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ASK STEVE - I've never started a business and need some advice & direction. I have an idea b

You have to think real hard about your goal to be a successful entrepreneur. There are lots of things you should do prior to being counseled on all of the merits and duties involved in the process of being a successful business founder. I am not being negative. Quite the contrary, I want to assure that you are approaching this process to build the greatest opportunity to succeed and flourish with something that is motivating, exciting and rewarding to you. Entrepreneurial qualities are essential to the challenges of planning and operating a business. Talent, luck, unique ideas and good business advice are important but character is the feature that successful business people usually have in common. These are traits you should have - Are you a self starter? Are you really interested in others? Are you a leader? Can you handle responsibility? Are you a good organizer? Will you put in long hours happily? Can you make up your mind quickly? Do people easily rely on you? Can you run all night and all day without getting tired? Can you take a punch in the nose and keep on fighting? Can you adapt to change? No one is a perfect entrepreneur. You will get better but if you have negatives in many of these you might not want to waste time pursuing a dream. If you are cool with what is essential as a person these questions are next. What is the essential purpose and spirit of you and the idea? Are business conditions and the social, political culture ripe for your idea? Have you researched your idea and truly proven what it will do, who will really have to have it and who will sell it for you or how you will sell it yourself? Finally, are you sure enough of this working that you will spend your own time and a lot of your money to verify that your idea is real, reliable and actionable. When you have figured this out you are ready to get a business planner, mentor, consultant, coach or some person who has proven that they are competent and committed to “teach you to fish.” Do not hire someone who simply says pay me, answer these questions, write me a check and we will get this figured out for you. Get someone who you have talked to, has a good bio, can communicate successfully with and answers your questions and makes suggestions that you understand and can act on. Finally know that if someone is going to mentor you and you leave their office uninspired, confused and without energy to get to work you are talking with the wrong person. Find a coach who not only knows what he/she is doing but who also communicates well with you and has the passion and spirit to inspire you to achieve your grandest goals.

God Bless & Good Luck!

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