by Sandra Nettles-Lechebo, MS, CEAP SN-L Consulting
To further assess, ask yourself, “Do I Have What It Takes to Run a Business?
There are certain considerations that can give you insight and help decide if you have what it takes. Before you make this huge leap of faith and financial risk, first, answer this question. Could you imagine working for someone else if you were offered your dream job? If you answered yes to this question, you should spend more time looking for the job you truly want and less time dreaming about being a business owner.
Entrepreneurship requires managing a wide variety of tasks from planning, marketing and accounting to training, customer service and more. How are you with managing a wide variety of task?
Another Consideration: What’s your relationship with money?
Starting a business requires money initially, to operate and live on while the business scales. If you are a big spender and aren’t great at managing money, those bad habits are likely to follow you into a business. If you are usually unable to make worthwhile investments in the future of your business, for fear of ending up living in a cardboard box if things go wrong, then you may end up penny wise and pound foolish, as they say. Having a solid, non-emotional relationship with money will help you make wise business decisions.
Here’s something else to consider. Are you comfortable flying blind?
The only thing that is certain in business is that nothing is certain. Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable? Can you handle taking educated risks and surviving the constant ups and downs of owning a business? If you are looking for the certainty or a drama-free zone, you may find yourself terrified of the entrepreneurial roller coaster.
Are you ready to commit? Running a successful business is not just about having great ideas. It’s more about strong execution. Can you stay focused? Can you keep commitments? Can you work day in and day out on the same things?
Were you born for business? Were you interested in business as a child? Did you seek out entrepreneurial roles in school, in social organizations or even in your previous job? Having a natural inclination of past interest in entrepreneurship seems to be a good potential indicator of future success.
What is your motivation for wanting a business? Ask yourself if you would want to be an entrepreneur regardless of how much money you might make as you build your business. If your goal is simply to achieve an income, your chances of success, and more importantly, personal satisfaction is limited. Your real motivation must come from something inside you, not from external rewards like monetary goals or praise from others.
Ask yourself, who will my business benefit? Is your dream based on something you want to give, or is it more about something you want to receive? True entrepreneurial spirit includes a desire to do something that reaches beyond oneself. This is the reward that spurs the spirit of an entrepreneur.
How hard are you willing to work? One of the biggest misconceptions about becoming an entrepreneur is that life will be easier than working for someone else. Rarely is this the case. Becoming successful requires tremendous commitment and usually the hours reflect the level of dedication to your dream.
Are you prepared to take the leap? What are you bringing to the table? Even if this is your own company, you need to have the experience and knowledge required to succeed. Would you hire yourself? If not, spend time educating yourself regarding what you really want to do. It is my belief that you don’t have to necessarily have all traits in your genetic make-up, but if you have the drive and determination to work at obtaining what traits you may be missing, that’s a huge part of the success equation.
In summary, I leave you with these thoughts. The entrepreneurial spirit isn’t about being like the rest. It is about being unapologetically distinct. This distinctness and uniqueness is an asset with value. Having an entrepreneurial spirit definitely has its advantages. Now more than any other time in history, becoming your own boss is possible. It is becoming increasingly easier to fill a need in the market place, no matter what your passion is. I believe the journey that one takes to becoming an entrepreneur is the ultimate personal growth journey. It will teach you lessons far beyond that of business. Even when you don’t achieve your goals, the biggest reward is watching to see the person you have become while trying to achieve your goal. If the time is right for you now, go for it. If not, consider taking your entrepreneur mindset to work in a company or organization and be an entrepreneur until the time is right for you. (You’ll get to exercise your entrepreneur working for someone else without incurring the risk and cost). However, If you decide to stay on the path, remember, living your dream can be scary. There’s always the opportunity that you might fail, that you might get it wrong or you don’t have a clue about what you’re doing. Use that reality to your advantage. Let the fact that you might screw up carry you forward into success.
I conclude by saying: Whenever that voice in your head tries to stop you, rather than letting it stop you, let it be the voice that pushes you into the light and asks you, what do you want and nudges you toward it. The fact that you keep trying is what will set you apart. Do your homework, be courageous, and move in spite of the fear. Persevere and always seek divine guidance regarding every decision you make.
And know that you were born with potential. You were born to do great things. You were born with wings to fly. You were not born to crawl, so don’t. Put on your wings and fly.
Sandra Nettles-Lechebo is the owner of SN-L Consulting.