What Type Of Entrepreneur Are You?
A constant issue I've noticed among entrepreneurs is that everyone thinks their way of doing business is the one and only map to financial freedom. The debates about what you "really" should be doing can get heated. As an entrepreneur that has many entrepreneur friends I have learned a lot of ways to be a boss and their pros and cons. Overall, I believe that there is a path of entrepreneurship suited for everyone that will allow you to break the cycle of poverty while doing what you love.
The Service Entrepreneur
This is an entrepreneur that provides a service to a client in exchange for money. Some examples are MUA's, photographers, hairstylists and personal trainers. I am a service entrepreneur that provides social media management, web and graphic design services. You can start this business with little to no money in one day. Sometimes all you might need is your talent and the drive to market yourself. Telling your friends, family and social media what you have to offer is a great start.
Services aren't an impulse buy (unless it's beauty related). People want to see examples of your work and have consultations before making a decision which can be time wasting. Either start charging for your consultations or try not to give away too much info about your tricks of the trade. You deal with a lot of flaky people as a service entrepreneur. Actually you deal with a lot of people period. If you are an introvert prep for tons of in person and phone meetings as well as emails conversations. Clients will have direct contact to you, which can be frustrating as some people don't understand boundaries. Also ALWAYS have a contract as a service entrepreneur. Your service is not just a hobby and you should be paid like any other business.
The Product Selling Entrepreneur
They sell t-shirts, jewelry, soaps and more. This entrepreneur has more control over what they are selling. As a service entrepreneur you are more so required to do things to please your client(s) hence the word "SERVE" in service. As a product seller, you will be dealing with suggestions of customers instead of the demands of clients. But, this does not change the fact that customer service is important no matter what you sell. Also, as a product seller your pricing is more cut and dry which is one less thing you'll have to worry about.
On the down side, creating a product business can be pricey. People don't realize the reason why you HAVE to sell a t-shirt for $25 is more than likely because it took you $15 to make. You will also have to keep inventory on hand which can be costly and take up space. You are responsible for packaging and shipping. To make sure that your product is packaged professionally you might have to spend money on labels or package inserts. It's also important that you get the products delivered in timely manner and keep track of items. Investing in at least an e-commerce website is essential to gaining more customers. In this case it really does take money to make money.
The Network Marketing Entrepreneur
The network marketer is an entrepreneur that buys into a business as partner and then sells the products/services of that business while also recruiting more people to do the same. They typically make money by getting a commission for every product/service they sell forever (residues) as well as a commission from things sold by the partner they recruited. All the ground work is done for you. This is great if you know you want a business but don't know where to start or aren't interested in brainstorming your own products, marketing strategies or pricing. You will have a team and framework already built in to teach you how to reach your business goals. The network marketing industry is HUGE. You can get into beauty, fitness, travel and more. You will be able to network with a ton of people which is helpful in this business and any future business plans you might have.
Due to misconceptions about the industry they aren't often forthcoming with exactly what they do. This could look like inviting people to meetings without FULLY explaining what it's about or ONLY focusing on a specific area of their business. For some, this form of marketing can be seen as a sneaky turn off. One key element I've noticed is many don't easily accept a "no" and view it as "not being open mined". This could either be due to how passionate they are or the fact that they get a monetary benefit from you joining the team and/or buying their product/service. Great money can be made through network marketing, but keep in mind not everyone will retire at 30. Viewing presentations and meeting people who secured this level of financial freedom is sure to get you extremely optimistic about your newfound business. Those who aren't interested in joining the movement can't always be reduced to being "employee minded." It's different stroke for different folks. Also, be sure that whatever you are selling it's something you love. In any business if you don't love it the likelihood of you being consistent will dwindle.
The Serial Entrepreneur
A serial entrepreneur has or has had several businesses. It is wise to have more than one business as most millionaires have at least 7 streams of income. Some might argue if you focus on more than one business you aren't fully committed, but I believe it's unwise to put all your eggs in one basket. The truth is not all our "great ideas" are great. Businesses fail. Having another business is a great way to soften the financial blow if that happens. This is also great for people who are mulitpassionate. Some people are gifted with more than one talent that can't all fit into one business. Don't box yourself in. It's okay to live out more than one dream.
Figuring out when is the right time to open up a 2nd or 3rd business can be difficult. Juggling a day job and one business is tough and adding another is even harder. Also if you are a person who is consumed with tons of business ideas trying to decide which idea to go with next can be tricky. The best thing to do is to be realistic about your finances and time management. Mind mapping also helps when you feel that you are undergoing idea overload. It is possible to have more than one stream of income with a plan, flexibility and help from others.
There is no road map to entrepreneurship or financial freedom. No one will have the exact same story. To my fellow entrepreneurs I urge you to do what's best for you. The options are limitless.