—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, AL, November 4, 1956
Two popular sayings are: “Now or never!” and "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
Getting on with your life's work implies a career transition for an individual in which he exploits his achievements and experiences to date. This is often true of successful entrepreneurs. It is the rare entrepreneur who starts a business as his first job. The forces driving such transitions come from many sources. In the case of the former athletes featured here, it was the inevitability of the end of their football careers. Others start businesses because they believe in the opportunity represented by a product or an idea. For others, still, unemployment may be a factor.
Is it time for you to "get on with your life's work" and start a business? The following questions will help you determine the answer.
1. Are your reasons for wanting to start a business the right reasons? Right reasons are ones which motivate you towards a goal --you want to be your own boss, you want to see your ideas bear commercial fruit and have others acknowledge what you have achieved. Negative reasons, such as running away from a job you don't like, rarely breed success.
2. Do you have a viable idea for a business? Is it market driven? Will you solve problems for your customers? Will you eliminate their pain?
3. Do you have relevant experience? Do you know the industry in which your entrepreneurial venture will operate? Have you been in a small business environment and understand its unique needs?
4. Do you have a business plan that has been critiqued by successful people in your chosen industry, business associates, and various other professionals?
5. No matter how you answer the preceding questions, do you have a "fire in your belly," and are you determined to start your own business regardless of what others say? If so, that tenacity and drive will probably be more critical to your success than any words of wisdom offered to you...
This is our time…our opportunity to do that which was forbidden to our mothers, fathers, and ancestors down the line. We have the freedom to determine our future, and entrepreneurship (self-employment) is a great leveler of the proverbial playing field. CNN’s Wayne Drash recently reported the following historical account of Isadore Banks. A pillar in the African American community, Banks helped bring electricity to the town of Marion in the 1920s and became one of the wealthiest Black landowners in a region with a long history of racial violence. His murder had a profound effect. Many Blacks left the area and never returned. For those who remained, the message was clear: If you were Black and acquired wealth, you knew your place.
Entrepreneurship is the trump card against racism. To prepare yourself for greatness, pay attention to these steps from “What I Did You Can Do Too”,
REMOVE MIND CLUTTER: (Self Control Is Power)
Go for It!
Visualize (Picture This?)
Acquire Humility (Goodbye to EGO – Edging God Out)
AND remember the words of one of the Greatest…
“Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, and a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”
–Muhammad Ali, Boxing Champion