The real realities of being an entrepreneur

At GoForth, our primary reason for existence is to give entrepreneurs the best small business training possible for success. So it was with considerable interest that we read a blog post by Chicago-based businessman Seth Kravitz, called 20 (More) Reality-Checking Questions for Would-Be Entrepreneurs.

The questions are geared towards those thinking of starting a small business and they don’t shy away from some harsh realities of entrepreneurship – working too hard, uncertainty, ideas that don’t pan out and dealing with stress.

We like this honesty. In our small business education, we encourage entrepreneurs to take a very honest look at themselves before starting out. Yes, starting your own business can be infinitely rewarding, both financially and personally. However, it can also be one of the most difficult things you’ll do. You might work harder than you had as someone else’s employee. You might put a strain on your relationships and finances. You might even give it a shot and eventually decide you’re not enjoying it anymore. These are all considerations you should make before starting your own small business.

We’re not Debbie Downers at GoForth; we’re realists. We want to make sure you approach the decision to become an entrepreneur with your eyes wide open – knowing in advance that the journey can be a bumpy one.  Remember – between your great idea and the grand achievement is the vast wasteland of grinding it out.

Our advice? Read Seth’s post and honestly assess yourself as a small business owner. And don’t lose heart – entrepreneurship isn’t easy, but you can take the most important first step and prepare yourself for the realities of starting and running a small business.

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The unique challenges faced by women in entrepreneurship

This month at GoForth Institute, we’re highlighting women in small business. With good reason, too – women own or manage 40% of Canada’s businesses and are starting small businesses at a record rate. However, with every type of entrepreneurship comes a unique set of challenges, and female entrepreneurs are no different.

What are the major challenges faced by women entrepreneurs?

A woman who starts a small business faces many of the same challenges encountered by any entrepreneur:

  • Access to quality small business training
  • The need for support services
  • Access to capital
  • Long-term business coaching
  • Staying current in their small business industry
  • Managing growth
  • Finding mentors

However, women who start small businesses also face a host of challenges unique to female entrepreneurs. Women are typically the primary caregivers of children and still tend to earn less than men, meaning that women starting a small business have even more to think about.

Giving women entrepreneurs the tools for small business success

At GoForth Institute, we’re entrepreneurs too. This means we’re committed to giving all entrepreneurs the tools they need to make sure the small business they’ve started has the best chances for success. We offer leading small business online learning programs, which are great for many women-owned small businesses – like home-based businesses. Women who have become self-employed or who have busy work/life schedules need only spare 10 hours in total to get comprehensive small business training from entrepreneurs who’ve been through the same things themselves!

The Canadian government is also making strides in supporting women in business, with initiatives such as business loans for female entrepreneurs and women-only networking events. Of course, businesses themselves love to support female entrepreneurs – check out the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards as an example.

If you’re a woman in business, what unique challenges have you faced? Let us know!

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Dr. Leslie Roberts talks small business training on The Orange Files

Dr. Leslie Roberts was interviewed today on The Orange Files Small Business Podcast. She chatted with Stuart Crawford about the creation of GoForth Institute, our extensive research into small business training, the demand for online small business courses and – of course – why well-rounded business training is so important.

If you missed the interview, it’s online at The Orange Files’ website. Thanks again to Stuart and Ulistic for a great chat about Canadian entrepreneur training!

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