The dream of being an entrepreneur has become a more common one in recent years. Whether from the media’s coverage of wildly successful start-ups like Uber, shows like Shark Tank or the fact that Mark Zuckerberg could have actually been anyone, the thought of being one’s own boss is not only more popular, but more attainable than ever. However, before taking the plunge, there are many questions to ask yourself. And if the answer isn’t a solid “yes,” you may want to move along.
- Can you financially take the risk?
What point are you at in your life and how many financial responsibilities do you already have? You may not be able to pay yourself for a long period of time, if ever, and there is always the possibility of losing it all. If you have a mortgage, a family, loans, car payments, and other financial obligations, you may want to either rethink your position or just start your business on the side until you can go all-in.
- Do you have a strong support system in place?
It’s important to surround yourself with a support system of family, friends, mentors and industry connections to turn to that will be there to help you solve problems, seek answers and be available when you just need to vent.
- Can you persevere?
This road is a bumpy one, and you can expect to get knocked down, make the wrong decision, experience rejection and have many unpleasant surprises along the way. You must have a certain tenacity, a willingness to keep taking devastating punches and continue to get back up for more.
- Can you make sacrifices and stay motivated?
You will no doubt need to make personal sacrifices while building your business. Personal luxuries will be the first to go and can make the biggest difference to ensure things keep moving along. But what are you willing to give up to invest in your business? Most of your time will need to be allocated to your business in the beginning. You will see your friends and family less and miss out on a lot of the little things you used to do. You’ll have long nights at the office and work-filled weekend and must be willing to put in this time and effort in the beginning. When you start a business, everything is on your shoulders. It’s an enormous amount of pressure that some can’t handle. Over time you will be able to create a healthier work/life balance, but understand that it will be very unbalanced in the early years.
- Do you truly believe you can succeed?
Can you perfectly envision your success? Do you believe that you deserve it and know exactly how to get there? If you can’t, then you aren’t ready. You need to see it, and see it clearly. You need to dream about it when you go to sleep and wake up seeing it. You need to have that picture engraved in your head and if you do, then you’re ready to go.