Canada is a land of entrepreneurs. The BDC announced today that there are 1.1 million businesses in Canada with 98.2% having fewer than 100 employees. There are 826,000 entrepreneurs in Canada. Dreams do come true for some but being an entrepreneur takes a lot of work.
It Starts with You – Have you always been a follower? An entrepreneur needs to be a self-starter, a motivated person and a leader to move ahead. The stats in Canada are about 15% of all start-up businesses last a year. The businesses I’ve mentored had a 93% success rate after two years. Coaching, mentoring gives you an advantage when others may fail.
More than a Passion – This one is difficult for me because I have survived many ventures by having a passion. Unfortunately the truth is passion wanes, products fail and bad management can cause failure.
Strength of Character – A lot of entrepreneurs I know are bright, energetic and confident people who appear on the surface to know all the answers and never seem to falter. You show me an entrepreneur who hasn’t had doubt and lack of confidence creep into their daily life. It’s inevitable but is fixable as long as you don’t get caught up in it. My personal motto: Doubt Kills the Warrior.
Financial Freedom – You can guess the number of hockey players who make it to the NHL or lawyers who make it to the Supreme Court out of the total hockey players and lawyers. When you consider that, do you really believe every entrepreneur becomes a zillionaire or even mildly successful? It can provide you with personal freedom and a lifestyle you control but it doesn’t always relate to financial success.
80 hour work weeks and years of hard work –
I was working with a middle-aged man who just in the past 2 years became an entrepreneur. I asked him one day if he was ‘over the hump’ in his business. He told told me that he was planning to take a week off in 3 years when he figures he will have ‘made it’. Many of us cringe at a 37.5 work week and can’t wait for the weekend, most entrepreneurs I know consider 70 hours a good work week.
No Team to help you – Unfortunately running your own business can be lonely. You really can’t confide your fears and troubles to your employees because you have to be the leader with the bright ideas and they are counting on you to make the right decisions. If they had the answers you might be working for them.
Are you discouraged yet? Fear not – there is much more fun being an entrepreneur and having your own dreams being fulfilled than working for someone else. As long as you go into it with your eyes wide open. Smile!