By Farrah Gray
Former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan’s testimony before a Senate Banking Committee in February 2000, stated, “…it is certainly true that we have a new economy. It is different.”
Media headline captions have characterized “New Economy” entrepreneurial business success stories as “From the “Basement to Billions,” “Garage Million Dollar Startups,” “Mommy Millionaire Inventors,” “SOHO (Small Office Home Office) Successes,” “From the Hood to Wall Street” and “From Welfare to Millionaire.”
For all intents and purposes, the door is opened wide for exploration by the “newly self-employed.” The term “self-employed” and “entrepreneurship” are used interchangeably. You are both your own boss and employee of your company.
All of us are granted an open invitation to ourselves. To reject the offer is to violate the very essence of the human spirit.
In times of happiness and despair, we are hard pressed to acknowledge our wealth of inner resources and strengths. In spite of the evidence that our unhappiness has been caused by forces beyond our control, we too often feel compelled to blame ourselves. We simply lose the strength to confront the real issues or people who are getting in the way of our personal growth and development. The confidence we may once have had in ourselves, especially at the height of getting a decent or good job, has been weakened. We are caught between not being able to venture beyond our enslavement and not being completely able to deny our dreams. We are in constant conflict between our desires and our compromises. It is indeed difficult in this condition to look into the mirror and see that we’re worth giving ourselves a little “respect.” But it is at this very point in our lives that we most need this sense of value and the positive sense of self-affirmation that can only come from within.
The struggle to find a new direction in search of ourselves is long and hard. Coming to know ourselves and stepping out on our own-putting ourselves “on the line”, so to speak-requires tremendous amounts of inner strength.
Working for yourself is considerably more demanding than working for someone else. You are accountable for every decision made. In a small business you have to be prepared to do it all, because having a broad base of knowledge across a wide range of skill areas is crucial.
As you start on your journey toward self-employment, keep the following fundamentals in mind:
–Interest in others and valuing the human relations side of business is essential to entrepreneurial success.
–Initiative is the driving force behind the passion and fire behind your startup success.
-Resourcefulness taps the creative powers of the business person’s mind, leading to the achievement of personal and business goals.
-High energy is critical in sustaining both the interest (passion) and effort (fire) needed to promote your new enterprise.
-Perseverance, particularly through difficult am demanding times, is what determines whether the enterprise will survive.
-Determination is the “willing” that keeps a business going on the right track.
-Self-confidence prompts innovation (your big idea) and necessary risk taking.
-Foresight enables adjustments so that a business keeps pace with changing markets and changing times to know when the fill the gap, to create something new.
-Willingness to take calculated risks allows the business owner to move forward and capitalize on new opportunities.
-Profit orientation motivates a person to venture forth on his or her own and endure the struggle that comes with the territory of business ownership “no pain, no gain.”
When you step up to the plate, astonish yourself! Identify and understand the unique strengths and weaknesses that will be your companions on the journey toward self-sufficiency. Don’t let your weaknesses affect your strengths while you’re up at bat!
Entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author and award-winning fashion designer Farrah Gray has inspired millions around the world through motivational speaking, economic evangelism and the strength of his example. Gray is also an agent of social change. His partnerships include the Kauffman Foundation, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Marrow Donor Program, among others.