One can identify three characteristics of a successful entrepreneur exhibited in Bill Skees. The first one is being studious. Skees manifested this quality in that he did not make a quick decision to leave his former job and start his own business of selling books, although it was the dream of his life. Prior to launching a business, he took an important step of thoroughly preparing himself. He joined the American Bookseller Association and took a course on bookstore management. Skees took the time to educate himself and study the market. Then, he patiently looked for the right location until he found exactly what was needed. The second characteristic is being courageous. Being in his mid-50s, Bill had the courage to leave a well-paid job, have a fresh start, and risk his savings in order to pursue his dream. Pressures of life and fear of failure did not stop him. Therefore, an ability to take a risk and do a daring thing is very important. Skees’s third characteristic of a successful entrepreneur is his passion. His business is his life and the fulfillment of his heart’s desire and a lifelong dream.
Out of the three identified characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, being studious is the most important. Passion may come and go, and one cannot rely on passion to move them forward. When one lacks the courage to take a risk, he/she can get more information and training to equip himself/herself for taking the risk next time around. The characteristic of being studious is the ability to consistently educate oneself, study the market, and carefully choose the right options. Being studious is what makes a person a professional in their field and leads to long-term success. Success is more the result of consistent daily efforts than passion and risk taking. Therefore, this quality is the most important. I would like to believe that I would have the courage that Skees displayed to leave a high paying job and run my own business. Owning and operating own business appeals to many people because this (a) allows fulfilling one’s dreams; (b) gives an opportunity to lead instead of being led; (c) makes a person their own boss, free to lead their life as they think best.
The purpose of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is to advocate, aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small businesses and entrepreneurs. SBA provides business development assistance, contractual assistance, and financial assistance of small business. SBA helped Mr. Hartford to get $2 million bank loan by acting as a guarantor on Hartford’s behalf. Kevin Hartford showed the ability to accept a very high level of risk in starting his business. By becoming an entrepreneur he was risking his retirement security, which was his life’s future, in essence, because he pledged his retirement savings as collateral.
Wall Street Journal article by Loten (2013) called Small Businesses Anticipate Breakout Year Ahead provides a forecast for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the US for 2014. The author claims that despite some tough starts, small businesses “expect to put the downturn behind them” (Loten, 2013). Different entrepreneurs testify that they witness a steady recovery process taking place in 2012 and 2013 in comparison with 2011. They do not expect this coming year to be an easy one but express hope that 2014 will put the worst behind small businesses. The current economic situation results in the increase in consumer spending and subsequent economy growth and decrease of an unemployment rate. The last two years have brought an increase in revenue, which business owners use to purchase new equipment and hire new workers. Wall Street Journal conducted a survey among nearly a thousand of small businesses showing that the majority of business owners view current economic situation as positive and conducive for business. Loten (2013) argues that healthier bottom line and stronger sales will help to overcome “hangover from the financial crisis”.