Entrepreneurship: A Baker’s Dozen, 13 Steps for Success

By Carlene Cassidy

1. Do what comes naturally.

Pick a business or career that lets you express your talents. Discover what you love to do and allow yourself the freedom to explore. Consider working for someone else first to see if you really like it. Once you decide—do only that, and do it well! Avoid the temptation to do many things for many people—stick to what you are good at and build your reputation for being excellent at what you do. If your business requires other talents, round out your team with the best.

2. Be curious and find the right niche.

Explore old ground as if it were new. Re-evaluate your products or services. Constantly look for ways to fill your customers’ needs. Innovate within your market, or give an old product a fresh new look. Thrive on change and exploration.

3. Go for it!

Often we over-analyze and never make a decision. Aim high; be confident, and be prepared with a plan. Position yourself for success. Take the leap and believe you will land on your feet. Do not let failure or fear of failure get in your way.

4. Follow your instincts.

Always listen to what your gut has to say. Weigh the pros and cons. Choose the right time to launch a new product, service or business. Trust your instincts!

5. Live in the present.

Let go of the past and purge your disappointments. Forget about lost opportunities—learn from them and move on. Take time to get organized and stay organized. Focus on Today!

6. Look through the window.

Separate yourself from your business. Visit your store or restaurant without any emotional attachment. Watch closely and notice everything. Visit your Web site, call your office, review your marketing materials—take a look at everything as if you have never seen it before. Prepare a strategy to leverage what you learn.

7. Discover and explore.

Take a new path. Do not waste energy judging yourself or others. Believe in yourself and trust that things will come together. Take pleasure in trying new things.

8. Dare to dream.

Consider all the possibilities and open your eyes to other ideas and alternatives. If you are looking to improve creativity, concentration and performance, consider taking a ten-minute nap. Look for new angles and a fresh perspective.

9. Be persistent.

Be assertive and persistent about your preferences. Walk away from opportunities that do not meet your standards. Do not compromise your values or integrity. Maintain your style, grace, dignity and class. Remember the Platinum Rule: Treat others as they would want to be treated.

10. Renew.

Find ways to refresh a little. Make time for the basic pleasures. Renew your body, mind and spirit.

11. Reach out, reinforce and support.

Build long-term relationships of trust. Find others with common values, work ethic and commitment. Help others to complete something they cannot achieve alone. Ask for help, give back and help others to achieve their best.

12. Focus.

Pick your priorities and be relentless. Clearly define your SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely (date, duration). Be ready, committed and energized to achieve your goals. Stay focused on your goals and do not get distracted by the phone, other people or competing demands.

13. Balance business, self and others. Get rid of the weeds in your life and focus on what is important. Plan time for every part of your life. Have a recipe for maintaining balance in the midst of chaos.

Have a fulfilling and happy life!

© 2010, Carlene Cassidy

Carlene Cassidy, Professor

School of Business, Computing & Technical Studies

Director, Entrepreneurial Studies Institute, Anne Arundel Community College cmcassidy@aacc.edu

410-777-2161

Source: Some of the concepts in this article were created after reading The Entrepreneurial Cat by Mary Hessler-Key.

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