When does one acknowledge the awakening of the entrepreneurial spirit? Are you born an entrepreneur? Does it take a certain personality? Can it be inherited? I really believe I inherited mine.
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My father and mother operated several businesses; some succeeded, some failed. Yet, they always regrouped and carried on with business. I’m not sure when my spirit awoke. Was it the first carnation milk box that I filled with driftwood that I had collected and sold as fire starters for 5 cents a box? Was it the 5 lbs bags of potatoes I filled for one cent a bag in the basement of the Retail Store in Buchans? Both of these endeavors, at around the age of eight, opened my eyes to the fact that I had the ability to earn and there were people willing to buy. As a teen, I worked in the family business, serving customers, arranging the Christmas Toyland, making journal entries, counting cash and filling out the deposit book. I loved it!
Time passed; I graduated and took Clerk Accounting and went to work in my brother’s business. Our whole family had the entrepreneurial spirit, with each of my three brothers operating their own businesses.
Am I a risk taker? I trained as a LPN, working full time with a good salary and benefits, including a pension; but the entrepreneurial spirit that I had pushed to the background kept tugging at me and I resigned my position and turned my love of horses into a business. I offered lessons, riding camps, training and boarding and continued expanding to include an indoor riding arena and a four star B & B. My entrepreneurial spirit was happy!
I started giving back. I accepted board appointments and I mentored. For 17 years, as a Business Advisor with NLOWE, assisting business women with their Entrepreneurial dreams and watching businesses start and grow, has fueled my spirit and satisfied the entrepreneur in me. I have continued to fuel my entrepreneurial spirit and my artist side by creating rug hookings.
The fact that I see opportunity everywhere and can deal with risk, failure and success makes me realize the spirit is alive and well.
So was I born an entrepreneur? I’m not sure, but it has been my life. One of my two sons is an entrepreneur so maybe there is something to the heredity thing.
My advice for you to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit is turn your idea into a business plan, research, have financial backing, a good marketing strategy and a good location. Take the advice of others; make your business contacts with support organizations, your banker and Chambers of Commerce. An entrepreneur with great customer service as their mantra is the recipe for success.
Paula Flood is NLOWE’s Business Growth Advisor for the Eastern Region. If you would like to know about growing your business or would like to know more about NLOWE, call Paula at 1.866.759.3777 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about NLOWE, visit us online at www.nlowe.org or check out our Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or YouTube pages.