The world of an entrepreneur can easily be compared to that of Hollywood. But if you set aside all the glamour for a second, it’s like you’ve entered into a new dimension completely different than your 9-5. In order to survive becoming your own boss, you need a combination of determination, patience and a little bit of luck.
Before you jump into the world of being your own boss, there are several important questions you should ask yourself.
The answers to these questions will help you better understand whether you’re cut out for the entrepreneur lifestyle or not.
These are questions I ask myself whenever I dive into a new venture. I have hundreds of ideas a month, but if a business doesn’t align with my interests and capabilities, chances are I won’t pursue it. The same goes for deciding when to make the jump and become your own boss/create a business.
As an entrepreneur, I have brought dozens of products to life with companies like Yes Man and Cork Supply Co, I’ve been a part of Kickstarter campaigns raising a total of over $1 million, and I now run a startup called Sourcify that helps entrepreneurs find right manufacturer. All the businesses I’ve spent my time on align with my interests and skillsets.
Each time I think about starting a business and am deciding how to become my own boss once, I ask myself these questions to ensure my passion is present and I have the sweat equity necessary to make the venture a success.
With nine out of ten businesses failing, it’s crucial to identify what your passions are as they will help you get through the challenging phase of becoming an entrepreneur. Many wantpreneurs – or those who wish to be entrepreneurs – usually skip this step thinking they can just cut corners and succeed in the process.
Here are the 6 questions you should ask yourself to decide whether to take the leap, become an entrepreneur and your own boss.
1. Why do I want to become an my own boss?
Though everyone will obviously have a different answer to this question, it’s still important to answer on a personal level. If you simply wish to make more money, for example, then there are certainly easier ways than entrepreneurship. Think about why you want to go down this path and then consider the alternatives. In case there’s another path that leads to the same goal, weigh the pros and cons. Creating your own business from scratch probably sounds perfect to some, but when you take everything into account, it might not be as ideal as you might have originally thought.
2. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
Being able to recognize the areas you excel in as well as those that are giving you trouble is incredibly important for entrepreneurs. Say, for instance, that your planning skills are subpar. Since this is a vital skill to possess, you’ll need to work on improving yourself before going any further. Once you identify your strongest areas too, then you can actually start building towards your goal. Which takes us to the next question.
3. Can I set clear, well-defined goals?
As a future entrepreneur, you must always have specific goals in mind and I don’t mean vague statements of the “I want to become successful” variety. There’s a considerable body of scientific literature that talks about the relationship between goal-setting and performance, the importance of setting challenging goals, especially when you want to disrupt an industry. When you have a clearly defined picture of whatever it is you wish to accomplish, then every little task you complete will motivate you further, according to Barbara Parshall of Baarb, an innovative new platform enabling people to intelligently book travel (this is their exact plan to take on larger travel sites and sets them apart from the rest of them).
4. Am I prepared to invest my time and effort?
While some of the most successful entrepreneurs can make up their own work hours, they’ve all gone through periods where their business endeavors took up most of their time. If you want to become an entrepreneur simply to have more flexible hours, you should know that it isn’t going to happen in the beginning. Instead, you’ll be working late hours and weekends at first. Consider your current responsibilities and think about how you can divide your time otherwise you’ll be met with some unpleasant surprises.
5. What experience do I have?
Being excited and motivated about a business doesn’t mean you can actually pull it off. Instead of rushing into this tremulous world, think about how you can gain more experience in your current area of interest first. Go and work at a startup company to get an intimate look at how they operate and talk to as many experts as possible. If things are different than you originally thought, consider spending some time to gain experience in the field before delving in deeper.
6. What support do I have?
It’s a simple fact of life that many new businesses will fail for one reason or the other. While no one wants to think their business will not be successful, you still need to have a backup plan or two in case that does happen. Know that entrepreneurship is risky business and think about what kind of support you have in a worst-case scenario.
After carefully asking yourself these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of whether the entrepreneurship path is the way to lead your life or not. By not getting so caught up in the dream, you’ll set yourself up to become better prepared for the challenging yet fulfilling entrepreneurial life ahead.