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Becoming Your Own Boss:
A Four Step Guide for Start-Up Entrepreneurs
Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is a high-risk, high-reward trade off. It is also something that can fill you with a sense of accomplishment like nothing else.
It is a journey rife with late nights and early mornings, countless business meetings and strategy sessions, but in the end it is an incredible experience that keeps you going and growing.
Today is probably the best time in history to start a new venture thanks to a multitude of powerful resources and tools available online. If you are a start-up entrepreneur, or wish to become one, read on for tips to get you started.
1. Self-Assessment: The Entrepreneurship Lifestyle & Personality Fit
Taking a plunge into start-up life is a major commitment and requires investing a huge amount of money, time and effort.
The first and the most essential step is to identify if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Though there are no formal quizzes or tests that deem if you are fit for entrepreneurship, here is a list of traits common amongst many successful entrepreneurs.
The more the following traits define your personality, the better your chance of being a successful entrepreneur.
- Are you passionate about your idea?
- Will this passion keep you going through periods of no income, no customers and no investment?
- Are you comfortable working in unpredictable business scenarios?
- Are you a people person and is communication your strong suit?
- Are you willing to take educated risks?
- Do you incline towards entrepreneurship in your current role at school, work or in social organizations, or in previous jobs?
2. Take an Online Course in Entrepreneurship
Whether you are about to start your own venture or are already a successful business owner, taking a comprehensive course will always prove beneficial.
With a multitude of online learning options available today, long gone are the days when you had to attend weekend classes and pay hefty tuition fees. You can now gain valuable skills at little to no cost and from the comfort of your own home.
I recommend the Mogul Entrepreneurship Course which encompasses topics such as Creating a Business Plan, Conducting Market Research, Fundraising, and Scaling & Growth, among others. Covering twelve lessons, exclusive insider tips from entrepreneurs and vetted resources, it is one of the most holistic courses available today.
Become a Leader
If you want to run a start-up, you have to be a leader- no ifs or buts about it.
As an entrepreneur, it will be up to you to motivate your employees to give 100%, and only through your charismatic leadership will you succeed in making partners and investors believe in your vision.
Summarizing below, these are my tips on building leadership skills:
- Take a leadership personality test: It will help identify how you can improve your abilities and build on your specific strengths. The free What Sort of Leader are You? quiz here on Skills You Need is a good start.
- Keep a journal: Keep records of your own and your team’s accomplishments, long-term goals, mishandled situations, time-management, and more.
- Find your passion: When you’re truly engaged with your work, others will be more likely to follow you.
- Beef up your communication skills: Even someone who excels in many aspects of leadership will probably hit a ceiling if he or she is not a good communicator.
- Become a leader outside of work: There are probably numerous non-profits in your community that would be thrilled to have you join and offer your time and skills. You will learn about each facet of the organization for which you have oversight.
- Learn how to build solid teams: Understanding personality dynamics and how different personality types work together can help you construct effective and efficient teams.
4. Tools to Help You Manage Productivity
Starting a business is hard, especially when you don't have the right tools.
Here I’ve listed a few of the tools that are essential for start-ups.
Dropbox is the premier file backup, sync and sharing solution that lets you store and share huge chunks of data through the cloud.
Slack is an online, social-messaging platform for groups. Collaborators can create a team in Slack and then log in to have group or private discussions, share materials and links with one another, or simply banter. All the communication on Slack gets grouped into different Channels, and everything is searchable.
MailChimp is a popular online email marketing solution which lets one manage contacts and send emails. It helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results.
To-do and check-lists are undoubtedly extremely effective ways of staying organized. Trello is a project management tool that can help you effectively manage team projects and tasks from a central spot.
Hootsuite is a social dashboard. It puts all your different social platforms into one easy to navigate place – meaning that you’re saving time and energy going from one place to another. It is a social relationship platform that empowers users to execute social media strategies across their organizations.
Buffer is a tool that can help you write a bunch of posts at one time, choose which social profiles to send them to, and then Buffer will spread them out throughout the day or week so that you don't have to be at a computer all the time in order to have a social media presence. You can also attach a photo, video, or animated GIF to any of your posts.
It's important to remember that you are not alone on your entrepreneurial journey. If you want to "be your own boss" but you still feel stuck, reach out and connect with other entrepreneurs on Mogul.
You may be surprised by the invaluable contacts that are right at your fingertips.
About the Author
Tiffany Pham is the Founder & CEO of Mogul, an award-winning platform connecting women from 196 countries to trending content, including stories, products, and jobs personalized to their interests.
Tiffany was named one of Forbes "30 Under 30" in Media, Business Insider "30 Most Important Women Under 30" in Technology, ELLE Magazine "30 Women Under 30 Who Are Changing the World," the Recipient of the Cadillac "IVY Innovator" Award, and a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards Fellow.