To Be or Not to Be an Entrepreneur

Be an EntrepreneurIt seems that today everyone wants to start a business either to earn more money, have more freedom or a combination of both. I started my businesses so that I could work from home and spend more time with my children.  It works for me because I am self-motivated enough that I can sit in my house and work, run over to the school, pick kids up, drop kids off and then return back home and continue to work while ignoring the mountain of laundry and dishes that need attention. Of course, that could mean that I really dislike housework, too!

During the past few years, I have met many other business owners who all have interesting stories about how and why they started their businesses and the unique companies that they run. Everyone has different experiences but the one thing that I noticed is that they all have is the ability to self-motivate. To build your own business you have to be willing to sacrifice a little sleep, a little money and some fun time.

If you are still undecided about taking the plunge, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can I stay up late and give up some sleep?
  2. Can I make myself work when I do not feel well?
  3. Can I make myself work when I do not want to and would rather be watching television?
  4. Am I willing to take risks, both personally and financially?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, then you are not ready to make the decision to forge ahead with your business venture. However, if you answered yes…let’s go!

Yes, I’m Ready to Get Started

Yay! Now that you decided to start your business you may be unsure where to begin.  I think the question people ask me most is “How did you start?” Honestly, I tried a few different products before I found the one that fit my experience and personality the best.

You should fully expect that you will make some mistakes along the way. Mistakes are okay because you can always try again, change your course and learn a better way of running your business or develop a better product to offer. But the absolute BEST THING you can do now is get started.

But I Can’t Quit My Day Job

If you cannot quit your current job and start something new without the guarantee of a paycheck you are not alone. Many of us, like me, start our businesses while still working either part time or full time at a traditional job. Depending on the type of business you start, this can be a great option for you. However, if your business is going to be in direct competition with your current employer, then you should not start your business while you are still working.  If your new business is in a different field than your current employer then you may be able to get your business off the ground while you keep your traditional job.  Check with your human resources department to see if starting your business while working part-time or full-time is within your company’s rules.

Remember that having what it takes to run a business does not mean that you have to know how to do everything before you begin. All you need is the desire to either learn how to get it done by yourself or by hiring other professionals to help you.

What is My First Step?

The very first action that you should take is to brainstorm what type of business you will start. I sell products so first, I had to decide what type of product I wanted to sell. I ended up choosing a product that I could design and create on my own that used my background in geology. I make rock and mineral kits and write educational books for students and teachers. What is your background? What product could you sell? Make a list of at least 20 product ideas. That is step one.

Need help?

If you are struggling with figuring out what to sell, tell us about your background in the comments and maybe we can brainstorm some ideas together.



About Tracy_Barnhart

I was born and raised in Princeton, West Virginia. Both of my parents were scientists and educators. My mother was a middle school biology teacher and my father taught chemistry at a nearby university. I remember doing a 6th grade science project on plate tectonics but I never knew that I was headed toward geology. I attended Furman University, planning to be a business major. Since it’s a liberal arts school the students must fulfill a series of science requirements so I chose two geology classes my freshman year. It was during those classes that I realized that geology was fun, but microeconimics made me want to scratch my eyes until they bleed. After Furman, I received a Master’s degree in Geology at the University of South Carolina where I specialized in groundwater computer modeling. I have been a professional geologist for almost 20 years now. Yikes! It feels weird to put that in writing. I work with environmental companies to assist with the assessment of soil and groundwater contamination. If a property has contamination, I work with engineers to design and implement a remediation system. Several years ago, I took my love of rocks and minerals and turned it into a small business. Our line of rocks, minerals and fossils keep me busy when I’m not assessment contaminated properties. You can find out more about my business at
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