How to Start, Own, and Operate a Business

Starting up a small business is neither easy nor predictable. The steps can be vague, and the resources numerous. Despite this, many people DO go into business for themselves and chase their dreams rather than their employee-based companions.
It is a wise and true adage that, "It's not for everyone" but the reasons behind this are not always easy to explain. I have noticed during many conversations that it comes down to three major factors: Education: What it takes, Intellectual/Emotional Fortitude: Drive and Determination, and Will-Power: A strong sense of why you are doing what you are doing.
By no means is this list exhaustive, and this is ALL it takes to start or run a business. What I do know is that these are universal factors and can be summarized and easy to remember. In the notes below, I will refer to several lists of steps other sources have provided to help grasp the factors for business ownership. I would highly recommend that you take some time and compare the different summaries I conclude a solid list for yourself on the values and principles you desire. 
EDUCATION
This does not refer to a school-forged gift of education by slaving away surrounded by old tomes, and dusty old textbooks. I am speaking of real-world education. What it takes to run and own your business from the reality of the marketplace. This is an incredibly time consuming and cumbersome process and does not have a time-frame or an endpoint. Many become consumed in the excitement of the new "path" that education is cast aside and forgotten until the honeymoon phase is over. This is incredibly dangerous, and without this knowledge, you not only miss the benefits but can lose more than what you put in.
Tax codes, for example, are INCREDIBLY complex and the knowledge about them is vast. The main reason most of us pay professionals to handle our taxes yearly. I have gathered some solid reference materials from the IRS website that should prove useful for starting up your business, as well as some great reminders on the benefits of a small business. Be advised that you should 100% seek a tax professional on this matter and get help prior to starting your business. This is true for a startup selling consultant work or your own creative products. I won't talk about patents in this article, but everything you own needs to be protected, and you need to know your rights as a business owner so you can retain your protected status. Even some banks or credit unions offer solid counsel on the correct steps for most of these procedures. This knowledge is invaluable and can save you a ton of a headache later on.
INTELLECTUAL/EMOTIONAL FORTITUDE
I purposely chose not to separate these two from each other because they are two halves of the same coin. Both lead to the execution of the third factor. Firstly, Intellectual Fortitude refers to your own self-talk, doubt, fears, reservations, as well as your swollen pride, vanity, and inner feelings of importance towards your cause. You need to have the fortitude to answer the onslaught of questions, queries, and to have a strong inner resolution that can withstand even your friends and families finding your dream as a "waste of time or resources" in their own educated opinion.
Secondly, Emotional Fortitude is everything about your inner emotions that stem from your intellect. The pride you have from your strong sense of why creates an emotional foundation that helps withstand criticism. Your strong sense of value that you have in your dreams help keep yourself from becoming discouraged and giving up on your dreams. Reversely, inflated emotions cause swollen egos and turn your business into nothing more than a passion project in its early phases. This can ruin the strength for supporting your dream, resulting in overspending on unnecessary ventures, and making yourself out to be better than everyone else in your market. 
Lastly, your emotions can also cause you to turn your business into your job. Quickly destroying your drive and eventually closing your business and walking away from everything you built or strove to build.
The number of books out there that can assist you in understanding these factors is overwhelming. I suggest just keying in Emotional/Intellectual Fortitude into Amazon or Google and go through the many of the free books available. It is definitely worth your time and research to understand these completely.
WILLPOWER
Lastly, the power of your own willpower. Rocky Balboa, one of our greatest champions said it best: 
"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place... and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain't about how hard you hit... It's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward... how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, go out and get what you worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying: You ain't what you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that."
The determination of will that springs forth from answering your "why" helps to make this iron willpower possible. This factor springs forth from understanding the second factor only after you have invested fully in the first. You cannot have a strong will if you are uneducated about your brand and incapable of intellectual and emotional fortitude. It just cannot happen! You need to have both of down pat!
But what does willpower DO for you? It gives strength to your vision, power to your words, and conviction to your purpose. This clears the way for you to think fully as a business owner, and adopt principles of wisdom, frugality, and competency. You need to understand that this is barred none your greatest asset as an entrepreneur. You cannot succeed without the willpower to get up every day and commit to your vision. This will not happen on its own, and definitely doesn't just happen to anyone. 
These three factors, I believe, lay the foundation for what is key and integral in starting your business. They fuel your drive and give purpose to your why. Without them, we are left with dry passion projects without the wings to fly and soar through the sky. encourage you again, to read through the lists below, follow the links and share this knowledge with someone else who may need it. Don't give up on your dreams before you have committed everything with no regrets!
Notes and References:
Author: U.S. Small Business Association
  1. Conduct Market Research
  2. Write your business plan
  3. Fund your business
  4. Pick your business location
  5. Choose a business structure
  6. Choose your business Name
  7. Register your business
  8. Get Federal and State I.D.'s
  9. Apply for licenses and permits
  10. Open a business bank account
Author: Inc. Staff
  1. Scope out your industry
  2. Size up the competition
  3. second-guess yourself
  4. Think about funding. A lot
  5. Refine your concept
  6. Seek advice from friends, mentors, or anyone
  7. Pick a name
  8. Get a grasp on marketing strategies
  9. Do a little test run
  10. Start searching for future talent
Author: Newtek - Your Business Solutions Company, CONTRIBUTOR
  1. A good sense of timing
  2. The cleanest budget on the block
  3. Self-Discipline
  4. Sharp social skills
  5. Flexibility
  6. Money
  7. Follow-through
Author: Shannon Gausepohl, Business News Daily Associate Editor
  1. Do your research
  2. Get organized
  3. Ask yourself why
  4. Get a mentor
  5. Survey your target market
  6. Get legal advice
  7. Boost your credit score
  8. Bring an accountant on board
  9. Network
  10. Know your tax requirements
  11. Prepare for anything and everything
  12. Think about an exit strategy
Author for all below: IRS.gov
Business Expenses
Home Deduction
Standard Mileage Deduction

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