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  March 1, 2013
The Entrepreneurial Spirit...

"It’s only work if you’d rather be doing something else"
~ Various Authors

So you want to be a farmer

Imagine yourself as a pioneer heading west some 150 years ago in your covered wagon leaving family and friends behind.

After an arduous and dangerous journey, you and your family reach your destination.

You homestead an 80-acre parcel of land and begin a life of farming.

All of your worldly possessions are found in your small wagon.

You use your all of your family’s savings to purchase some farm equipment and starter seed.

You only have a small amount of provisions, so you’ll need to forage for food, build a basic shelter, and try to improvise with what you can find to make up for what you don’t have.

A lot of hard, back-breaking work will need to be completed before the first seed is sowed. The land will need to be cleared and plowed, and hoed.

Then and only then can the seeds be planted into the ground.

Once the crops have been planted, the young seedlings must be properly cared for. The fields need to be weeded, watered and fertilized.

After the growing season is over, the crops must be harvested and the bounty properly preserved and stored to help sustain the family over the winter months to come.

Many days, weeks, months, and years of extremely hard labor is required before any potential is paid to the farmer.

In the mean-time, a list of potentially devastating events could occur. Events such as floods, droughts, locust, and diseases could erase any and all of the farmer’s hard work and efforts forcing the farmer to start again from scratch.

Farming wasn’t fun... it was work...

Farming wasn’t typically thought of as vehicle to riches... but a lifestyle of freedom, autonomy, and self-determination. 

Farming was a way to create something from nothing... from a small seed to the nurishment of a nation...

It took a strong person, both mentally and physically to become a farmer but millions of people did it and many are still doing it today...

So you want to be an entrepreneur

Today the small pioneer farm has essentially been eradicated and replaced with agri-business, computerization and mechanized modern farm equipment.

However the pioneer spirit is still alive and well, here in the U.S. and throughout the world in the form of the modern entrepreneur.

Today there are over 23 million small businesses that account for 54% of all sales in the U.S. They provide 55% of all the jobs. While the average small business generates $1.3M in annual sales, the majority of the businesses never generate more than $100K per year in annual sales.

Nearly 3 in 4 small businesses have no employees, relying solely on the work of the owner to produce an income.

Although starting a business can be fairly easy, creating a company that has sustainable revenues can be a daunting task for most small business owners.

Like the pioneer farmer, the wannabe entrepreneur is required to devote a huge amount of up-front time and effort far in advance of any future sales and/or profits being realized. There’s a lot of work and no immediate rewards.

During the start-up period, the entrepreneur must find a way to pay their living expenses. If the business idea is unique and plausible, an entrepreneur might be able to raise capital from investors; however most start-ups are typically self-funded through the owner’s savings or loans.

During this start-up time, the entrepreneur might take on small and/or low margin customers in order to pay expenses (like the farmer planting root vegetables). Although it creates some cash-flow, this model is typically not sustainable over long periods.

Over time, larger customers and/or higher profit work is needed to continue (accomplished by creating a higher valued product or service). It’ll take more time and effort to identify and develop these clients, but like the farmer’s orchard, these clients can help to sustain the business for many years into the future.

Being a farmer or becoming an entrepreneur is a never-ending job. Something will always need to be done. It also takes determination and a strong will as there will be many pitfalls and setbacks along the way.

Becoming an entrepreneur today is much like becoming a farmer 150 years ago. It takes lots of hard work, determination, and perseverance (especially when the going gets tough)...

... but the rewards along the way can also be great.

Like the farmer, an entrepreneur creates and produces something tangible...
They have the autonomy to think for themselves and the freedom to do things their way...
They create and develop new ideas that can change the world and make it a better place in which to live...

They make a meaningful difference in their community...

They create value and assets that can be passed down from generation to generation or sold at some time in the future...
Entrepreneurs are the pioneers of today... creating something from nothing through creative ideas... hard work... and sheer determination...

Thank you for your support of OptiFuse, where we applaud and support small business around the world...


Jim Kalb

Email - jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com

Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com
Twitter - @OptiFuse

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