Can I learn to be an entrepreneur?

Can I learn to be an entrepreneur?

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I’ve always worked for someone else, but I think that the time is right for me to go out on my own. How do I go about this?

The development process required to become a successful entrepreneur can definitely be learnt, as long as the individual possesses some key characteristics (e.g. perseverance, problem solving ability, inner locus of control etc) and a real desire to be an entrepreneur. Here are some steps for going out on your own:

Choosing an industry

One of the critical characteristics includes the choice of industry….and the most important question to ask is: “Is it your choice of industry in which to start and manage a business or do you feel obligated by other pressures of life?” Alongside the industry choice is industry experience, the question to ask yourself is “Have you had any previous experience in the industry you wish to enter?” as this will help the long-term commitment when times get tough.

Choosing a mentor

Mentorship is another key element to becoming a successful entrepreneur – having someone with wisdom, knowledge and experience to consult when you need advice or assistance. Research has shown that 16 out of 20 entrepreneurs who have mentors working alongside them survive long term, versus only 9 out of 20 who don’t have a mentor.

Practising financial discipline

Basic financial management and discipline is another key ingredient you should have if you desire to become a successful entrepreneur. This is often where a mentor offers the most advice and assistance.

Here are some tips to ensure that your business is on the financial straight and narrow:

 

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  • Open a separate bank account
  • Draw up a budget and stick to it
  • Keep detailed records of all income and expenditure
  • Keep it simple
  • Be accountable

If you desire to become an entrepreneur, ask yourself some questions related to these three areas and if you feel you have what it takes, take that bold next step and ‘go out on your own’.

Eleanor Scott
Eleanor Scott is the executive mentor at The Hope Factory, an established Enterprise Development organisation associated with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). She has spent the past 20 years developing entrepreneurs in the field of Early Childhood Education and the Wellness industry. For more information visit www.thehopefactory.co.za