Updated: November 28, 2021
Starting a business is one of the best things you can do in your life. It’s a challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience.
And like a lot of difficult things, doing the first step is often the hardest part.
In my step-by-step guide to starting a business, I’ve written that the first step is finding your entrepreneurial spirit. But how do you exactly do that?
Raised To Become An Employee
Like most of you, I was raised to become an employee – both at home and in school.
There are no entrepreneurs in my family. And I never had the chance to take any business subjects in high school and in college.
So when that moment came for me that I wanted to start a business, I knew that I had to learn everything by myself.
Realizing this fact often made me jealous of my college friends who studied a business course. And some others, who were fortunate to be born with entrepreneurial parents.
I’d imagine how lucky they were to formally learn about business. More so for those who have entrepreneur parents who can teach them how to start and manage a business.
But then I noticed and asked myself this question.
Despite having those advantages, why do most business graduates, and those born in entrepreneurial families that I knew, still choose to become employees?
In my search for an answer, I eventually concluded two things.
First, acquiring academic knowledge and being exposed to a business-minded family, will not necessarily lead an individual to become an entrepreneur.
And second, which means the entrepreneurial spirit, or a person’s motivation to become an entrepreneur, must come from somewhere else.
And that “somewhere else” is within a person’s character.
Steve Tamayo Revisted
A few years ago, I featured the success story of Steve Tamayo. He is a former Middle East OFW who became a business millionaire.
I could say that his life’s biggest turning point was when war broke out in Kuwait and he was forced to come back to the Philippines. He had to leave behind all his savings and possessions when that happened.
With nothing but experience as his primary resource, he was able to start a small venture. This was the start of what would eventually become one of the most successful catering businesses in the country.
His story is inspiring. But more than that, it’s also one of the best examples of how an entrepreneur is actually made.
Steve worked in Saudi as a waiter, and then as a hotel manager in Kuwait. His combined eight years of experience working in these jobs taught him what he needed to start a food business.
And it’s also the same lessons and opportunities that you have, regardless of your job.
Engagement Is The First Real Step To Entrepreneurship
A restaurant waiter can simply choose to do his job well, and he will be rewarded for his hard work with a job promotion.
But if he wants to be an entrepreneur, he must learn to engage himself beyond what is required of him to do.
To not just provide good service to diners, but to learn the concept and importance of excellent customer service to a business.
He can choose to not just take orders efficiently and memorize the menu. But he can also learn its nutritional merits and how it serves the dietary needs of different customers.
To not just follow his manager and the rules of the company, but to learn how the restaurant is managed and understand why those rules are important for the business.
The Business Lesson
Regardless of the work you do, there are lessons and opportunities that are always available when you choose to stretch your vision beyond what you see.
Do you want to start your own business? Then awaken your entrepreneurial spirit by engaging first with the world around you.
Your curiosity and hunger for new knowledge will give you the proper skills. It will nurture within you the right mindset to start a business someday, or perhaps sooner than you can imagine.
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Its always been my dream to build my own business and as of this moment i still don’t know what kind/type of business should i put up.
Definitely agree Fitz. A lot of people go out of their core gift because they want something new.
One must understand first what is his primary skill (usually aligned to his work or hobby) then convert it into business by taking ACTION.
“If you spend all of your time dreaming, you will never have the opportunity to know what you are truly capable of accomplishing” -ShiftStartup
Fitz, SPOT ON MAN, most primary and secondary education teaches you how to get a job with the basic skills they pass on to you. Few, if any institutions teach you how to create the company that you want to work for. Working beside my Beautiful Bride helping her build the business ideas she drafted as concepts then actual written business plans has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. A few things I have watched and seen proven again and again:
1. If you find a better way, a major improvement, you have a potential business idea. My wife studied one industry that her elder brother had worked in and the reasons why so many like business ventures failed miserably. Her business plan (one that I could find zero fault with) began with a short test run. We procured a license to operate provincial wide and WOW did it take off. Our biggest single success. January 2021 will mark three years of operation. Build a better mousetrap and the clients will seek you out!
2. Filling a need. One small project we started (load business) was done mainly to help provide extra income for some folks we are very fond of. We set them up and the leader of the home, I will call him “Dad,” set up shop in a busy location where there was no competition. He was making more money within a few days than he had ever made his entire life working as a helper in construction. Unfortunately, and with no testing, he began to do other things and let his big success take a back seat. Soon, others who had seen how well he did, swooped in on the location and took over. We still have that business to a limited degree but our star salesman is back part time in construction and almost always broke. Even something as simple as a load business can be profitable especially if you begin in a great location and offer great service. Customers will stick with you.
3. Many folks can turn their skills into a business. Beautiful Bride has a career, over two decades and counting, as an academic writer. She loves it as she says “it is like being paid to stay in school” because of the many new things she must research. She stays up to date with all the areas where she earned degrees in college. Not too much changes in law but phycology and certainly nursing research keep her sharp should she ever wish to return to “active duty.”
4. We have little free time to waste but the COVID-19 crisis gave us a gift. While our local business ventures were shutdown, we developed several new portfolios. At this same time, my wife saw a need and developed an online tutorial service. One bedroom was converted to a class room for our young troops, who, like other students, were quarantined at home The goal was not to equal the biggest and fanciest classrooms you may find online. My wife wanted to create something that everyday (not rich) folks could copy and follow along in an average Filipino home environment. You see, Beautiful Brides other passion is teaching. In addition to her academic writing, Maria did short stints in practice as a nurse and as a high school level teacher in biology, physics and chemistry. She now offer materials and on-demand video instruction packages for parents to use at home or as tutorial supplements for kids in school.
5. OK, one more and I will stop. The tutorial service is taking off and requests have come in asking my wife to tutor in our home classroom. Some folks desire one on one instruction while others would like a small class environment. Maybe this will be good for kids in our subdivision only but we have many others wanting to come over from further distances. Perhaps it is time to look for an empty house inside our subdivision or a rental unit out on the main highway? What great joy it is to watch as Beautiful Brides ideas come to fruition!!! It is true, all of your skills, tallents, hobbies and life experiences may be a potential business.