There is a lot of debate about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Healthcare is an interesting sector, unlike many others, in that more than 50% of people are solo business operators and more than 99% are working in a small business.
Much of the narrative around entrepreneurship is blurred by the Silicon Valley tech startup story. The first misconception is that individuals start companies. Most of the research demonstrates that actually teams start companies. Importantly, a bigger team actually adds to the odds of success. More founders = better odds of success.
So the first question to answer as a health or beauty professional is "do you want to work for yourself or with someone else?"
Most people don't spend enough time clearly painting out a vision for the future that will help them to answer this question. If you value autonomy, control and flexibility then you should only team up with someone if what they bring to the table is drastically different to you. Further, the value they add should be multiplicative, not simply additive.
The second myth is that all entrepreneurs are charismatic and that this drives their success. Instead, research shows that more important than being charismatic, entrepreneurs need to be effective communicators, recruiters and salespeople. These three traits are not necessarily ones that typical health professionals are renowned for so if you consider these to be weaknesses of yours it pays to invest time into either up-skilling or surrounding yourself with those for whom they are a strength.
The third myth is that there is an entrepreneurship gene, that certain people are genetically predisposed for success in starting companies. Some believe personality traits like flamboyance or boldness are correlated with successful entrepreneurship, but that line of thought is misguided. Instead, there are real skills that increase the odds of success, such as people management, sales skills, product conception and delivery. People can adapt and learn new behaviours, and entrepreneurship therefore can be broken down into discrete behaviours and processes that can be taught. It just take a little time and a little effort. There's also the environmental influence that can determine whether or not the business you start will succeed.
GETTING STARTED IN BUSINESS
As general career advice goes, perhaps the single most important question you can ask yourself is:
What can I do well that I would love to do for an extended period of time?
If you can answer this question then the next one that you should consider is whether there is a customer pain that you are interested in alleviating because it is in line with what you are interested in and have expertise in.
When I talk about customer pain I am not necessarily talking about physical pain (though this is good if you can solve it). Pains can be negative emotions such as frustration or undesired costs & situations.
Once you can match something you love to do with solving a true customer pain then you have the makings of a great business.
If you'd like help starting your business or finding a room for rent then get in touch.
Entrepreneur, retired doctor. Passionate about helping health and beauty professionals build their own brand.