By Simone Kelly-Brown

Some of us are born into families with “it,” some of us are just driven over the edge to “it,” and some of us crave “it” but just haven’t figured out how to attain “it.” That “it” is an Entrepreneurial Spirit that is a powerful force that can be the key to your success, and yes…sometimes even failure.

What I’ve discovered in my many encounters with entrepreneurs,including myself, is that many of us were just sick and tired of working for someone else. We were fed up with putting in all the hours and in many cases not feeling appreciated. We were frustrated with helping the next guy get richer, while we are still struggling to support our families. It’s that frustration that is the driving force for many of us who yearn for freedom to spread our wings. We want to call the shots; we want to take pride in our very own creations and accomplishments. And, oh yeah, when you do it right, being an entrepreneur can be an ego booster too. It just makes you want to shout from the mountain tops, “I DID IT! I FINALLY DID IT!!!!!” No mountain tops near by? The roof top of a building will do as well. Just came down from my roof this morning. LOL! So, now the big question for 2004 is:Do you have what it takes? Yeah, we know you want the glory but do you have the guts? I just want you to be honest with yourself before you step into this world of blood, sweat, tears and of course… freedom, happiness, and your own money, money that YOU made. Yes, it’ s hard work and lots of it, but at the end of the day it’ s worth it.

The Power of Three

Are you ready to combine all of your skills that you have and build up ones that you’ re lacking? Being a self-bosser, I’ ve most recently discovered you have to take on three personalities.I think Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited, best describes these three personalities as the entrepreneur, the technician and the manager.

So, who are these guys? And can they all just get along?

1. Entrepreneur: The entrepreneur seeks opportunities in almost everything. He is the visionary, the dreamer, the creative one and that relentless go-getter. He is the risk taker that dwells within us. He knows how to promote the heck out of his product and service and get people to rally behind his vision!

2. Manager: The manager keeps everything in order. He dots the I’ s and crosses the T’ s. Without him, there would be no planning quite frankly there would be no order whatsoever.

3. Technician: They develop the product or service. The technician loves to roll up his sleeves and get the job done. No time for dreaming or planning. They just want to get to work and crank out the finished product!

When you look at these three roles you may notice very different principles they all live by — which is why being a ‘multiple personality’ self-bosser can present a problem for many of us.

Do you notice which of these three stand out in you? The majority of us usually all start off as a technician, working and developing something –whether it’ s writing computer programs or being the head chef at a restaurant. Most likely it’ s something we are doing for someone else, a boss.

The first step to building up your self-bossing muscles is to work on beefing up the areas in where you lack. If not, all of these traits will conflict with each other, even if they all want the same end result of success. Creating a balance is key.

Michael Gerber says, “It’ s the work you’ re not doing, the strategic work, the entrepreneurial work, that will lead your business forward, which will give you the life you’ ve not yet known…Can you see that as long as you view your business from the technician’ s perspective, you are doomed…

Don’t you see, if your business depends on you “the technician” you don’ t own a business…you own a job and it’ s the worst job in the world because you are working like a lunatic!

Wow,that Michael is deep, huh? He hit it right on the nose! I mean, after reading this book, I too realized that I was doing things wrong. Even though I was working for myself, I had a job, I became that “evil boss” that works you to the bone. My inner entrepreneur and manager selves became stifled, because the technician in me wanted to work, work, work…live in the present and not plan or have a bigger vision. I was working in the NOW and not thinking about TOMORROW enough.

I challenge you all to take a look at what skills you possess out of this powerful group of THREE. It’ s very rare that you can have them all work together at the same capacity, but you can work on creating a balance –without having an internal war amongst the three! You can also work on building a team of others who possess the skills that you don’t have.

Key Strengths of an Entrepreneur:

Figure out what qualities you already know are working for you and what you need to focus on developing.

-Face your fears: Stepping out of your comfort zone is one of the hardest things to do. Tackling something new can be challenging but only if you let your fear take control.Learn how to face your fears by taking baby steps.

– Self starter: Now that the boss is dead, it’ s up to you to develop projects, organize your tim, and follow through on details.

– Decision making: You will be required to make decisions constantly. Often times your decisions will require you to be quick while under pressure and without the time to research and/or ask others their opinions.

– Organization and planning: Research shows that many businesses fail because of poor planning. Good organization of your financials, inventory, schedules, team and production can help you to avoid many pitfalls. Time management is also a trait often neglected but it can help to make you or break you.

-Motivation: Running your own company can wear anyone down. You can easily get burned out, because of the heavy burden you hold on your shoulders. You’ll need strong motivation to make the business succeed and survive through the tough times.

– Dealing with different personalities: Working relationships are going to be one of the foundations to your growth. You’ll have to be able to deal with customers, vendors, staff, bankers, accountants, lawyers and a number of other consultants. And let me tell you, not all of these experiences are going to be pleasant! Patience is going to be the major strength you’ll need to deal with others who are difficult.

-Creating…Dreaming …Doing: Having a strong vision in what you want is so important. Taking time to fantasize about your company’s future is something I encourage you all to do. Don’t just dream it, write it down and look at it every day. Take the steps to make that dream come true by breaking it up into smaller steps. Always work with the end in mind! It’s a new year and time to discover that power of three.