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“The stars will never align, and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.” – Tom Ferris, The 4-Hour Work Week

With the beginning of a new year, many people are considering the idea of building a business. There are several reasons why that makes a lot of sense for people who are willing to take a risk. The primary one is that you can make much more money as an entrepreneur than working for someone else. When you become a business owner, you alone are responsible for your success. When you have that freedom and flexibility, the chances are that you will do what it takes to see your business become a success.

Reality about small business in the U.S.

According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, which reported on the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs survey done by the Census Bureau, small businesses are a vital aspect of the American economy.

There are 5.6 million firms that employ people.

  • Additionally, there ate 24.8 million businesses that do not employ workers.
  • 7 percent of companies had fewer than 500 employees.
  • 2 percent had less than 100 workers.
  • 0 percent has fewer than 20 employees.


  • Choose your passion

There’s a debate about whether or not people should pursue their passion concerning a career path. For those who believe it’s about money and not passion, there’s a valid argument that could be made in that regard. Perhaps most people are not passionate about creating widgets, but a good entrepreneur has realized that if she develops a particular kind of widget, there’s a great need in the market place and an opportunity to make a lot of money. That’s a sensible approach to business and makes sense for many people.

I prefer to follow an alternate path, which is to do something in business that is related to what I care about in my life. With my social enterprises, I’ve created and bought businesses that revolve around shoes and sneakers.  Shoes have been a passion of mine since I was a kid and I’ve developed a life-long career, in multiple industries working with footwear in some way. For me, the idea of being involved with a product that I enjoy makes my work more fun, and it keeps me continually reading up, discussing and knowledgeable about trends in the industry.


  • Be creative with your product or service

Experience is less important in today’s world than it once was. Yes, there was a time when what happened in the past helped inform the future, which occurred during most of the 20thCentury. Managers and business leaders would hire and choose people to join their teams based on the performance of workers in prior jobs. That’s no longer the case.

In today’s world, including for becoming a successful entrepreneur, other skills have come to the forefront as necessary for business. A few of those essential elements include motivation, agility, and creativity. If you look at the most disruptive companies around the world, which have also become the most successful, it’s been led by people who have seen a challenge or the flips side of the same coin, an opportunity, and have developed a creative solution. If you have an idea for something that is different or, perhaps, has never been done with a product or service, and you find people telling you, it can’t be done, that’s a good sign. Take it from me, if you can think it, do your homework and execute on it well, it can be done.


  • Consistency and persistence

Finally, success or failure is a matter of commitment to your goal. It really is. So many people have wonderful ideas, but when the moment arrives when there is a challenge, push back, or something doesn’t quite work out as planned, many will give up and go back into the safety of a job. It’s important to be aware that being an entrepreneur means that there are always risks and challenges, including and especially in developing new businesses. That’s life. However, those who succeed are the ones who stay the course and are persistent.

Let’s take a look at the two words of “consistency” and “persistence” because it’s important to know what they mean, especially as an entrepreneur. Consistency means staying the course and getting up every day to chip away at what you’re looking to achieve. Being consistent means showing up every day in the same way. Persistence is different. Persistence is when moving forward instead of walking away or thinking the problem is too tough when challenges appear. Persistence is the idea of pushing through the inevitable obstacles that will arise. One of the best qualities you can have as an entrepreneur is to be consistently persistent. In other words, always look to overcome whatever challenges lie ahead.

If you’re thinking about creating your own business, this could well be the year that you should stake out a claim in the small business sector. The idea of being a worker has changed, and each year more and more people are moved to become entrepreneurs or freelancers. The chances are high that you know freelancers and entrepreneurs. In the modern world, becoming an entrepreneur is probably something that most people have to consider at some point in their career.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact” (Free Digital Download)


© 2019 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved