Before I quit my day job and became self-employed by choice, I spent a considerable amount of time talking to successful entrepreneurs. Why recreate the wheel I thought? I met with SCORE counselors, business owners, and successful entrepreneurs. The advice was invaluable for several reasons.
First of all, the advice cost me nothing but my time. And, it helped me focus on one of the most important aspects of becoming an entrepreneur – the confidence to move forward with my business ideas. Self-employed individuals have a certain entrepreneurial spirit that’s hard to describe. But, you can see it in his or her facial expressions and hear it in their voices. Once you catch the bug, it is hard to think of anything other than launching your business.
Another reason to learn from successful entrepreneurs is to avoid making costly mistakes. You’ll often hear them talk about what to do and what not to do. And, one thing you’ll hear is create a business plan that you believe in. It doesn’t need to be perfect but it is important. Why? For one, it helps you build confidence in your ideas. And two, it helps you avoid running out of capital which is one of the reasons many businesses fail today.
This past weekend I read, The Sleeping Giant, The Awakening of the Self-Employed Entrepreneur by Ken McElroy. The book brings together twenty self-employed entrepreneurs who share their inspiring stories of how they found success through self-employment. The “Giant” in the title refers to the growing number of unemployed individuals who are awakening to their own talents and possibilities. And, in the process they are creating new jobs for others.
I learned of the book after being asked to help judge a promotional contest. Through Facebook The Sleeping Giant is hosting an online contest where one entrepreneurial-minded individual will be chosen from their story on why they want to be a business owner. This individual will receive start-?up funding ($5,000) and one year of business coaching with the goal of reaching a one million dollar business in one year. You can learn more and enter the contest here: http://www.facebook.com/thesleepinggiantbook