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VOBS & SUPPLIER DIVERSITY
hen dealing with the question of entrepreneurship, it may seem like a pretty straight forward answer at first. Veterans are known for quality traits: discipline, leadership, duty. Although these are necessary qualities in starting any business; to ultimately succeed, I believe that you must maintain a firm and consistent mindset.ToquoteJoanofAr All battles are first won, or lost in the mind. Let's be realstarting a business and getting it up and running is not easy. As the saying goes, if it were easy everyone would do it. Though, it is the most rewarding both for yourself and the community(s) that you end up serving IF you stick with it long enough to see your efforts bear fruit. I started my veteran-owned business, Sentri Institute Inc., in 2019. We are a training institution revolving around firearm, concealed carry
Is the Entrepreneurial Route Right for You?
By Paul Peng, owner of Sentri Institute, Inc.
and various security related certifications. I am no Jeff Bezos, Tony Robbins or Robert Kiyosaki, nor do I claim to be; but I would like to share with you a few of the many valuable lessons learned - some painfully - so far on my entrepreneurial journey so that you can decide if this path is right for you.
Find a Good Mentor(s)
I cannot stress to you how important it is to have good mentors at every stage of your entrepreneurial development. Their expertise and knowledge will be a guiding light for you as you navigate through and find your niche. My mentors helped me formulate a business plan, incorporate and pointed me to inexpensive marketing strategies. These mentors also helped me avoid many of the common entrepreneurial pitfalls, no matter what industry one might be in. Shortly after Sentri Institute was incorporated, I was warned by more than one mentor to not set my prices too low. Their reasoning was because if your prices are too low, it will inadvertently send a message to the consumer that you are just not that good. I am glad I heeded their advice.
Entrepreneurship Can Be Lonely
My harshest critics in the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, believe it or not, were from my own family and some of what I thought were my closet friends. They laughed at me, mocked me or worryingly told me of all the dangers and uncertainty of starting a business, even though they never started one themselves. They would tell me that I didn't have the discipline nor the fortitude to have a successful business and that I would crash and burn chasing some stupid dream. As hard as it may be, I realized that you have to have a dogged and determined mindset as consistently as possible. You must not let other people's opinion of you become your reality. You also have to be willing to work for free. As for me, I figured out early on that I had to be my own cheerleader and boss. Being self-motivated and able to set your own goals and timelines while taking accountability of your own actions, I found out, is a must. Especially when events (quite often) don't go according to plan.
You will Fail, Fail and Fail Some More
You will fail A LOT. My business has only been in existence for two years and we have already experienced many setbacks, and expect many more. There were times, some as recent as a few weeks ago. where I looked in the mirror and said to myself What the *bleep* am I doing? or Why am I working my ass off for free? I am getting nowhere! What I learned, and am still learning, is talking with mentors and other entrepreneurs about having those moments of self-doubt and uncertainty, especially after experiencing a gut-wrenching failure, is perfectly normal. It is what you do afterward that counts. One of my mentors said they use positive self-talk or meditation to get rid of the negative feelings so that they can get back into the game. While the other said they go to the gym and get their head clear that way. What works for me is I remember all the people that didn't believe in me and remind myself I have to prove them wrong. Choose a method that works for you, the objective being to get your mindset back where it needs to be. My goal here is not to frighten you away from starting your own business, nor is it to convince you that starting a business is the only road to financial freedom. It's to provide an un-filtered look at what a new business owner goes through. However, if you can remain disciplined and focused long enough, the rewards are well worth the trouble. So, what do you think? Is entrepreneurship right for you?Previous Page