by a job and is only made up in your head. It is as though there has been some social brainwashing causing billions of people to think that a job is more risky than working for yourself.

Your security only comes from how valuable you make yourself to the company and the marketplace. This fact holds true regardless of whether you run a department, take out the mail, sweep the floors or you are the executive.  The more valuable you are and the more irreplaceable your skills and contributions the more secure you will be.  Even a job today requires the mindset of an entrepreneur.

That said, running your own business for yourself as an entrepreneur can be the thing that really forces you to sharpen your sword and will really allow you to define and find your greatness. I remember after starting my first business and months of failure and then finally figuring out a formula that starting getting me customers and results.  My confidence was elevated and my belief in self was lifted.  But this was only until I completely committed to the idea that my success and security would only be determined by my abilities to solve problems and make my business work.  What is different about that from any other position?

The entrepreneur experiences a different level of success feeling everything becomes possible. Entrepreneurs that go from starting something from nothing to successful company then starting another successful creation are capitalizing on something most don’t get to experience when they just have a job.  The entrepreneur also experiences the letdown of failing to land a big prospect or a deal falls through with the difference that they immediately find themselves negatively impacted at the bottom line. It is at this moment that the entrepreneur unable to blame someone else discovers what he/she is made of.

If you have ever wanted to start your own business know that it is scary for all of us but do it anyway. I have started many businesses from scratch and all of them have been great adventures.  Some have failed but most have not only because I refused to let them fail. Some have been more successful than others. Only one of them created tremendous financial security and two of them although much smaller financial successes created more personal reward than money ever could.

Also the companies that were failures provided me with valuable lessons that I have used in other endeavors.  The truth is, we are all entrepreneurs, we are all working for ourselves every day anyway. Every day, every action, and every decision you make goes to determine your value in the marketplace.

Whether you are unemployed, work for someone else or self-employed it is all the same. There is no security except that which you create through your actions. Your future is only guaranteed by how much value you bring to the marketplace. Starting your own business is not the risk — not bringing value, not being exceptional, not finding your greatness and not persisting every day is what you should fear!