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Chapter 1

Do You Have the Guts?

So you want to be an entrepreneur? Before the mid-1990s, entrepreneurs were generally seen as failures, people who were unable to conform to a corporate environment, and as risk-takers. Few members of the population were able to venture into what were perceived as very high-risk endeavors. But the Internet-business boom of the late 1990s created a whole new class of entrepreneurs and want-to-be entrepreneurs; suddenly, entrepreneurs were seen as respected members of the community, people who created jobs. However, the allure of instant riches interested most newcomers more than the creating of new products and services or the discovering of new ideas and market segments.

Although entrepreneurs are still perceived as risk-takers, in reality, entrepreneurs who are passionate about ideas carefully plan on how to proactively put those ideas into effect while taking only calculated risks. True entrepreneurs are much more comfortable with managed risk than with the dangers of get-rich-quick schemes............

For every entrepreneur, planning permeates every aspect of strategic decision. The very decision an entrepreneur makes about starting a business—as a means for exploiting a business opportunity—is a strategic decision. It is equally essential to recognize the strategic alternatives available. As you consider becoming an entrepreneur, you’ll need to ask yourself a whole lot of questions, a handful of which I’ve listed here:

  1. Why do you want to become an entrepreneur and what do you want from it?

  2. How will your entrepreneurial idea affect your personal life?

  3. What resources do you have access to?

  4. What personal resources are you willing to commit? What is your risk level?

  5. What professional operating and management experience do you have or are you willing to acquire through learning?

  6. Are you a “product” or a “service” kind of person?

  7. What is your destination goal?  Do you have an exit strategy?

  8. What is success to you?


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