Business English. Learn Business English with a Business English Reading Prompt: How To Start Living Your Dreams; Go into Business
Do you feel unfulfilled? Do you know that there is something more you could be doing, but just aren't quite sure what? Do you have dreams, but with each passing year they seem more and more unrealistic? How can you start living the life you have always wanted, doing the things you've dreamed of and not have to worry about the money?
The answer is simple, make more money. You could get a job, or if you have a job, get another one and work two jobs. You could get a better job, a higher paying job. These are all things that many people want, but getting another job doesn't sound very nice does it? Getting a real high paying job would be good, but they are not as available as we all would like them to be. What many people want is to be able to start living the ideal life with the vacations, toys and luxuries with as little delay as possible.
There are few people who will argue that having more than one stream of income, and preferably several, into your bank account is the way to exponentially increase the money you will have to use for what you like. The question that remains is, "Well okay genius, so how do I do this?" There are many ways to create multiple streams of income and one way is to start a small business. A small business that you can set up and run in your free time may be a good answer for you.
Now the question people usually ask is, "That sounds good, but a business doing what?" Psychological tests you can find in books or on the internet can tell you what you are good at, but they don't always tell you what you would like to do, or want to do. An important reason for getting into business is because you want to.
"If you don't love what you are doing, you'll always be underpaid." -Anonymous
It is unfortunate that so many people feel that they have no other options because lack of experience or education that they can't start something new, especially in this "information age" with so much available to learn about at our fingertips.
When people start projects for the wrong reasons they don't do them with the passion required to make a success of it. If you don't have your heart in what you are doing, it will be difficult to do well at it, even if it is one of the so called, "Things you are good at." Therefore you must discover what it is you want to do, then getting good at it is easy. When you are excited about something you will learn what you need to know to be good at it. Have you ever developed a new interest that turned into a hobby that you were quite good at? Have you ever had a curiosity that turned into something that you learned a lot about in a short time? The difference is, when people need to do things they do them, and often quickly, but when people want to do things they do them, they do them quickly and they do them well.
So what you have to do is figure out what you want to do, and then why you must do it, create a need to do it and by leveraging these things in yourself with emotion you will see results fast. A good method is to ask yourself and imagine or visualize what you will get when you succeed at this.
Now you know what it is you want to do, but a new question arises, "So, how do I do it?" This is normal as many people who get in to business do not have the education or experience and still manage to do well. What you must do is use the resources available to you. These include the libraries, magazines, internet, talk to people you know, talk to people you don't know. You have to know what information you want to know, and then go find it. Knowing what you need to know can be a bit trying at first as well.
The Entrepreneurial Process has some basic steps that you should be aware of and if you complete each step successfully you will be a success and quite a bit wealthier.
First, the entrepreneur has to identify a problem, see a need for something somewhere. We see problems around us everyday but do not have our 'entrepreneurial analytical hats' on. If you are always thinking about how could this situation be better, or what is not right here you will start to be able to identify problems. There is no special skill required from birth, this is something we can all learn to do, and it just takes practice to get better at.
Once you have identified a problem the next thing you have to do is identify a solution. Does a solution already exist, how can I make a better solution, how can I improve the existing one? Did Bill Gates invent a new product or did he just make it easier for people to access (I know what Mac users will say to that). So you have to think of a creative solution to the problem. Did Amazon.com make the first bookstore? No, they just made the first online bookstore and made it easier for people to shop and search for books. Convenience is the answer people are looking for in today's society, sell them convenience and you can't go wrong. See, you don't have to re-invent the wheel, it has already been invented, just make it roll better, or look better while rolling.
Now you have to start the business planning stage. And you ask, "Why do I need a Business Plan?" You need a business plan because if it's worth doing, it is worth doing right. Your business plan will in the least, serve as the tool which forces you to thoroughly think through your business idea. Some things you will have to consider while you are making the business plan are clearly defining your product or service, who you will sell to, how you will sell it and the income and expenses related to it. There are too many parts of a business plan to go in to great detail here, but you can get great Business Plan information at the library or on the web, you just got to search through the thick to find what you need. There is also some business plan software that helps you to generate one with your computer, some is good some may not be what you are looking for, and of course Biz Methods has a Business Planning Section in the Biz Methods Program available on our home page (Biz-Methods.com).
As you progress in your entrepreneurial journey to success you will find some things that work and some things that don't. The things that don't work are some of the most important things you can analyze, when something goes wrong it is not a failure unless you fail to see the lesson it can teach you. You must ask, "Why didn't this work?" "How can I make this work?" "What can I change to make this work?" Your business plan may have to be adjusted as you progress to include these new developments and lessons you learn. There are no failures if learning is involved, these so called failures are how you know you are making progress. Those who never fail, never succeed because when you fail it means you are attempting to do something and learning a lesson along the way about what works and what doesn't work. Never be afraid of failure, just rename failure to "Learning Point" or something else that appeals to you.
Once you have the business plan you have to start to initiate it, which is the next step in setting up a business, initiating or taking action. In fact you have been taking action all along, but this is the next action which is actually putting your business idea in to practice. You have to test market your product at this early stage of initiation. Test marketing means showing people what it is and getting their reaction to it. at this stage you learn what needs to be changed, what its strong points are and possible additions. This is an important stage, because if you invest the money and time into production you could learn that it needs something which will cause a setback that could have been avoided with test marketing. This can include surveying your colleagues, family, neighbors, or even strangers. Remember, when doing survey research you should offer some value to the participant for their time and feedback. Maybe offer them a free product or some other related gift for helping you.
A concurrent step or even previous to test marketing, depending on your product is to organize a network of people you will need to work with on this, remember the old saying, "Two heads are better than one." It is true, when you have other people helping you with something you are more likely to have success. These people can be partners, consultants, short term advisors, whatever you want. It is also a good idea to sit down and talk together about what each person's roles, rewards and expectations are before you start and hammer out a contract, this avoids problems later, believe me!
At this point you will have to assess your financial situation and financial needs for your business. A home based office will require much less capital than commercial office space. Whatever your business model is you must now find out if you have the money to follow through, if not you have to raise the capital, you can do this in many ways, among the common ways are a bank loan, loan from friends or family, leverage it on credit cards, meaning you use your credit available and pay back each month what is owed perhaps the monthly minimum or more, what ever your situation permits. Whatever way you choose, you must think it through carefully. For loans you will more than likely need to show your complete business plan to whoever is going to possibly give you money. If they have confidence in it, they will invest, if not, you just reached another "learning point," time to re-adjust, reassess, correct and move on. The best advice you can take is to be prepared for these "learning points" we mentioned and learn from them. The only way to truly fail is to give up, or stop trying. One thing that all successful business people have in common is that they didn't give up. Now it is your turn.
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