By Marcus Oakes
Marcus is from a family of entrepreneurs and currently runs Positively Oakes, a baby clothing and accessories business. He plans on starting a new venture with his brother.
Yet we aren’t all millionaires. Some may lack the means to start or lack the motivation to do so. Others simply lack the skills or knowledge of how to carry out their idea.
The hardest part of starting a business is taking a critical first step: becoming a good leader.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
The first step
Until this point, you have been a follower: you follow your job description, your boss’ orders, and your supervisor’s false idea of how great he or she is. It’s now time for you to take the reins and turn your vision or idea into a reality.
In doing so it’s important to have good leadership skills such as positivity, confidence, commitment, among many others, before you venture on your own. If you can’t be a leader to yourself, how do you expect to be a leader to others?
The family businesses
Entrepreneurship started in my family over 30 years ago with my dad’s chiropractic business. My oldest brother has started two businesses: landscaping and tiling. My brother-in-law has also started two businesses: tree care service and recently a floating campground business. My wife has been running a successful children’s clothing store. And now my brother and I are working on starting a business of our own.
My brother-in-law has exemplified the three leadership skills listed above with his floating campground business. As he formulated his idea, all he had were positive, optimistic thoughts.
Never once did he consider failing as an option. His level of confidence was outrageous! He advertised and even booked his campgrounds before he had even started building his campgrounds and before he had an investor. It’s been almost two years since he came up with his business plan and has not, nor will he give up on it.
How do you become a good leader?
- First, assess yourself and see how good of a leader you already are.
- Figure out which attributes of a good leader you need to work on the most and hone in on those skills.
- Watch your current boss/supervisor and see what skills they possess as a leader and try to emulate that.
- Then, whether you are in a position of leadership or not, start becoming a leader. Just because you aren’t a supervisor, doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader at your job.
As you follow these simple steps, you can become a better leader and prepare yourself to take that first step into entrepreneurship.
How becoming a good leader helps you become a great entrepreneur
As you hone your leadership qualities, people will naturally follow you. If people aren’t leading, they are following, and they need a leader.
“If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk.”
Starting a business is difficult and you need help, which is where this circle of leaders and followers comes into play. If no one is following you, you are not a leader, and your business cannot grow.
Why is it so hard to turn the first step into a business?
One reason it is hard to take this first step and turn it into a business is a lack of trust in one’s leadership skills. If you do not have confidence in your leadership qualities, no one will. Also, many people are comfortable where they are at and are afraid of taking risks.
“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.”
If you have an idea stirring, don’t sit on it. Take the first step, become the leader you need to be, and take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
About the author:
Marcus Oakes is part of – and husband to the owner of –Positively Oakes, a Boise, ID based company that makes and sells baby clothing and accessories. He loves writing about almost anything, loves sports and music, and is also in the works of starting an online company with his brother.
You can follow him on his new Twitter @moakes1620 or @PositivelyOakes.