Becoming an entrepreneur is not a spur of the moment choice. Good entrepreneurs don’t suddenly decide their course of action and go into business the very next week. While that might be a popular idea for those looking on from the outside, entrepreneurship is a testament to what determination truly is. Like a dog with a bone, once entrepreneurs find their groove it’s almost impossible to throw them off the path. Determination is a word that pops up again and again when dealing with entrepreneurs. There is no give up in their vocabulary. Replacing defeat are the phrases ‘try again’ and ‘find another solution’. Giving up just isn’t an option for a true entrepreneur. As Robert Frost so succinctly wrote in The Road Not Taken, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both.” The poem emphasizes the fact that you will never know what’s down one road if you take the other. It is a frustrating dilemma for all entrepreneurs. The ‘what ifs’ can be daunting. A good entrepreneur learns how to cast aside fears and pick a path to go down. Whether or not the path is the right one, at least they are moving forward.
“I just hated working for other people.” Chris Berry of Black Wolf Automotive Specialists says. The automotive specialist shop is located in Woodbridge, Virginia and helps a great number of people restore their cars back to their former, beautiful glory. “It had been my drive since I was young. Having grown up in a military household, it was a very strict house. I didn’t like taking orders. I knew before I ever got a job that I didn’t want to work for someone else and take orders. The opportunity to control your destiny to some degree…I guess you could say that I’ve been chasing the dream my whole life.” One of the greatest appeals on the surface of entrepreneurism has to do with breaking free from the chains of being beneath the thumb of a boss-type figure. Having the ability to decide what you want to do, how you want to produce, and where you want to be at what time gives entrepreneurs the freedom to create truly amazing businesses.
Learning how to handle being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy. Schools now offer degrees in entrepreneurism and businesses classes can help supplement knowledge. Sometimes learning on the fly, without education, can be a major lesson in itself. “The biggest thing I would have done differently would have been to pursue a college education. That would have given me a much stronger business foundation to run the business with. As a mechanic coming up through the ranks, what business skills I do have I have learned by the seat of my pants,” Berry notes. The debate of formal schooling versus on-the-job training will likely never end. “I think every situation is a little different,” Chris says, “but to have a good foundation to build off of certainly gives you a tremendous advantage. Looking back that’s probably the one thing that I think ‘Where would I be now if I had put the time into it from that standpoint.’ Who knows if I would have followed the same path? It’s so hard to really say. That’s the one aspect of it that I wish I had a lot firmer grasp on – the business management, business structure, and finances. We have obviously survived it and made it work, but sometimes by the seat of our pants.”
Having an education to depend on can make a major difference in how you run your business. An advantage in business and being an entrepreneur is ideal for anyone. Aside from a foundation, how do you feel like an entrepreneur? What makes you take on the title with pride? When you put aside schooling and facts, what’s underneath? “You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe you can do it. You have to learn to accept serious thrashings – things happen. It’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. The biggest thing is just to learn to roll with the punches. The earth does not stop revolving because things happen. It’s how you deal with it that matters. It’s a phenomenal opportunity for people who want to go after it. I’m a believer in getting what you can out of life, regardless of what industry you’re in. It’s about how much passion you have and how hard you try. I have been fully invested in this for a long, long time.”
Every entrepreneur has a history and building blocks behind their title. Entrepreneurs take a huge variety of paths to make their dream possible. Getting out and going after what you are passionate about and believe in is the root of every entrepreneurial dream.