The Great American Spirit

Today’s job market is volatile. As job elimination occurs, many people approach their careers differently and many start their own companies. Whether an entrepreneur or someone with a corporate job, it’s important to be running your career like it’s your business. You should always be building your brand and your network. That way, when you need it, you aren’t starting from scratch.

We had George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster from Bigg Success on the show this week. Here are a few tips for those who are thinking of taking the entrepreneurial plunge.

Don’t leave your day job. Carefully evaluate whether jumping ship and pursuing your great idea is the best strategy. If you have calculated and minimized the risk, and it works for you, great! Don’t get caught up in the emotion and adrenaline and leave without a plan. If cutting all ties isn’t the right strategy for you, figure out how you can build your business on the side and keep your job. This allows for a steady stream of income as you build your dream.

Test the market. Don’t assume you have a great idea and that everyone is going to love it! Try testing the market in less risky way. George talked about students he knew who wanted to open a tea shop. Instead of starting with a brick and mortar building, they began selling their teas at the local market to better understand their customers’ tastes. Are there ways for you to test your great idea on a less risky scale?

Have a mentor. If you want to be an entrepreneur, find a successful (and even serial) entrepreneur to be your mentor and show you the ropes. This is a great person to bounce ideas off of and help you understand the marketability of your product or idea.

Leverage your network. Always be building your network. Get out there and meet people. Build a relationship with them that doesn’t demand anything of them. That way, when you do need help, you can go to your network, and they will eagerly support you.

Today’s environment is very conducive to starting a business. Make sure you are doing it in a way that sets you up for success. To hear my tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur on George and Mary-Lynn’s show, listen here.

Jana Axline is Chief Project Officer at Project Genetics and the author of Becoming You. Through her leadership musings, she inspires audiences to grow as leaders and ultimately achieve who they were created to be. For more information visit Project Genetics.

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