Do you want to be an entrepreneur? Does being your own boss sound pretty awesome? Does having a bunch of freedom to work wherever you want appeal to you?
Well, you’re not alone, but the path to becoming an entrepreneur isn’t an easy one to follow.
If you want more insights into what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, you should check out the podcast we recorded with serial entrepreneur, Matt Giovanisci.
We thought it would be fun to answer a few of the questions we asked Matt because we learned so much from him, and we hope we can help other aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
So here are a few of our insights and advice for those who want to launch their own business.
What’s the Most Beneficial Skill You Can Have as an Entrepreneur?
Interestingly, Matt answered “writing” for this one, and I agree – for a few other reasons. Having a good grasp on the written word is extremely helpful when you want to be an entrepreneur or a freelancer.
Why? Because communication is super, super important.
As someone who has been on the freelance and managing side of things, you must be able to communicate with your clients and those you hire. If you’re running an online business, you need to be on top of your email. That’s a given.
Beyond that, you must have the ability to communicate expectations. You must be able to navigate tough (and sometimes scary) conversations, like negotiating rates, issuing customer refunds, and turning down a potential project. It’s also helpful if you’re able to write copy for any products you sell.
Of course, if you want to be a freelancer writer (like all of us are), then having good writing skills is pretty much required.
In short, great writing skills have a higher chance of making you look professional, and being able to communicate well usually means you’re easier to work with (the less back and forth that occurs, the better!).
However, don’t worry if writing isn’t second nature to you. As Matt said, practicing goes a long way. Just keep writing and putting your message out there. Sometimes passion trumps the technicalities of writing. Not all freelancers (and certainly not all entrepreneurs) were English majors in college (I wasn’t!). Learn the basics and create a daily writing (and reading) habit, and you’ll improve.
How Can Your Businesses Earn Money?
This is a very open-ended question as there are an infinite number of business possibilities out there. If you think of a service or product that you wish existed, chances are that there is a way to make that into a profitable business. But for this question, I’m going to focus on how I’ve earned money with my business.
Personally, I started earning money with my business by freelance writing, but I quickly realized that I could burnout from this task being the sole offering of my business. It takes a lot of brain power, energy, and creativity to write content for blogs and corporate blogs and websites. Thus I knew I needed to find some other ways to make money with my business, plus I know that having more than one income stream is how you build security into your business and finances.
Branching out into some other business tasks as a Virtual Assistant, blog/website manager, and project manager has helped me to create more steady income because I’ve been able to change from charing per assignment to a monthly retainer so I can more easily plan my personal and business budget. This is when your business will really start to earn money – when you stop charging for your time and start charging what you’re worth.
What Do You Do if Your Business Fails?
This is such an interesting question that is quite common and I loved Matt’s response to this one. He basically didn’t define failure like most of us did. I personally set overarching goals and harsh standards for failure. On the other hand, I remember Matt mentioning how your ‘failed business’ can be viewed as your hobby and I loved that sentiment.
For example, blogging is a hobby I love. In more recent months, I’ve been trying to monetize my blog and see which strategies will help me earn an income. If I don’t start earning a consistent income from my blog in a few months, I’ll try not to consider it a failure because not every business strategy is going to work for me especially trying to turn my hobby into a business. Sometimes it will work though.
When I look at some of the most successful business owners or just successful people in general, I realize that they’re had several rejections and business flops throughout their career but they’ve learned from them and kept trying different things until they found something that worked. My advice to anyone dealing with a business ‘failure’ is to give yourself some more credit and keep trying until you reach success. Change your processes, get a coach, and implement new strategies. The road may not be so glamorous, but I hear the finish line is wonderful.
Do you want to be an entrepreneur? What type of business are you interested in starting?