Last week's jobs data was dismal. Unemployment is up again, at 8.2 percent. With just 69,000 new jobs, the fewest in a year, May is the third consecutive month of disappointing results.
Is now the time to take the entrepreneurial leap? Boomers are entering the entrepreneurial ranks at such speed that many are calling entrepreneurship the new mid-life crisis, according to fellow Forbes contributor Marty Zwilling.
Scores of those in Generation Y are becoming new-business founders, according to USA Today. In 2012, 29 percent of entrepreneurs are ages 20-34.
The urge starts early. The Kauffman Foundation says that 40 percent of people between the ages of 8 and 24 (yes, as young as 8 years old) say they would like to start a business. But Kauffman says there is a gap between aspirations and the ability and readiness to proceed.
One of the key traits that could help these entrepreneurs to move forward is faith.
A common characteristic of successful entrepreneurs is a deeply held belief that they will achieve business utopia, no matter the cost, time or sacrifice. Faith is the foundation that allows them to take the risk and move forward with their dreams.
This faith imbues a subtle trust and a feeling of confidence that they can be victorious. Dreamers who lack this strong conviction quickly conclude entrepreneurship is not for them.
Rhonda Laurtizen, a thoughtful business builder, sums up this powerful notion. "Our strong faith keeps us going when others might throw in the towel. And when I say faith, I am not referring so much to religion per se, but rather a deep- seated belief that when we are fulfilling our purpose, things have a way of working out."
What is faith? How do entrepreneurs possess it? What drives them to succeed?
Let's begin with the centuries-old meaning of faith: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith can be defined as something we hope to obtain, that we have confidence actually exists, even though we have not yet experienced it.
All the best entrepreneurs I know have faith. They expect to start and grow a celebrated business, knowing they can do it, even though they have never done it before.
They seem to possess an excitement, a power, an ability to exert a high level of energy to chase an objective. Their hope, based upon a belief that something they feel is true, gives them enormous confidence and stimulation to pursue their dreams.
An entrepreneur's expectations are born when he or she hears the stories of successful men and women who started and grew their flourishing enterprises. This seed of hope sparks a desire to act, to discover, to try. We leap forward, with great anticipation, not knowing exactly what will happen.
Think of a nurturing mother calling her baby standing by a table to take her first free steps. It's an event the toddler has never experienced.
Why does the baby smile and step forward? Faith. Why does a farmer plant a seed for the first time, with the prospects he will enjoy the harvest? Faith. Why will potential business builders follow their aspirations and take a chance to reach the ultimate prize? Faith.
My hope to build a business I could call my own began in my youth. I was fortunate to learn from talented business leaders who planted a desire to be an entrepreneur.
I liked the idea of being my own boss, of not having to report to someone else. I could see value in providing employment for people and that I could be a leader in the community. I believed I could create wealth for myself and others.
I could see that, if I were successful, there would be opportunities to help my fellow citizens through philanthropy. These outcomes were appealing, even compelling, to me.
The seed of faith grew within me. I knew there would be a time when I would follow my dreams to develop exceptional businesses.
So I took a leap of faith and began to experiment on ideas that I hoped would ultimately have commercial value.
The first try was a success, and then there were four straight failures. Five more start-ups followed, all of them thriving today.
I learned that faith inspires and motivates us to act. I also found that faith is just the first step in a long journey, not the final destination. There is much to be done between an epiphany and triumph.
Are you a business builder? Are you ready to take a leap of faith and launch your first business? Do you believe you can accomplish something you have never done before?
If the answers are yes, my advice is start your journey now and be grateful for the spark that ignited your action to move forward.
Contact me at www.AlanEHall.com or @AskAlanEHall.