Entrepreneurship is the act of starting a business or organization. In the fitness industry, entrepreneurs include facility owners, product inventors, meal planners and online business owners. Most dream of enjoying a flexible work schedule, leading an idea to fruition and becoming one’s own boss.
Entrepreneurship requires dedication and hard work. For some, it takes years or even decades to enjoy the “unlimited” vacation days. When a person works for him- or herself, the work never stops. In fact, it is known that the first year is the hardest and most business owners put in more than 40 hours a week.
Some fitness professionals adopt entrepreneurial pursuits without realizing this and find themselves overworked with a flat-lined business. Many struggle because they lack “behind-the-scenes” business skills and the dream turns into a nightmare. In simple terms, not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur.
On the other hand, not everyone is meant to be an employee. If you find yourself restless and eager to pursue bigger ideas, keep reading; these five signs will reveal if you are meant to be an entrepreneur.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Has an idea been on your mind for days, months or years? Do you find that you are unhappy working in an organization? Some natural-born entrepreneurs struggle in the everyday work environment because their ideas are either ignored or they do not find satisfaction with assigned tasks. Those who have relentless passion find themselves “daydreaming” both day and night about their ideas.
If you feel your values do not align with your employer’s vision, it may be an indication that you should pursue your own plans. People with relentless passion are realistic about the amount of work and time it takes to establish a business. Plus, they see the work as the reward and place value on their ideas. The paycheck is just an added bonus!
Big Picture Thinker
“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
Are you a global thinker? Could your ideas revolutionize lives? Even if you’re not looking to change the world, but rather your community, open-minded ideas are what drive the future of health and well-being.
Successful entrepreneurs see the bigger picture and forecast the future. They utilize in-the-moment decisions that are best for a business’ future. Big picture thinkers balance logical and rational solutions with gut decisions. They can trust intuition and instinct and do not let “analysis paralysis” dictate every choice. Most entrepreneurs find they cannot stop thinking and creating new ideas. Big picture thinkers are innovative and do not fear taking risks.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
If you embrace risk and are not afraid of failure, then you are an entrepreneur at heart. Risk is a part of any business pursuit. Taking a risk means one can lose time, money or both with a business decision, program or idea.
Risk is important because it pushes an idea or business out of the comfort zone. Not all strategies will succeed and the entrepreneur needs to be mentally strong to accept and move forward if a plan fails. Some of the best inventions and businesses result (and grow) from unsuccessful experiences. Many times, failure is a blessing in disguise. Those who fear failure often quit after the first major bump in the road. However, gifted entrepreneurs do not give up and are able to persevere through the ups and downs.
One question to ask yourself is, “Am I able to stick with an idea I believe in when barriers appear?” Those who worry about every debited penny may serve well as an employee earning a steady paycheck. Although entrepreneurship is perceived as risky, the reality is that instability is common in both worlds. Can you see yourself using savings? Or having debt and interest with a business loan?
Remember—failure is an event, not a person.
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Do you see opportunities everywhere? People who see possibilities even in the “not so good” ideas are ready to improve plans and processes. These individuals accept risk, take charge and are not afraid to express opinions. Successful entrepreneurs do not solely focus on their own game plan, but rather find opportunities with a well-structured team. Building a successful team is what moves the business forward.
Oftentimes we hear big names such as Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey. What most forget are the hundreds of people behind the scenes working to enhance those names, images and ideas. Prosperous entrepreneurs leave ego at the door and collaborate with like minds. This information pertains to business pursuits that require a team, owning a gym, for example. Having the “right people on the bus” drives overall visions.
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
Motivation, drive and perseverance are key qualities for becoming an entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurial spirits do not make good employees because they prefer to take charge of their lives (rather than being told what to do). They would rather work with people, not for people.
Ask yourself, “Do I have enough motivation to sit down and work?” Self-starters generate ideas and produce work without punching in and out. Their focus is clear and does not allow their “freedom” to override the necessary work. Some people, as much as they desire freedom, need structure such as going into an office every day.
Entrepreneurship blossoms creative ideas, business skills and independent thinking. Those who do not have a business mindset can easily learn the tricks of the trade. Books, community college classes, online programs and videos are available to educate future entrepreneurs. You may wish to consult a mentor who shares a similar business or vision.
Remember, it’s never too late to start a business. So, what are your ideas waiting for? AF
Elizabeth Kovar, MA, is an ACE and BOSU® Master Trainer, freelance writer and author of the book, Finding Om. Send questions to [email protected].