Transition from Athlete to Entrepreneur

Humble beginnings in Rock Hall Maryland did nothing to drown out the inner voice that told me I was destined to live the lifestyle of my dreams. I also learned quickly that 18 years of "Split-Contract" income would mean that after baseball I was "on my own"! After several business attempts, some home-based and one not, I realized that there was a formula, a system, if you will, certain truths about a home-based business that only became apparent to me through experience. The content of my article "From the Major Leagues to a Home-Based Business: Could it Work for Me?", introduced the ideas that "knowing your goals", "surrounding yourself with like-minded people", and "commitment was not conducive without hard work", were the foundation for success in self-employment. That takes us to the traits necessary to manage a business. You must have skills that suit the business you have planned.

A close examination of your skills in relation to potential endeavors can also help you find a niche in the marketplace. This is where additional training and support comes in to play. The misconception that once you reach Major League status, you're "home-free" is a myth. That is when "work ethic", daily training and team support are crucial.

Always look for home-based business opportunities that offer the training and support needed to better your chances of success. Review your background to establish the fit between you and your future. Consider these points and ask yourself if your potential business will limit you because of: * Age * Confidence in physical appearance * Lack of formal or informal education * Relevant life experiences * Present and past occupations and duties * Reasons you left previous jobs * Environment: Indoor or Outdoor When a business idea fits by having little or no restrictions, write it down. As you eliminate possibilities and focus on others, you are zeroing in on a potential money-making idea that will be personally satisfying thus less stressful.

Time = Money *Are you willing to work the hours needed and make personal sacrifices to help the business grow? *Are you comfortable engaging in speculation, both personal and financial? *Are you comfortable with success? *Can you accept failure? You should answer these personal questions honestly. A positive, go-ahead feeling should accompany your answers. Remember to ask yourself whether those who are investing in this venture with you -- your family members -- are as positive in their responses as you are. Remember that a home-based business affects the whole family.

Listen to your spouse's and age relevant children's opinions. Are they willing to help when needed? Are they willing to recognize the additional demands on your time and to accept responsibility for certain household tasks? Do they realize that even though you will be home, you are working? Is your household ready to accommodate a work space and all that comes with it? Any business will also require some financial investment. Look for a business opportunity where your investment/return ratio is highest. When do you expect to become profitable - how long before you are making deposits in your bank account? Of course, without risk there is no return. Risk assessment is part of any business venture.

Projecting future cash flows and money needs is difficult, but you must incorporate such projections into your business overview. Bottom line Many successful home-based businesses are thriving enterprises, (here comes the BUT) but, those that have failed far outnumber those that succeed. It is, however, fair to say that many who closed their operations could still be in business if they had asked more questions and listened to realistic answers before entering the venture. I can't stress enough the importance of choosing a business that provides you with the knowledge, training and support you need so that you can succeed. You can't foresee everything, and certainly problems will arise. When problems do arise, seek answers before the problems severely affect business performance or your own discouragement.

If you are willing to work hard and seek answers, if there is a market for your product/service and if you have a sense of humor, you will succeed! "Play each game as if it were your last!" is the slogan that hangs above the entrance to the dug-out at Yankee Stadium. A duplicate hangs above my home-based office door. The Home Business Center Inc. HomeBizTools

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