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Becoming your own boss is not as glamorous as it may first seem. It takes an unstoppable work ethic, an incredible drive, and requires a combination of intelligence, tenacity, and creativity. Intelligence is necessary, but in today’s world, it is not enough. Anyone can google a concept, but an entrepreneur should have the tenacity and creativity to think outside the box, synthesize ideas, and create a new product that people will want to buy. Put short, an entrepreneur must embody innovation.
To start a business that will pay the bills, your employees, and yourself, you will have to slowly turn yourself into a pit bull. Aggressively strategize to out-maneuver your competitors and always focus on the big picture. Before I opened my own company five years ago, I went through an interview process at Bloomberg that would have secured me a $150,000 salary. I refused to settle for a quick payout, and instead chose to become my own boss and control my own career. Now, I carry multiple rents in Manhattan, and I own one of the most successful recruiting companies in New York City.
Nobody is born a leader and as an aspiring entrepreneur, you must turn yourself into one. If you wish to acquire the tenacity that is going to allow you to reach your professional goals, you must get into the habit of executing daily tasks. No exceptions or excuses. You will not complete long-term goals if you cannot successfully finish the tasks you set for yourself each day. Do not give up on goals, regardless of how big or small they are. To acquire good habits, train your body first, and your mind will follow.
Entrepreneurship requires a lot of backbone and even more ego. In conjunction with an aggressive mentality, you must be very creative. You can study as many entrepreneurial success stories as you’re like, but it won’t prove beneficial. Quickly, you will come to the realization that each entrepreneurial success story is unique and exceedingly difficult to duplicate. Believe in yourself and have the ego to back it up.
To ensure that you gain and keep the level of creativity needed to be your own boss, map out your end-goal for the coming year. Write down the steps you believe are necessary to get you there. When you’re done, seal that list, and put it in a drawer. A year later, write another list of the actions that got you to where you want to be. Compare the two lists when you’re done. Chances are the two documents will not be very similar.
If entrepreneurial success was simplistic for young, aspiring business owners, everyone would own their own company. However you have to be willing to make a game plan and change it as necessary. I started my business doing pure contingency sales and information technology staffing at a discounted price. I now do mostly retained searches in sales and marketing at a premium price. My game plan switched dramatically, and I’m now being approached to do marketing consulting for large firms.
A business is a living, breathing creature. You must consistently rely on your creativity to adapt, and be willing to go out on the line for what you believe in. Push harder than all of those around you if you want to succeed. The moment you lose your ability to think on your feet and outside the box, you will find yourself writing a resume and looking for jobs.