After nearly 8 years ago, I had a net worth of about $20,000. Not much being in my late 30’s. I was an independent software developer with a small pool of somewhat reliable clients. Most of my time was used writing software and then looking for clients which would some times last a month or two to find. I enjoyed this nomadic do-what-I-want-with-my-day type of lifestyle but it was costing me something I wasn’t really acknowledging: I was aging and my net worth was not going anywhere. Being a freelance contractor was not a scalable career- at least not the way I was running it. So one day an opportunity fell in my lap to buy a hotel in a remote Caribbean beach town in Costa Rica called Puerto Viejo. The down payment was manageable. I’d be nearly broke after the down payment but I was optimistic. So I packed my bag and became a new hotel owner in the Caribbean. I can get into the ins and out of running a hotel in the tropics but what I want to focus here is what it has taken for me to survive and strive in this business which I think applies to all businesses- and that is being an entrepreneur in your business. By definition; an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. And this is how I needed to operate to maintain a financially functional running business.
Having a business has taught me many things but more than anything its problem solving on all fronts. You’re thrown an array of challenges; some problems arrive all at the same time, some in a serial sequence and some that will take years to resolve. Since the issues can range from anything from financial security to government policy your best tools are reading as many books and take as many courses as you can on any subject that relates to the obstacle(s) that lies ahead; and maintain a strong will in perseverance and resilience. Financially, you’ll most likely be better off than working the good ole 9-to-5. Just a quick review of the tax codes and you’ll see that it is in you favor to own a businesses. That is already a good financial head start. This year I will be focusing heavily on technology, marketing and business systems as they are all at the forefront in relevance to your business. If you can consume information and utilize in an ever so changing and rapid way, and be able to swim against current for long periods of time, then I think such person would most likely succeed in business which usually translates into doing well financially. Hence, the Entrepreneur!