If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, the odds are good that you long to be your own boss. It's a sound aspiration, but there are few things you need to know going in. The key to doing well in the long term is to set yourself up for success right from the start, and these six principles can help you get there:
Be determined. According to the US Small Business Administration, more than half of small business fail within the first five years. They fail for many reasons--most often not for a lack of desire, but because people shut down and leave when things go wrong. A determined person stays the course no matter what happens or what gets them down. Some people succeed because they are destined, but many more succeed because they are determined.
Be disciplined. If you worked for someone else before working for yourself, you may have needed to be motivated and inspired by others. Now that you're your own boss, you to learn to be a disciplined person with the right emotional state and mindset. Self-discipline is at the core of every successful person, the key to building a positive attitude toward time and personal management. Self-discipline is the most important quality you need to develop if you want to achieve success as your own boss.
Become an expert. To become a boss you need experience, and becoming the expert in the company you are starting means that you need to be able to rely on your own knowledge and wisdom as you grow and run your business. Becoming an expert is making an investment in knowledge--the kind of investment that ends up paying the best interest.
Be decisive. If you're serious about being your own boss, you need to develop decisiveness. That means being specific and concise and timely when there's a decision to be made. I believe it's our decisions, not the condition of our lives, that determine how successful we will be. A true leader and great boss has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the insight to realize that they are a product not of their circumstances but of their decisions.
Build your network. It's all but impossible to build a business on your own. That's why you need to connect with as many influencers you can within your industry and field. You never know where business will come from, so it's important that you continually engage in networking and make the right connections to excel and succeed.
Build financial security. Great ideas are important, but to make those ideas successful, you need to be financially secure. A solid nest egg makes a big difference between starting a business and staying in business. There are many ways to build your financial security--saving your own money, seeking out investors, or even getting a loan. A successful entrepreneurial boss needs a financial cushion they can rely on. If you're not realistic about your financial needs, your business won't have a realistic chance of succeeding.
The best part of being your boss is that the more you put in the more you get out. It may not always to be easy, but your success is right there in your own hands. There's no other feeling like it.