There are many people who harbor ambitions to jettison the 9-to-5—which is really 8-to-neverending—corporate world and try to start a business or do something entrepreneurial. It’s the American Dream to start a business, become the master of your own destiny, unleash yourself from a terrible boss and build a future for your family. Many people tell me that they would love to do this, but they feel trapped in the rat race and don’t know how to extricate themselves or where to start and what to do next.
Other people feel left out of the job market. It could be that they’re in their mid-to-late-40s and older and feel that corporate America has no use for them. Or on the other side of the spectrum, you could have fairly recently graduated from a prestigious university and possess great intelligence, but are unable to find a job that unlocks your potential. A person could have emigrated to the U.S. with amazing skills, credentials, experience and are yet ignored by companies, as they don’t fit neatly into their siloes. For these folks working in the gig economy, starting a business is one of the few remaining options to succeed.
I can’t tell you what type of business to start, but I can frame the mindset you need and the direction to head toward to succeed. This advice is culled from my own personal experiences, as well as reading about incredibly successful and wealthy entrepreneurs.
- Don’t choose a business just because it’s sexy and will impress your neighbors, friends and family. Find a space in which you possess a competitive expertise with insider knowledge, even if it’s terribly boring. Avoid crowded markets at all costs. If possible, find an area where you can create a niche monopoly. Everyone wants to open a cool and trendy restaurant, but the market is oversaturated and most end up failing. If you are committed to your restaurant idea, think of building a concept location and focus on franchising it, so that others can manage them while you focus on expanding the chain worldwide.