Ask the right questions and take the steps to entrepreneurial success
Entrepreneurial endeavors are challenging; occasionally, the demands of the endeavor can shake us. We may ask: Are we ready for this? Thats where self-reflection becomes a genuine asset and a valuable tool. Self-reflection means tapping into a personal source of abundance, where our entrepreneurial seeds reside, and where we discover skills, confidence and knowledge conducive to entrepreneurship.
Skills, confidence and knowledge are key elements for business achievement. For emerging business owners, these three attributes are drivers towards success. Skills may include rapport with others; abilities to plan, organize and communicate effectively; as well as financial savvy. Confidence stems from awareness of our skills and how to consistently apply them. It is good to be clear on what we know and what we need to know, remembering that there is also what we dont know that we dont know. By confidently embracing resourcefulness and resilience, we can respond, address or adapt swiftly to developing scenarios.
In life, as a student and a worker, we put to use some of our best qualities, innate and acquired. Life offers opportunities to be determined, inquisitive, resilient and resourceful. Are we cognizant of the abilities we possess? Have we tapped into these capacities to systematically apply them to our emerging business? How can we do that?
Ask the Right Questions
A bombardment of questions surfaced when I started considering building my nonprofit fundraising and strategic-planning consulting business back in the late 1990s. I asked three fundamental questions: Can I do it? How would I do it? Why would I do it? And again, Can I do it? Having earned a doctorate in sociology earlier, I had trained for research, writing and theoretical thinking. So I asked myself, Can I do it? Whats the use of my academic training in a practical sphere such as nonprofit consulting? This can be a burdened and limiting question that reinforces the urge to ask it again.
Rapid breakthroughs happened as soon as I realized that I needed to reframe my questions and engage in self-reflection. Soon, I discovered my entrepreneurial seeds. Those seeds turned me from an emerging business owner into an advanced entrepreneur from the very start. Those seeds have carried me through a successful and inspiring 15-year career as a consultant.
About the author
Mara Perez, Ph.D. As Founder and Principal of Mara Perez, Fund Development and Planning Services, Mara provides fundraising and strategic planning services to non-profits. Mara has helped over seventy organizations obtain funding, design innovative work strategies, and execute growth plans. Mara holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Community service includes: 2010-present Board Member of Marin General Hospital; 2002-2012 Board Member Canal Alliance, twice Board President; 2005 Spirit of Marin Award, Business Person of the Year; Coro Leadership Community Fellow. She has published articles about immigration, social change, and fundraising. Born in Argentina, Mara resides in California.