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7 Valid Reasons To Start A Business

7 Valid Reasons To Start A Business

What’s not to like about being your very own boss? You decide your own work hours. You set your own rules. And there’s no office drama to get in your way, right?

Wrong.

These fantasies cater to the illusion of an ideal work environment. In reality, you have to be ready to face the challenges that come with putting up your own business. You decide your own hours, but you’ll frequently need to adjust your schedule to accommodate more work. You get to set your own rules, but adhering to them won’t simply be a matter of discipline – it could make or break your company. And while you certainly won’t have to tolerate petty office drama, you’ll still have to deal with difficult people day in and day out.

Before you start a business, you need to have the desire, drive, and passion for change and innovation. Wanting to simply escape office politics is not enough. Shallow, self-centered motivations will not give you the drive to last on your own in any industry. In the end, you’ll give up and ask yourself “What am I doing? Who am I kidding? This is not for me.”

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Before you decide to jump on the entrepreneurial bandwagon, consider these 7 valid reasons to start a business:

1. You have an idea you can’t stop thinking about

“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”  –Josh James, CEO and Co-Founder of Omniture

Do you often ponder an idea before you go to sleep and think about it again first thing in the morning? Does brainstorming this idea leave you staring into space for hours? If you keep thinking about bringing this idea into reality, perhaps fate is telling you to make that move. When Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky first turned a profit renting out three air mattresses on their apartment floor and serving breakfast, they thought their idea could actually work. It did. What started as two guys’ solution to earn rent money is now called Airbnb.

2.  You have a solution to a major problem

“One can get anything if he is willing to help enough others get what they want.”  –Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker and Author

This is the reason some businesses thrive and grow into huge corporations. All problems are meant to be solved, but not all of them require mega fundraising or massive investments. You need to have the solution to a large-scale, tangible problem. Dave Barnes, CEO and Founder of Gym and Fitness, started his business at the young age of 18. He was shopping for home gym equipment and noticed a huge gap in the online market. What started out as a hobby quickly became an obsession. He quit school, and is now the owner of multiple gym equipment stores all over Australia.

3. You are in a perfect situation

“Even if you don’t have the perfect idea to begin with, you can likely adapt.”  –Victoria Ransom, Co-Founder of Wildfire Interactive

You are in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. This formula often leads to something epic. If an opportunity comes knocking, and you feel with all the bones in your body that it’s best thing to do, then you should probably follow your instincts. When Chad Mureta, founder of App Empire, got into a debilitating accident that left him in the hospital with a mountain of bills, he took a leap of faith by venturing into an industry he was not familiar with. Now, Mureta has already produced 46 apps and sold three app companies.

4. This is your passion

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  –Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple

If you’re starting a business just because you can, then you’re starting out wrong. It takes more than knowledge and experience to become a successful entrepreneur. Hannah Grant, owner of Captura: Wedding Photography in Adelaide, started her business because she was drawn to capture the emotions of people and paint those heartfelt, authentic, joyful sensations through photography. That is passion. It’s beyond the financial aspect. If your work is your passion, then you won’t have to work a single day in your life.

5. You are born to be an entrepreneur

“Trust your instincts.”  –Estée Lauder, Founder of Estée Lauder

Do your friends or relatives often say you have huge potential to succeed in business? Did you ace your backyard lemonade stand or your scout troop’s cookie quota when you were a kid? You should use that unique instinct on something bigger. That is a trait that cannot be learned over time. It’s something you are born with. Embrace it. Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, began what is now a groundbreaking company specializing in innovation in technology… in his parents’ garage.

6. You have years of experience behind you

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”  –Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder and former CEO

Like a soldier, trained and armored for war, you already know the ups and downs of your business and the complex nuances of your industry. You know this is what you want. You have years of experience behind you. It’s time to blaze a new trail. Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, co-founders of Home Depot, were once fired from their executive jobs. However, that didn’t stop them from revolutionizing the home-improvement industry. Combined, they had years of experience in the industry and changed how we deal with DIY projects.

7. You’re a fresh graduate

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” –Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO of Facebook

You just graduated and you’re ecstatic. Let that feeling make you do crazy things you’ll probably not want to do in three or four years. Use that confidence to start your own business. What’s there to lose when you have all the time you need? While your friends work toward a promotion at some other company, you’re on your way to becoming the boss of your own company. Mark Zuckerberg was an undergraduate when he started Facebook, but fast-forward, and his one-time “hot or not” site has become a central part of our lives.

As Mr. Donald Trump once said, “You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” Yes, becoming an entrepreneur is always risky. Yes, it’s constantly changing. And yes, there’s no such thing as playing it safe. But the feeling of accomplishing something, doing what you love the most — that feeling will just propel you to go further. You never know – you might become the next Bill Gates!

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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