Welcome to the wonderful world of entrepreneurship, one of the leading global trends. What an exciting opportunity to explore your creativity, be your own boss, and build a little gold mine—you hope. It is an exciting challenge, a whole new world of doors and knowledge opening for you. If you do it right, being self-employed can be the most rewarding experience of your life. It’s hard work though, taking commitment, dedication, constant learning, and persistence to succeed. With the proliferation of home-based business- es over the last few years, some believe that you can sit in your pajamas and make a bundle. That idea is a fallacy.

Whether you are home-based or operate out of a storefront, being your own boss requires you to take your business seriously and work to maintain disciplined routines and deadlines. The failure rate for small businesses is high—in the first few years, it is as much as 80 to 90 percent. The first two years are traditionally the most difficult. You have to establish a client base, an effective marketing plan, viable products or services, and a reputation within your community. This all takes time and patience. So where do you start?

Take a look at what is involved in being an entrepreneur so you can better assess whether or not you are ready. When you read about entrepreneurs who are considered successful, they don’t talk about money as the focus of their success. Instead, they talk about achieving a balance in their lives, freedom, passion, happiness, excitement, achieving goals, helping others, hard work, and focus. Using storytelling for business can really help in this regard.

So where do you start? Take a look at what is involved in being an entre- preneur so you can better assess whether or not you are ready. When you read about entrepreneurs who are considered successful, they don’t talk about money as the focus of their success. Instead, they talk about achieving a balance in their lives, freedom, passion, happiness, excitement, achieving goals, helping others, hard work, and focus.

Dictionaries describe an entrepreneur as “a person who starts or organizes a business company, especially one involving risk.” These days, we tend to associate entrepreneur more with a person striking out on his or her own, usually equating the word with a successful venture. A successful entrepre- neur is not a particular type of person, but someone with a well-rounded combination of talents that enables the business to progress. Some people thrive on the challenge, and some have a natural aptitude for business. Others study hard, take courses, and read extensively. A true entrepreneur will have a passion for business and an unquenchable desire to learn, absorb, explore, and grow. Anyone can be self-employed, but it takes a certain type to fulfill the true entrepreneurial requirements.