I am an entrepreneur. I always have been. Even when I was 9 years old, I started little businesses and made some decent money for a kid that age. I had landscape services like lawn mowing and such, I had babysitting services, and I operated these “kids enterprises” as legitimate businesses. I “advertised” mostly by word of mouth, recommendations from one client to another potential client.
When I graduated from high school and then left college after a few years, I got a “real job”. I did well with it, and it took me far. But, I always had that entrepreneur inside of me, just scratching to get out.
After about 10 years of working a real job, I started unleashing my inner entrepreneur. At first, I did it “on the side” while still keeping my job. After a while, though, I decided to go full time with my own gigs. It is a scary step to take, going out on your own like that, but I made a success out of it. That was 25 years ago that I made the move, and it’s been a good 25 years.
Anytime you are an entrepreneur when you are working for yourself, there are ups and downs. But, if you are good at what you do, you can make the ups a lot more frequent than the downs, and I feel I have done that.
Success as an Entrepreneur
Over the next two weeks, I am going to write a multi-part blog series entitled “Success as an Entrepreneur. There will be 7 new articles over the next 2 weeks looking at the strategies that you may find success with.
Entrepreneurs come in all different flavors. Henry Ford was an entrepreneur and started what turned into a huge company that makes cars that people use all over the world. Most entrepreneurs, though, never really build up a huge company like that. They get a company started and after their company achieves success, they like to sell the company and move on to the next challenge. Entrepreneurs tend to be problem solvers and risk takers.. when a business is already successful they get bored and are ready to get back to creating something new.
Streams of income
I am the type of entrepreneur that likes to build small enterprises. I have written many times on this site about “streams of income”. I like having a lot of different enterprises that earn relatively small amounts of money. Each of these enterprises creates a stream, usually a small stream, of income for me and my family. Each of these streams is actually tributaries. Here is how Google defines a tributary:
a river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake. “the Illinois River, a tributary of the Mississippi”.
So, each of my various enterprises is a tributary, a small stream, that feeds into my “river” of income. Sometimes my river is overflowing the banks, and at other times a drought can develop and the river is running a bit low or even dry. That means sometimes I make a lot of money, and at other times my income is low or even non-existent.
Usually, my river is running at normal levels, staying within it’s “banks”. Not overflowing, and also not running low. With multiple small enterprises of different kinds, if one stream runs a bit low, usually there are enough other streams that my overall income is relatively normal. From time to time, multiple streams will run low, and this is when the river itself gets low or dries up. But, thankfully, that is not often.
At other times, all of the enterprises is doing well, that is when the river might overflow its banks. In this case, flooding is a good thing!
Some important things for the small entrepreneur
There are a number of things that I will write about this week. Among them:
- Staying ahead of others
Each of these things can contribute to great success as an entrepreneur. On the other hand, if you ignore these types of things, it is likely that you will fail as an entrepreneur, and will end up needing to find a job again. Nothing wrong with a “job” in my opinion, but I also feel that as a job holder you will never reach your full potential in life. Being your own boss allows you to do things that a job would inhibit you from doing. Taking risks. Risk, if handled properly, can lead to great reward.
The reward is not just money. Money earned for your efforts is a great reward, but the reward can also include personal satisfaction, joy and other factors other than money. Perhaps these other rewards are even more valuable than money. Being happy in life is great, and having a certain amount of money is probably required before you can achieve happiness. However, beyond a certain point of earnings, happiness is probably more important than earning more and more money. Don’t you think?
So, stand by and keep coming to this site! These next 2 weeks we are going to look at how I have succeeded as an entrepreneur, and that might help you succeed as well. Then, at the end of the week, we will open it up so that you can share how you have succeeded so that I (and other readers) can pick up a tip or two for ourselves.