21st Century Female Entrepreneur…

You’ve dreamed of it time and time again: starting your own small business. But there is one major problem blocking your path—you!

Yes, the fear is real. You keep thinking about healthcare benefits, a regular paycheck, sick leave, vacation pay, and personal days and find yourself paralyzed. You have a plan, but for some reason you are not one hundred percent sure you can make the leap.

Here are five things you must have in place to gain the strength necessary to move forward with boldness and succeed at owning your own business:

  1. Develop a realistic plan.

Be clear about your plan. Separately, write a personal mission statement and a career mission statement. After completing both statements compare the two. Are they intertwined or completely different? If they are completely different you may want to reconsider your career mission statement. Write out your goals. Then begin to write out a realistic business plan; one that will give you the life that you desire along with the freedom that you are expecting. Give a realistic assessment of your time, money, energy, and whether or not you are disciplined enough to successfully run and manage a business.

  1. Meet with a financial planner and gain a true understanding of your finances.

Determine your overall budget. Honestly answer if you will be able to pay for healthcare benefits as well as match your current salary, and be able to pay for rent/mortgage, car payment, utilities, and other necessary living expenses. Do you have available start-up funds to begin your small business journey? If not, begin budgeting. Put a plan in place today so that this time next year, or perhaps the year after, you will be able to launch into your business venture. Additionally, you can immediately begin your small business as a side venture until you are able to go at it full-time. This is your dream. Make a decision to start working on your business today.

  1. Illustrate your story (your blueprint).

Begin illustrating your story. This is your plan, so be specific by writing a story of what you would like to see as your business venture. Describe what you want to see fulfilled. You are the main character. How would you illustrate the story? What are the details, the successes, and the possible failures?

  1. Identify your niche.

You must stand out. You are unique; now identify your unique customer. Create a customer profile based upon your illustrated story. What is your specialty? What are you going to do for your customer?

For example: I own READY Publication along with my daughter, Dominiq. READY is a very unusual magazine. One would say we are very organic. We do not follow trends. We are edgy. We are different. We are content-rich. We are inciting an awakening of the status quo. We pride ourselves on creating a platform for women to share their voices. You may not know the person on the cover of READY, and that’s the point: We are unique. We have a niche. READY is not like any other magazine/publication you will find on a newsstand. Take a peek here: www.ReadyPublication.com

Find your niche. What is going to make you stand out? (Tweetable @GailDudley)

  1. Execute your plan.

Do it! Do your plan. Don’t worry about making things perfect. Just start. Learn along the way. Make changes as you find what works well and what needs to be tweaked or removed.

Still unsure of your strategy? Be sure to identify and invest in a coach/mentor. This person should be someone you can trust, someone who will advocate on your behalf and tell you the hard truths along the way. Establish a well thought out team of supporters, made up of individuals who will speak into your life and not discourage you from moving forward into your desired dreams.

Are you a business owner? Please comment below the name of your business and the website so we can support you.

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