by Jeff Herzog, President – FPC National/F-O-R-T-U-N-E Franchise Corp.
Job security—everyone wants it, but does it actually exist? For a broad range of reasons, employees tend to switch jobs every three to five years. And for specific groups, like older adults, job searching can be a challenging and disheartening experience, due to rampant ageism and misguided, preconceived notions about the more mature members of the workforce.
Small Business Financing Consultant, Larry Carnell, revealed that people older than 45 can take twice as long – or longer – to find a job than younger age groups. And because many employers no longer associate age with wisdom and experience, more people lack job security than ever before.
One option to combat the lack of job security is entrepreneurship – and not just for older Americans. More than ever, starting a business is a viable path for those disillusioned by the current job landscape and for those seeking greater control of their own destinies. And while entrepreneurship has its share of advantages and disadvantages, it has proven to be a fruitful and successful journey for many.
So, what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Let’s break it down.
Pros and Cons of Entrepreneurship
Perhaps the greatest boon of starting your own business is that you don’t have to depend on anyone else for securing employment or for job security. There’s no application process, no reinventing your resume, no interviews, no waiting, no rejection. There’s also no fear that you could lose your job at a moment’s notice due to factors beyond your control, such as a decline in business, an acquisition, new management, or the seemingly arbitrary actions of a supervisor. You create your own job success and security. No one can fire you, promote you, or have any impact on whether or not you have the means to make a living, except yourself.
That being said, this freedom presents its own challenges. Indeed, you’re untethered from traditional expectations, but that means the onus for success rests entirely on you. You are in control of every detail, and every choice you make matters. The loss of a few major accounts will impact you far greater as a business owner than as an employee. If your cost of goods skyrockets, it will directly impact your bottom line.
But Entrepreneurship offers flexibility like no other career can. The sky’s the limit as to what you can accomplish and earn, since you set your own schedule and goals. If you succeed, it’s because of you and your efforts; and if you fail, there’s no one to blame but you. It takes passion, dedication, hard work, and the ability to adapt to make it as an entrepreneur. Some might not be cut out for it, but if you are, it could be the best choice you ever make for your career.
Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs need the ability to focus, prioritize, and implement without any direction from a manager if they hope to succeed. Initiative, passion, creativity, and persistence will be your greatest allies as an entrepreneur. Some business opportunities, such as franchises, have a built-in support network, so in essence, you could have the best of both worlds.
And while many entrepreneurs thrive on the independence, flexibility, and sense of self-determination that business ownership brings, there are, of course, risks as well. But as Carnell asserts, “For many approaching or passing the age of 45, the risk of business ownership may be less than the risk of job insecurity.”
Growing a successful business requires a genuine desire to provide value. You need to have a firm belief that your product or service is helping to solve a problem or provide a significant benefit to others. Additionally, a strong sense of self-confidence is essential, since your faith in yourself and your abilities will directly correlate to the growth of your business. And since continual change is a key aspect of entrepreneurship, you must also be committed to always learning and growing.
Make no mistake – entrepreneurship is still work, and it requires skill and determination to be successful. But those who persevere get to reap the rewards of their efforts.
If entrepreneurship sounds like an exciting and viable option as a career move for you, the next step is to start exploring opportunities. Some people open businesses that relate to their existing careers, while others forge a new path and follow their passions or break into fields where their skill sets match market demand.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, you have many options to consider. If you believe that people and relationships are at the core of any company, then you may have what it takes to build a successful business in executive recruiting. If this piques your interest, contact us to learn more.
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