It is extremely useful to look at other successful entrepreneurs when considering starting your own venture. Studying their habits and the keys to their success can teach you a lot about how to begin your entrepreneurial journey. Currently, I am actually in the car heading up to Saint Louis to meet David Siteman Garland who has the website called The Rise to The Top. He has an awesome video blog, some great shows, and is soon to be an author. He just really inspired me which is obvious since we are on the way to Saint Louis on a Wednesday. So I am taking time off work, and am going to meet him and get inspired by him and some of the people he has been inspired by. I am going to share some of my tips and some of my experiences from being an entrepreneur and hope that you get something out of it.

1. Follow Your Passion (and mean it)

Photo by oddbodSo, the first tip that I will share with you is that if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to follow your passion. You have to find out what that is. For me, I have been a numbers guy for pretty much all of my life, so it was a natural fit to get into investments.

I did not consider myself to be an entrepreneur until 'O7 when I left my previous firm and started Alliance Investment Planning Group with three others. That was my first taste of being an entrepreneur. Then I started my blog, Goodfinancialcents.com, and right now I am also working on a book in addition to other projects. That first step really gave me the entrepreneur bug. If numbers are not your thing, then you don't need to be in my profession. You need to find out what your passion is, follow your passion and just crush it. You might start down a path and maybe your path will change. That's OK. That is the beauty of being an entrepreneur. You have to shift and be agile enough to move on to the next thing.

2. Dive Right In

Photo by Teofil RewersThe second step is to dive right in. I have met a lot of people who say that they want to be an entrepreneur.

They talk about being an entrepreneur and all they do is just talk. If you are going to do it, you can talk about it all day long but until you actually take that first step, until you put yourself out there, you will never know if you have what it takes. When we stepped out and started our own firm, it was a huge risk. We had a big name behind us and we just let that go.
We took a huge step.

I was lucky in the sense that I had a good client base already but it did not mean that they had to follow me. So that was a huge risk and one of the best risks that I have taken.

Another risk that I took was with my blog. I read an article in the early part of 'O8 about blogging and how you need to have a blog. I had no idea what a blog was. My interpretation of blogging was getting on Myspace and listening to hip hop music and looking at pictures of people, I really did not get it. I just started reading, researching and looking at blogs. It took me months to figure out, plus a lot of late nights and weekends learning about blogs. Had I not done it, I still would be talking about it. Here I am, almost two years later, and my blog is an awesome thing. The first step is to follow your passion and the second step is to dive right in.

3. Cut Out the Crap

Photo by Mgeorge733The third thing is to cut out the crap. For example, I was listening to a podcast of someone that was a consulting another individual who wanted to be an entrepreneur. They could never set up the time to talk because the guy, the "wannabe" entrepreneur, did not want to miss the show Wipeout. He couldn't schedule his consulting session to take him to the next level because he couldn't work out a time that didn't interfere with Wipeout. Really?

If you are an entrepreneur (or want to become one), you can miss Wipeout. So cut out the crap. If you watch hours of reality television per week, cut it out. Any other noise, just cut it out, because this is your dream and this is your passion. If you really want to do it, then you need to focus 150% or 1050%. Put everything into it and that's the way that you grow. That's the way you build your dream and your vision.

4. Support Please

Photo by JozefKThe last thing I will say is all about the support system. There are two parts to this. First, it helps to have an awesome spouse that is going to support you throughout the whole process. Somebody holding a video cam while you are a driving a car is awesome. A spouse can support and motivate you and sometimes maybe even second guess you and ask, "hey is that a really a good idea?" This support system may be your driving force that will push you hard so that you can really show that person that YES, this is my vision and this is my dream and I'm going pull it off no matter what it takes.

The other part of having a positive support system is to surround yourself with people who have a similar drive and a similar vision as you. If you only have friends who constantly complain about having a hard time making ends meet but then they do not do anything about it, they will not help you grow. I am not saying to cut them out of your life, but just reduce your time spent with them. If you go out and you start showing them that, "Hey, this is me", and you are fired up and super motivated, eventually I hope that your attitude will be contagious.

Cut these people out of your life somewhat and start to include people that share a similar vision. That is one of the reasons that I am heading towards Saint Louis to meet David Siteman Garland. I met him on Twitter. This guy got a huge following in a short period of time. This guy knows what is going on. I am going there and hope that I will meet some great people that have a similar vision, similar drive and similar passion. So find those people in your life. For a while, I had the hardest time finding people locally. If you are having a hard time finding someone locally that has the same vision and the same drive as you, then head online. Start a blog, go on Twitter, find people that have similar interests as you and you will be amazed. David is one of the 100 people I found online that just have "it".

Entrepreneur Recap

So just as a recap, if you really want to become an entrepreneur and to make your dream and your vision blossom, follow the four steps above. Number one is finding your passion. Find what it is that gets you going, because if it is your passion, it will not be a job. It will be a hobby and will be a fun hobby. Number two is dive right in. Just dive right in and you will learn so much. With blogging, I did not know anything about it but I just said that I was going to do it and I was going to figure it out as I went. Sure enough, I did that. There were a lot of trials but it all worked out. Number three is cut out the crap. Cut out television, cut out things from your life, so that you can devote more time and energy to your real focus. The last thing is to have a good support system. A positive support system will push you and encourage you to succeed.