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“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” – Nolan Bushnell

So you want to be an entrepreneur? Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step toward the American dream and being your own boss! And while owning your own business comes with a lot of work, sweat, tears, and cash, it also comes with obstacles to tackle the first of which being getting started. We as humans are great at coming up with excuses – lack of time, lack of skills, short on funds . . . but if you give more weight to your excuses than your dreams, things might be over before they even start! What baggage are you carrying? The past five years have seen an entrepreneur boom due in great part to our recent recession. Losing the stability of their day jobs was the fuel they needed. And while it’s natural to fear the unknown, the real excitement and adventure begins once you leave your comfort zone. You won’t be able to succeed as an entrepreneur with another job getting in your way! Get focused and make a plan of attack. Yes, the first step will be scary . . . but the scary is what makes it great and most definitely worth it!

Once you’ve got your nerve worked up, it’s time to tackle your finances that might be dragging you down. Keep in mind that the number of entrepreneurs that had ENOUGH money when they first got started is tiny! Scrimp and save as much as you can before you take the leap into entrepreneurship. It may mean making sacrifices along the way. Become acquainted with as much knowledge as you can for small business loans, crowdfunding, grants, etc. Knowledge is power! “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

The time to start your own business is NOW. It’s not 3 years from now, when the kids have graduated, or when you feel more financially stable. There is no perfect time to jump into the unknown but the longer you wait the fewer years you have to build your successful enterprise. The biggest and most important piece of luggage you’re carrying on your back is your fear of failure! Face your fears! You may not necessarily succeed on your first try, maybe it will take your fifth or sixth try to get it right, but you’ll have an amazing experience along the way filled with triumphs and life lessons. Don’t let anything get in your way!

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