Open for Business

Take a few minutes to think about how many people you personally know who own their own business. One? A couple? Several? Now, think about the common denominator in each of these folks. The chances are great that each of them, at the minimum, had a dream or saw a need. Then they felt they had a solution to meet that need. These folks are called entrepreneurs. And guess what? They're no different than you or I except that they made the leap and started something.

Here are some recent data about small businesses and entrepreneurship:

  • The United States was home to 30.7 million small businesses in 2019.

  • More than 69% of American entrepreneurs start their businesses at home.

  • Homeowners are 10% more likely to start a new business.

  • A 60-year-old startup founder is three times more likely to succeed than a 30-year-old founder.

  • According to a recent survey, more than 78% of small businesses reported profits.

  • 79.7% of U.S. small businesses employ only the founder.

  • The number of health, beauty, and fitness startups increased by 34% in 2018.

  • 53% of American startups have at least one woman in an executive position.

  • Immigrant entrepreneurs account for 25% of all new businesses in the United States.

These statistics are great because several of them, particularly, take away excuses many people use to not start their own business. The notion that "I'm too old", "I'm too young", "I'm a minority or immigrant", "I don't have any money", or one of hundreds of other excuses are just that; excuses!

The fact is, people from all walks of life, ethnicities, genders, religions and creeds start businesses every day of every year and have done so for decades. Again, there is no difference in any of them and you except that they put feet to their idea.

So what's stopping you?

Typically, the answer to that question can be said with one word. Namely, FEAR. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of doing something different.

Remember, God has NOT given us a spirit of fear. But power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7). As followers of Jesus, we're encouraged to ask God for the things we need. Why not get radical and ask Him for a great idea?

In the old testament book of Jeremiah, we find in chapter 33 a radical challenge. Jeremiah wrote, "Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come." The Lord is waiting to give secret ideas and inventions to those who will take the time to ask Him. Try it today!

Now, once you've asked Him and he gives you something, what do you do with it? Great question. Here are a few steps that should help in getting you off to a good start:

1. Pray

Continue to ask God to give you wisdom and discernment regarding your new idea. Ask Him to show you next steps.

2. Get Wise Counsel

The bible tells us wisdom is found in a multitude of counselors. Seek out folks who have had success in business and/or who demonstrate true wisdom in their own lives. Tell them your idea and ask them for their input. You'd be surprised at how many landmines they could tell you to steer away from.

3. Find a Good Attorney and/or C.P.A.

This is a step that cannot be overemphasized. The advice from an attorney or CPA is typically worth the fees you may have to fork over to them for their services. They can tell you what things to do and, as importantly, what not to do.

4. Save and Find Investment

A pretty good rule of thumb is to put aside enough capital to take care of your regular living expenses for 6 months to 1 year. Some have done it for a lot less as they have taken the plunge into entrepreneurship. But try not to leave yourself short.

5. Plan and Put a Date On It

A strong and viable business plan is a must! Your attorney and CPA can help you with this as can other business owners. Your plan should include start dates, operating procedures and possible exit strategies.

6. Get Ready and GO

Once you have determined your start date, pull the trigger and get going. Pay attention to details and be the best at what you can be.

7. Look for Constant Improvement

Even after you have started and maybe well on your way to success, continuing education is a part of every successful company. Always have the mindset to improve.

8. Look to Help Others

Finally, always be on the lookout to help other entrepreneurs. Younger, less experienced folks will need your help in the future. Pay it forward!

While this is not exhaustive, these steps can help you in leaving behind a life of mediocrity and walking into the dreams God has given you!

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