Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, once famously stated that “time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”

I like this quote because it captures the spirit of entrepreneurship.  Many of us dream of having the courage to start our own business and be our own boss.  There is a great upside to owning your own business.  If done correctly you become self-sufficient and leave your mark in the world.  Your earning potential is limited only by your own ambition and innovation.  Leaving a successful, profitable, and stable business to one’s family is one of the greatest gifts that can be left to loved ones once we pass away.  A successful business is a benefit to any community.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses employ an astonishing  one-half of all private sector employees and pay 44% of all private sector payrolls.

There are five preliminary steps to consider if you want to start your own business.  First, find a business idea that you can be passionate about.  This allows you to be more vested in your business venture.  Second, seek out expertise in whatever field you are starting your business in.  Talk to individuals within that industry that can provide honest opinions and advise about that industry.  Third, don’t just rely on the word of those industry insiders you have talked to:  do your own research!  Good research can reveal things you had not thought of or no one had mentioned before.  Fourth, start analyzing the start-ups costs for starting your business.  Fifth, NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.  Building good relationships and rapport with those in the business community can become some of the cheapest and best marketing around.

For additional reading:

Protecting Your Business

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