Saturday, April 25, 2015

Me & Entrepreneurism

Ladies and gents, boys and girls, with this whole entrepreneurism series that I have started, I know you may be wondering what do I really know about entrepreneurism.

You maybe asking yourself questions like : "what does this guy know, he never ran his own business?" or "how much can he tell us about being a successful entrepreneur if all he has ever done is interview other business owners or entrepreneurs in the community?"

Well, I think these sorts of questions are definitely fair and legitimate. I have to admit that my understanding is based solely on the books I have read and the interviews I have conducted. The criticism is clear: book knowledge has value, but there's nothing like getting an education from the good ol' School of Experience.  

However, my dear readers, what you may not know, is that my understanding of entrepreneurship can also be attributed to seeing both of my parents engage in entrepreneurial activities during my childhood and also during my adult life. Indeed, I picked up a few pointers from them as I watched them do what they do, so to speak.

I saw my mother independently sell homemade skin and hair products products growing up and I also witnessed my father sell clothing, jewelry, and other miscellaneous merchandise as a vendor. Now don't get me wrong, neither my father nor my mother were tycoons by any stretch of the imagination. But they were their own bosses, which to me is by far the most attractive part of being of an entrepreneur. 

I learned a great deal from these two entrepreneurs, my parents, that is and I wanted to share one of the takeaway messages I got from them that may help others pursue their dreams of being an entrepreneur. 

My parents taught me that with entrepreneurship everything starts with taking inventory of what your current knowledge, skills, and abilities are. Bottom line, the idea here is that you have to know yourself and what you bring to the table first before you go out there and really start sowing your entrepreneurial oats. 

In the case of my father, he knew that he was the type of guy that valued African American culture and had a knack for designing jewelry. Likewise, my mother knew that helping others was her gift. She also knew that she was knowledgeable about herbs and alternative remedies. 

Both my mom and pop took this inner information and then looked outward to see if there were any gaps or opportunities in the marketplace that could be filled with their knowledge, skills, and abilities. This is a big part of what entrepreneurs do. They study and understand themselves first then they go on to study and try to understand the world outside of them. 

So, I leave you all with this one tip: go out there and reach for the stars, pursue your dreams, but first and foremost, open your eyes, go within, engage in self-discovery, determine what your strengths are, and find out what you bring to the table. 

For further information on self-discovery, click here.  

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