Coming up with brilliant ideas takes creativity, but bringing them to life takes tremendous courage. Courage – is that all that separates entrepreneurs from the rest of us? I’d say there’s more to it, but the willingness to take life altering risks is a significant factor of entrepreneurship. Quitting your job to nurture your brainchild is not an easy step, and often thoughts of loss in income, health insurance and stability prevent us from doing so. You don’t have to quit your day job to give your brainchild legs to walk on, you can foster and develop it in your free time, create a business plan and pitch it to close friends and family for feedback, or even better – a venture capitalist.

The definition of an entrepreneur is an enterprising individual who builds capital through risk and/or initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity. According to economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950), entrepreneurs are not necessarily motivated by profit but regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success. Schumpeter discovered that they greatly value self-reliance, strive for distinction through excellence, are highly optimistic (otherwise nothing would be undertaken), and always favor challenges of medium risk (neither too easy, nor ruinous).

You shouldn’t wake up every morning not feeling excited about the day ahead of you, as much of a cliche as it may be – life is too damn short not to love what you do. It may not be easy to find your passion, but somewhere buried in the back of your head it lies dormant, waiting for the day you become the architect of its vision.

In the early stages of developing your brainchild, you have to address the issue of necessity.  Without a market hungering for your product or service, however innovative your idea is, it won’t sell. You can have a brilliant idea, paired with capital and courage yet get blindsided by lack of necessity. Contrary to common belief, entrepreneurs are not narcissists, they look outside themselves to develop their concepts and search for ways to improve the status quo, and as a result the concept is built around a communal (or global) need rather than a selfish desire.

“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others. I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.” Thomas Edison

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. If you believe in your idea, and it fits into the area above where the three circles intersect, you can see it through.  You have to establish that there is a market for it, that you are genuinely passionate about it, and of course whether or not you have the skills to bring it to life. If you pursue it vigorously, it may turn out to be the smartest decision you ever make. Or it may result in complete and utter failure. If the latter occurs, you brush yourself off and try a new angle. Remember, a true entrepreneur doesn’t fear failure.

If you are seriously considering venturing out on your own, you should read this list of do’s and don’ts by James Altucher, a successful entrepreneur, author and Freakonomics guest blogger: http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/04/28/the-100-rules-for-being-an-entrepreneur/

I am going to leave you with an introductory guide to start up funding, since chances are if you read through my article there is one prevalent question in your head: “How will I get the capital I need to get started?”. If that’s the case, you must read this: http://www.instigatorblog.com/an-introductory-guide-to-startup-funding/2007/10/17/