Having just learned that his assembly line job no longer exists, he trudges home to his family of four wondering how he will support them. Thoughts go back to his high school days where he wished that he took his studies more seriously because he realizes as a high school graduate that his options are limited in this new economy.
While the above scenario is challenging to overcome, one solution is to seek entrepreneurial opportunities. Now there will be some who will scoff at that concept as being impractical, but you only need to look more closely at the definition of an entrepreneur. While an entrepreneur is traditionally defined as an individual operating a business, a closer examination of the concept involves innovation and creativity in distributing a good or service that customers want. Therefore, one must recognize that any individual can incorporate these characteristics whether they are the employee or the employer.
It is essential to understand your comparative advantage, which is an economic concept describing how individuals benefit by specializing in tasks that come easier to them than others. Each of us is blessed with unique skills and diverse talents, but often we do not take advantage of them to the fullest extent. By doing an honest self-inventory of our skills, we can find out where our strengths lie. Remember that regardless of whether you are blessed with high intelligence and multiple talents or struggle with menial tasks and have limited intelligence, each individual can improve their living standards by determining specific tasks that they do best.
The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is currently promoting the Georgia Work Ready initiative that will enable people to gain an accurate assessment of work skills. When completing this assessment, you will be given one of four level certifications: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Many local employers have subscribed to this service and will be actively recruiting individuals, who meet certain certification levels. Training will also be provided to help improve scores. This type of test covers a broad range of skills in reading, math, and research, so it will be helpful in identifying your comparative advantage.
In this difficult economy, one of the best ways to secure employment is to start your own business. One of the most appealing aspects of being an entrepreneur is that your earning potential is unlimited. Though, it must be noted that being innovative and a hard worker are both necessary to be successful. One must recognize that a business owner will typically work longer hours and earn less than your average employee. However, there is great satisfaction in having the independence of controlling your destiny, so do not let the road less traveled dissuade you.
If you think that you have the necessary qualities to be a successful business owner, then make sure to take advantage of local resources. The local Georgia Small Business Development Center provides seminars and training sessions in order to prepare you for your endeavor. The Dougherty County Small Business Office is also available to assist in your efforts to obtain key contacts and attend seminars. Lastly, Darton College offers a Small Business Management certificate program that offers free tuition and a portion of your fees and textbooks if you are a Georgia resident. Take advantage of these relatively cheap resources and see your great idea become a reality.
In summary, try to stand out from your fellow employees by seeking innovative ways in completing your daily tasks. Determine your true strengths and focus your energies in those areas. Understand the benefits of starting your own business, while recognizing that your success will be dependent on exercising great patience and exerting maximum effort. When you make a commitment to be an entrepreneur every day, you will be amazed at how quickly your life will improve for the better.
Aaron Johnson is the assistant professor of economics at Darton College, where he also serves as director of the Small Business Management program. If you are interested in being a small business owner or expanding your success in that area, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-6898.