So you want to be an entrepreneur?
- By Matthew Toren -
- Jul 10, 2012
Entrepreneurship can be exciting, energizing and an entrée to a world of sharp, talented and creative people. You may also find yourself exhausted, broke, discouraged, and unable to even collect unemployment. While some people may fall into starting a business, most make the conscious choice to become an entrepreneur.
If you’re debating whether you’re ready to start your own business, answering the following questions in today's guest blog may help make up your mind...
Why? Simple on the surface, this may be the most important question you should ask yourself. Do you have a vision for a company that you think could be successful and make a difference. Have you dreamed of working for yourself? Do you want to control your own destiny?
If the first answer to why is that you want to make a lot of money, it’s absolutely the wrong answer. Sometimes entrepreneurs do very well financially, but often it’s a struggle. And people who are in it for the money first don’t have the right perspective to successfully grow a business. If you want lots of money, look into selling cars or some other big-ticket item. Leave entrepreneurship to people who love the process as much as the results.
Do you absolutely love your dream? Starting your own business is the most time-consuming and absorbing thing you will ever do. Figure on spending almost all of your waking hours working on it, thinking about it, talking about it and selling it to others. Indifference just won’t cut it. Without that absolute commitment, you may walk away before your business has a chance to succeed. It’s that love and belief that will keep you going when things get tough, and they will.
Are you responsible? You will be asking people for money, making promises, building a group of people who will be counting on you – to deliver a product or service, to generate a return on their investment in your company, to keep them employed and paid once you hire them. This means being accountable, taking responsibility, finishing what you start, executing your plans and working your butt off to keep those promises. The bottom line for everything in your business comes down to you.
Can you make tough decisions? The final arbiter on everything to do with your business is you. Are you prepared to look at problems and decide on a solution that you can live with? Can you fire someone who is just not doing their job? Can you tell people they’ve made a mistake, or you have, and what needs to happen to fix it?
Are you determined? It’s rare for an entrepreneur to start a business and have everything go well. You can lose customers or key employees; you can struggle to make payroll or a delivery date. Investors can walk away at the last minute. Events can fall through or flop. You can fail completely and have to start again. You may lose friends or supporters. It takes faith in yourself and your dream to survive the rough spots and keep going. You have to be able to lift yourself up and start over after every blow.
Are you willing to sacrifice? Big dreams and starting a business can easily take over your life. Personal time, extra cash, a social life, relationships often fall by the wayside because there just isn’t enough time or money. Luxuries such as season tickets to your favorite sports team or dinners out at the newest restaurant will probably go by the wayside. You may not remember the last time you just sat down and read a book for fun or went to a movie. Entrepreneurs trade in many things other people take for granted to live their dreams and make them come true. If those choices aren’t for you, then you may want to head in another direction.
There is a glamour and magic to starting your own business. It’s exciting and amazing, particularly when everything starts to come together. But it is a demanding life, and not for everyone. Make sure it’s a fit for you before jumping into the world of entrepreneurship.
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