How to Be an Entrepreneur


When I was five, my twin sister and I started our first business. We caught these huge crickets in the woods by our house and put them in a box. We then went around the neighborhood door to door, asking people if they wanted to buy a cricket for a nickel. We had some success; other kids bought a few.

But we ran into a couple snags. A lot of moms answered the door and were grossed out—especially when we would open the box to show them what we had and a bunch of crickets would jump out and make a break for freedom. And then the fatal flaw: We didn’t realize you should poke holes in the lid. So we had to have a mass burial of our product. We learned some business lessons that day. And felt a little guilty about our profits since they were at the expense of the poor crickets.

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Eliza­beth Carlassare wrote a book called DotCom Divas and interviewed a bunch of successful women Internet entrepreneurs. Elizabeth says this:

Many young women and, yes, even girls have started their own successful businesses. Starting your own business can be in­credibly satisfying and allows you to directly reap the rewards of your own efforts. Starting your own business doesn’t need to be a big production. There are many ways to start small and test the waters to see if entrepreneurship might be for you.

Is entrepreneurship for you?

By now, you may be thinking that starting your own business sounds fun and exciting—and profitable. But how do you tell if en­trepreneurship is really for you? Entrepreneurs tend to have some characteristics in common. See whether you have what it takes:

  • Are you adept at spotting opportunities?
  • Are you passionate and enthusiastic?
  • Are you persistent?
  • Are you a people person and a good communicator?
  • Are you optimistic?
  • Do you enjoy being independent?
  • Are you a hard worker?

If you answered “yes” to most of these seven questions, you share the key personality traits of successful entrepreneurs. Here are ways to get started.

Focus on something you are good at and that you enjoy.

What do you do well? What do you like to do? You’re most likely to be successful if your business lets you do something you enjoy and capitalizes on your talents. Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing and are good at. Maybe you have a talent for playing the flute, entertaining children, or repairing bicycles. Are there business opportunities in any of the things on your list?

Look for an unfilled need. When you’re keeping your eyes open for a business idea, keep your mind open, too. You never know when you’ll discover a need that hasn’t yet been filled. Pay at­tention when someone has a problem or frustration. There could be a business opportunity in solving it. For example, if you hear your neighbors complaining because their yards are full of weeds, you could offer to weed it for them. Or, if you notice that your neigh­bors work and they have a dog, you could start a dog-walking serv­ice and approach them to be your first customer.

Start small and keep it simple. It’s a good idea to start your business in a small way at first to test it out and see if you like it. If you think you might enjoy babysitting, try it a few times. If all goes well, start spreading the word. If you’re good at math, try tutoring a student who needs some math help. See how it goes, and if you de­cide to grow your business, you can put the word out.

And, if you start a business and find you don’t enjoy it or aren’t able to make any money with it, remember that it’s okay to walk away from it and try something else. Many successful entrepreneurs have experienced business failures before going on to create prof­itable enterprises.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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