I was covering a story for Mary!Mag and I signed up for a story on WEB, Women Entrepreneurs in Baltimore. I needed to find out what the inspiration was for the founders in creating this organization, which helps women become business owners. I signed up for the assignment, because like so many people who lost their jobs due to the economy, I needed to reinvent myself this year and join the mid-life career changers group. I went from teacher to writer overnight and still struggle to learn my new niche as I work hard to find fulltime employment.
This writing assignment became personal. I was not only covering a story, I wanted to see what I could learn from interviewing Joanne Saltzburg, the head of WEB. I can't share everything, as the contract with Mary!Mag won't allow that; you'll have to read the article when it's published in the magazine. But I do want to share a few tidbits that may be of interest to anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Here are some of the golden nuggets:
Since 2008, when the economy hit hard, unemployed people are too afraid to start their own business, but here is Joanne Saltzburg's advice:
"There is always opportunity, even in the bleakest of times. "
"Learning how to own and operate your own business provides a good frame work for life, because the skills are life skills and transferrable. You learn how to weigh risk with opportunity as well as developing many important skills like discipline, stamina, creativity, focus, determination, organization, and more."
"What seperates people who find opportunity from those who can't, is resilience. It's a certain mindset to look for ways to solve a problem. The people who stay stuck are the people who don't see possibilities. If you are an entrepreneur, you look at the world differently because you ask the question: "How can I get what I need out of this world?"
What I learned
In today's job market, we are all in a way self employed, because the days of having a 30 year career with one company went out with Dorothy Hamill haircuts and the Partridge Family's Lunch box.
Let's face it, no one has job security anymore, unless you are self employed. You need the right attitude and be fearless; willing to clearly decide if the business plan has feasibility or not. There are many organizations like WEB available to help you in recognizing a dream that can turn into a reality, from a dream that can bust and turn into a financial catastrophy, sinking you deeper into debt than yourwork's pink slip did!
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit and an idea for a business...
What's stopping you?
Contact a group (some non profits are free) and learn more about what it takes to run your own business. Weigh the risk with the opportunity, contact SCORE, a group that helps business start ups and provides mentors, and think it through carefully.
Joanne Saltzburg taught me alot. One thing I'm certain about: The economy can take away your job, your house, your "stuff", but it can't take away a dream for a new future if you are willing to do the leg work and learn as much as you can; putting in long hours and hard work because if it's feasable, you're effort will pay off!
There's alot more in the article, but hope Joanne's words inspire a fire in the entrepreneurial spirits everywhere.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Thanks for reading!
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