I was on Wall Street Journal Online this morning and read an article about how in this economy,  61% of Americans have either started or thought about starting a small business.  However, another study showed that of over 400,000 potential entrepreneurs in 2008, only 19,000 ever got started. What that tells us is that people want to be an entrepreneur but have come to the conclusion that becoming an entrepreneur seems too hard to start for the vast majority of the people.  Making the leap can prove to be difficult.  However, when most people are afraid, is where opportunity lurks.  With small businesses employing about half of all US workers in the economy now, small business owners can capitalize where others are afraid to venture.

Network marketers have a real opportunity now with people wanting to get into business for themselves but fearing to get started in a traditional business that may suck their bank accounts dry.  There are many people disenchanted with corporate America and there is really no better time than now to get started as an entrepreneur.

Not everyone is cut out to be self employed because of the demands it takes to make a business work.  However, network marketing offers a unique ability for the person to be in business for themselves, without being by themselves like a traditional business startup.  Where a typical entrepreneur is wired to be comfortable with open-endedness and ambiguity, most people are not.  Many of these people who are not comfortable with ambiguity may do great in network marketing with a success system and a mentor.

The articles says:

Self-employed professionals also are known for being optimistic, competitive, creative and organized. They tend to have a head for business, understand what their customers want and act with integrity. And if they’re passionate about their venture, they work as many hours as it takes to get results.

If a motivated entrepreneur with the characteristics described above enters network marketing, they can have amazing results.

If you’re tired of leaving your career success in the hands of others and think striking out on your own is a better option, there are steps you can take to ensure that self-employment is a good fit before going too far down the entrepreneurial road.

See How It Feels

“Observe yourself like a bug and note the situations where you feel most creative and excited,” suggests Ms. Slim. “Hang out with entrepreneurs to see if you like the lifestyle, and go through some of the motions yourself — like approaching a customer or advertising your latest project — to see how it feels.”

It’s also important to consider what’s required, personality-wise, of the type of business you want to start. “Entrepreneurship is a continuum, and there are those who feel most comfortable and have the skill set to start new businesses over and over again, whereas others prefer to dip their toe in and then return to work for an established organization,” says Ms. Slim.

Finally, recognize that any kind of self-employment brings with it a host of new accounting responsibilities, from processing invoices to filing endless tax forms. Whether or not you can cope with it should factor into your decision to proceed.