Posted by: Mark Sorenson | January 9, 2010

Do I Have What It Takes?

This semester I am more actively pursuing my ambitions to be an entrepreneur. Last semester gave me a lot to think about in terms of idea generation, evaluation, and execution.  I learned how to scrutinize a business idea and put it to the test to see if it would make for a good business. I came up with an idea that, so far, will make a good business while adding value to the marketplace. I would love to share with you the details of this exciting new mobile service I am working on, but it’s very much in the idea phase still, and you’d have to sign an NDA first. I do want to talk, though, about some of the challenges I am facing while trying to bring this idea to fruition.

This business primarily revolves around a phone app. Since I don’t know anything about computer programming, I have searched for a skilled phone app programmer who I can partner with to help with the tech side of things. Last month I met with a young BYU student who showed a lot of potential for being a great partner. He was everything I am not and wish I was, which was perfect. He was a very technical thinker who could identify potential problems that needed to be solved before they came up. He had a great knowledge of programming and what’s best, he had published a few iPhone apps on the iPhone app store already.

We met twice in person and talked on the phone a lot. Things were going great and I was getting excited to start building this business with him. Last week when I called to set up another meeting, he informed me that he was so busy with school this semester that he didn’t think it was the right time to be designing a phone app for a start-up. In an instant my dreams were crushed. I had looked for two months for a programmer and now that I finally found a good match, he was gone. For a moment I thought about calling him to re-sell him on the idea and get him excited again. Then I though how I want my partner to be on fire about our business without me having to keep reminding him. So again, I am searching for someone who will be the right fit for this job. I realize that are what they are, and this bright young programming kid just proved that he really wasn’t a good fit after all. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, I see this as an opportunity to find someone even better suited for this job. I will have to dig deeper and search harder for that person, but in the end, I know it will be worth it.

Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of determination to push through when things don’t go your way. It’s easy to get discouraged. I used to hear those words a lot growing up and I always thought how “pushing through” would be the easy part. You never know until you get there how hard that might really be. You may even find that you need to be a little stubborn when it comes to turning your business idea into a real business.

So what kind of entrepreneur are you? Are you the type that prefers to take the easy way out, or convince yourself that your idea is just too complicated to make into a business? If so, then your experience as an entrepreneur will likely be limited to just talking about it. Or are you the type that sees a challenge as an opportunity and racks your brain for a solution so much it hurts? If this is you, then you will likely be a successful entrepreneur. Because you can rest assured that things will not always go your way as you start your business, and when something unexpected takes the wind out of your sails, you’ll have to ask yourself: Do I have what it takes?

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