Getting Started Small: Microentrepreneurship
If you’ve never written an article before, your first writing endeavor shouldn’t be writing a novel. The best writers usually start small while learning and growing their craft.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you probably shouldn’t start with trying to compete with Facebook. If practice makes perfect, starting with microentrepreneurship will make you a better entrepreneur, or at least provide insight into what being one is all about.
Want to get your feet wet in entrepreneurship? Start small.
Microentrepreneurship is a newer development that’s still evolving and gaining traction. My definition of microentrepreneurship is the process of engaging in a transaction or series of transactions entrepreneurial in nature with minimal risk and of small transactional value.
Microentrepreneurship has exploded in the past decade thanks to advances in technology and the internet connecting people from around the world. Classic pre-internet examples include selling items at a flea market or garage sale. Most microentrepreneurs today provide services while using online tools and resources. Websites that help create and inspire these special types of entrepreneurs include:
oDesk: The world’s largest online workplace. Companies and individuals use oDesk to hire freelancers to complete a wide variety of tasks.
Fiverr: Online marketplace offering services provided by users starting at $5. I use Fiverr to sell creative services like business name creation, taglines, mission statements, and more. Although offerings start at $5, you can create add-ons to provide extra value and earn a lot of additional revenue. (View my offerings on Fiverr)
Etsy: The largest handmade marketplace. There have been numerous success stories on Etsy. If it can be made by hand, it can be sold on here.
Airbnb: A community marketplace where travelers can reserve a place to stay. Earn revenue by renting out extra space or a room to a visitor.
RelayRides: You can rent out your car!
TaskRabbit: Users can outsource small jobs and tasks within their neighborhood. Looking for small one time jobs? You can search to see what people are willing to pay you to do.
Needto: People helping people. Find tasks that other people need help with.
Vayable: A unique way to see the world and help others experience yours. Vayable is the home for unique guides and tours that are provided by local residents.
How to Get Started as a Microentrepreneur
The path to starting as a microentrepreneur should begin with defining your passion and your end goal. This will help you realize what you should be doing and why you should be doing it.
Fulfilling your passion almost always leads to happiness and fond memories. Honing in on your true passion is not as easy as it seems. It took me years to find my true passion — helping people. I get pure joy and excitement from being able to help others with their business.
How do you figure out your passion if you’re not sure what it is?
Think back to instances in your personal or professional life when you accomplished something that made you happy. I recently was over-joyed to help a group of women create a campaign to support a cause they were very passionate about. Although I was not directly part of what they were fighting for, helping them gave me energy and a level of excitement I had not experienced for several weeks if not months. Gather several fond memories of when you were able to accomplish something with ease and you provided value to others. With these memories, you should be able to recognize a few similarities to help point you in the right direction.
If all of your fondest memories are while traveling abroad, try writing a travel blog, becoming a freelance tour guide, or constructing and selling complete city travel guides for your favorite destinations. If you love to use your computer design skills to create company logos, sign-up for freelance accounts at oDesk, Fiverr, and other sites to provide your services to small business owners and individuals. The money may not be life changing at the start, but if you are truly pursuing your passion and gaining experience while making money, you’re on the right path.
All of your efforts today should reflect your long-term goals. It’s easy to get off track, making it vital to actively take small steps to keep your goals within reach.
Think hard about what you want out of life and what would make your life easier. Do you want to retire at 50? Do you want to never work for another boss the rest of your life? These are both goals you can start mapping out a plan for and start working towards today by starting as a microentrepreneur.
Your Job Today
Take your passion and your end goal and create a very brief plan on ways you can take your passion and accomplish your end goal, then take the first step. Sign-up for one of the websites listed above, start searching for ways to earn an income doing your passion. Almost any skill can be turned into a small online business without much time or effort, and without any initial investment. Take a step today and start small!
Originally published at www.linkedin.com on July 29, 2014.