You may be a programming geek, a tech enthusiast, or a millennial with a dozen social media accounts. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Are you the type who can’t figure out what a hashtag does or how to log in to a secure WiFi network?
As underwhelming as this sounds, cyberpreneurship isn’t so much about what you know or what you don’t know. The playing field, rules, protocols, and whatnot may be very different and boundless compared to a brick-and-mortar store, but cyberpreneurship is still anchored onto the basic qualities of being a successful entrepreneur.
Let’s start by asking yourself three basic questions:
- How passionate are you to learn?
- What are the things you’re willing to risk?
- Are you committed to conquer challenges ahead?
But wait. If you have answered these questions pretty well, don’t jump the gun just yet. Although they’re basic questions, it wasn’t meant to be that simple. Here’s what you need to do next:
Dip your fingers in
Most successful entrepreneurs didn’t only start young. They started small. Entrepreneurship, like creativity, can be a strand in people’s DNA that are more dominant in some people, surprisingly turning the ordinary into an enterprising opportunity. A case in point of this is that during summer vacation, some kids spend their time making ice candies to sell to their playmates while others are happy just buying and eating it.
If you were close to becoming an ice-candy magnate in your area as a child and you continued on to creating and succeeding with small business ventures while growing up, chances are, you have that entrepreneurial DNA that can propel you to cyberpreneurship.
But what if you’re the other kid who was just a happy ice-candy fan or you’ve been an employee or a freelancer ever since you can remember? How do you know if starting up your own cyber business is right for you?
Ask yourself the three basic questions again. This time around, find it out yourself, not from books or previous unrelated experiences, but from a real but small business venture. It doesn’t have to be online or in on a web platform right away.
It can be as small or as simple as selling ice candies. Remember, you’re not launching your dream product or service yet. You’re doing this to get to know “The Entrepreneur” inside you.
Push your creativity and look for ways of actually converting your small capital into profits. See how good you are with building customer relationships and networks. Observe how you handle customer queries, complaints, feedback (or even the lack thereof). Take good note of the risks and challenges you’ll encounter and how you plan to tackle it.
Whatever you get out from your first small business venture, whether it’s a success or a failure, you’ll know more about who you are when you’re behind the wheel. That should be a good start in assessing if you fit the bill.
Find the best shoes for you
From your small experimental business venture or your the real businesses you’ve previously established, evaluate what you brought to the table as “The Entrepreneur”. Just be sure that you don’t overly scrutinize yourself and understand that as much as entrepreneurship can be a natural quality for some, it can also be a process that you can grow into if you want to.
It is very important to assess yourself and your actions because you’ll know exactly your strengths and weaknesses before venturing into you new cyber business.
It is very important to assess yourself and your actions because you’ll know exactly your strengths and weaknesses before venturing into you new cyber business. There you’ll know the best shoes to wear for different types of situations.
Maybe you’ll find out that your not really much of a sprinter (let’s go take the competition down!”) but more like the entrepreneur who takes his or her time strategizing or planning. That’s fine.
You should know, however, what you need to do when you’re in situations where you need to sprint and run as fast as the wind to produce results. Can you think of ways to motivate you to get out of your the planning comfort zone? Do you have somebody who can help you get on your toes or shove you into action?
Or what if you realize that you’re more like a marathoner who can go on and on, won’t take no for an answer, and even would be willing to turn night into day just to finish the race?
Of course, you need to be careful to not burn yourself out. A constant reminder to leisurely walk in the woods for some breathing space will help you a lot. If you see unnerving signs in you of being a workaholic, you need to explore good diversion methods when the going gets rough to de-stress you, which will be very beneficial for you and your business in the long haul.
Finding out and overcoming your weak points as an entrepreneur is equally important as knowing how you can leverage your strengths for your cyber business’ success. For example, you’ll be able to:
- Know the types of people who can complement your work style and leadership qualities.
- Focus on providing products and services that are in line with your core skills and competencies.
- Improve weak areas or preempt blind spots that you might most likely trip over.
- Build on a long-term strategy that matches how you do business.
When you are confident to claim that you can be a successful entrepreneur because you took time to know yourself better when running a business (again, no matter how small), you can now proceed applying yourself in the nitty-gritty of your cyber business.
If you’re already well-versed with the technical aspects of the cyber business you want to set up (for example, e-commerce, web design services, or mobile app development), then this should give you more of a head start.
You should never forget that there are other aspects of cyberpreneurship that can’t ever be coded with a programming language. You as the “techie” would need to seamlessly morph with “The Entrepreneur” inside you. After all, you’re on the road to building a business in real life, and this can’t be done 100% virtually.
On the other hand, if you’re just a tech-newbie but you still think that cyber business is something you want to pursue (because there are a lot of non-techies who make six figure paychecks just by unboxing toys on Youtube), then it’s never too late to get started.
There are a lot of platforms and services that won’t require you to program, enter Boolean terms, or build something from the ground up.
Be patient to learn new things and don’t get too overwhelmed when you hear big or abstract words like web analytic, cloud synchronization, or maybe a hashtag.
Digest information in smaller pieces or find someone who can explain it you in layman’s terms. If you can’t find anybody to help you with the technical details, well, the Web is an ocean of resources that you can dive into. Take e-courses or join online groups. Be hungry to devour the information you need.
When you decide to start your cyber business, no matter which step you’re going to take next, there’s just one critical thing you need to strive for: That is, to keep going.