Each month a new IMPACT Leader is nominated for the great work they do in their community. Once a year we host a special reception to highlight the work of these great leaders and present one of them with the IMPACT Leader of the Year award.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate continues to rise. With approximately 14.1 million eligible people out of work, entrepreneurs are needed to create jobs to boost the economy. As the number of recent graduates and the newly unemployed increases, the number of available jobs decreases. Yet, despite the economic decline, many are choosing to become employers rather than employees.
There are, of course, numerous challenges and risks involved with entrepreneurship. So far, through much planning and research, I have managed to avoid some of the pitfalls of being a business owner. For me, being my own boss allows me to create my own work environment, which is essential to my success. And, as I recently finished graduate school, the transition was a seamless one for me: I didn’t have to walk away from a big company, or worry about my children’s stability (I haven’t started a family yet) or suddenly lose benefits. These are serious things that most have to consider before taking the leap into self-employment.
Although the path to entrepreneurship may not be easy, the rewards of having a job in this trying economy are priceless. So what does it take to get started? Becoming your own boss does not have any age, race, or education requirements. It does, however, require passion, drive, and hard work.
One myth about becoming a successful entrepreneur is that you must have the necessary time, energy, and resources required to make it work. Oftentimes it is thought that only a few privileged individuals can pursue earning a living through business ownership. The truth of the matter is, speaking from the perspective of an entrepreneur, you should not imagine us to be something we aren’t. Business ownership is actually for people who believe they can do the work—on their own terms—that matters most to them. In fact, it is for those who believe entrepreneurship chose them.
Let me explain.
A few years ago, I ran into my preschool teacher. We had an opportunity to catch up on some of our biggest life moments over the past 30 years such as parenthood, college graduations, and career achievements. As we ended our conversation, she reminded me about something I had long forgotten by saying, “You’ve always been a fighter.” Her words were both encouraging and heartfelt—striking a strong chord.
February 1st, 2007 was the last day I worked for someone else. Like the many who have taken the entrepreneurial leap of faith before me, I felt it was time to create my own path and make all of the ideas swirling around in my head come to life. Inspired by the saying, “You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump,” I decided to jump. Excited and scared, I walked away from my 9-to-5—the life that for so long had provided me with a consistent paycheck, health coverage, a 401K and the illusive job security.
I would miss lunches with co-workers, paid vacations, happy hours and office birthday parties. But in return I would wave bye-bye to my Monday Blues, which had started to become Tuesday and Wednesday Blues, and higher-ups rejecting my ideas because they were “not a priority within the organization,” or “we don’t have the budget right now,” or the most chalkboard screeching one of all, “we tried that 200 hundred years ago and it didn’t work then so I don’t see how it could work now.”Read More
By Jeanette Mulvey, BusinessNewsDaily Managing Editor
On paper, becoming an entrepreneur seems like a fairly reasonable proposition. Raise some money, start a business, make a profit. You expect to hit a few bumps along the way, but the basic premise is that if you have a good idea, work hard and stick it out, you’ll make it. In reality, owning your own business is more like episodes of “The Apprentice,” “Survivor,” and “Fear Factor” all rolled into one. It takes nerves of steel and a willingness to do things that might be less than rational. You may end up sacrificing your money, your free time and maybe even your sanity.
If you’re wondering if you’ve got what it takes to be a successful business owner, you don’t need an MBA. Instead, ask yourself these five questions: Read More
Millennial Genius: a natural talent of identifying and understanding global trends that currently has and will impact technology and human development during this era of Globalization – the process of continuing integration of the countries in the world.
Now is the age of the Millennial, when in all actuality we have been here since the beginning of the 1980s. We grew up in an age of information, technology, and global economic growth and now we comprise the largest growing population, since our parent’s generation, the Baby Boomers. In our lifetime we have gone from tabletop radios to the Sony Walkman to the iPad. We were there for the invention of the personal computer (IBM, 1981), Cable TV, Music Videos, Wireless Cell Phones and the end of the Cold War. We have also witnessed firsthand the election of an African-American First Family and the consequences of the Global Recession. Not many generations can or will be able to say they have lived through what we have.
The world expects great things from us. And in fact, the world NEEDS great things from us. In 2000, the United Nation’s Industrial Development Organization released a report called “Globalization: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities for Countries in Transition” stating that, “policy alternatives for countries and regions have thus to be analyzed in the context of the global economy with the free trade of goods and services, free movement of capital, technology and skills and with improvements in transportation and communication links.” The advantage Millennials have is that we have been educated and developed under these conditions.