Who hasn’t fantasized about calling all the shots? Studies show that entrepreneurship in the U.S. is currently on the rise, reversing a six-year downward trend. Whether you want to sell beauty products (ahem, do we hear Avon calling?) or open your own boutique, it’s tempting to hop on the be-your-own-boss bandwagon. Read on for a few pointers on how to prepare to take the leap toward an entrepreneurial endeavor.
Check 1: You have a mentor in your field.
It’s safe to say that behind many successful entrepreneurs, there’s a knowledgeable mentor who helped them get there. “Mentors hold the key to insight,” says serial entrepreneur Jen Groover of Leader Girlz. “They teach us things that we might not know yet on the journey. The insight that mentors can provide can accelerate your path to success,” she explains.
Check 2: You’re ready to take risks.
The entrepreneurial path is all about taking chances. “You can’t innovate by playing it safe,” Groover tells us. “You cannot succeed by being like everybody else. Innovators are the leaders.” And taking risks shouldn’t be intimidating. “I believe the word needs to change to ‘take a chance’ or ‘leap of faith’,” says health and wellness entrepreneur Maya Chambers of Maya’s Goddess Juices. “Risks don’t have to be scary. For some reason we almost see them that way, but I try to see every opportunity as a good one.”
Check 3: You want to know it all.
When you’re launching a business it’s important to be as well rounded as possible. “As much as you might not like all aspects of business, you should at least have a sense of awareness of all aspects of your business,” Groover suggests. “Even if you do hire someone with a certain expertise, you should sit alongside them so that you at least understand all the different aspects of operations.” The stakes are even higher when it comes to finances. “If you don’t know where your money is going or where it’s coming from, you’re going to have a hard time attaining certain goals and scaling your business,” she adds.
Check 4: You’ve become a social butterfly.
It’s no secret that networking is crucial to growing your business. You just might meet your next investor at an industry mixer. While volume does not equal value, Groover recommends attending at least four “high-quality” networking events per week, and making a minimum of three high-quality relationships at each one. Chambers explains, “I’ve met so many extraordinary women at events. Even if I don’t get a card or their information, often just having the conversation is enough to inspire.”
Check 5: You believe in your wildest dreams.
“Women’s biggest issue in business is not lack of education or resources, but a lack of believing in themselves and their power,” Groover tells us. “Believe that you can be the next multi-millionaire or own that mansion. Always believe that you’re worthy and that you can make a difference.”