Posted on Jan 20, 2017
Owning your own business takes guts.
And long hours.
And the list goes on.
Here’s some more reality.
One third of small businesses with 1 – 4 employees won’t survive beyond the 2 year point.
How discouraging is that?!!
Better yet, how preventable is that?
Well, not totally cause stuff happens. But, with the right amount of planning and preparing the odds of success can certainly be increased.
So, Step #1 in the journey for success, needs to be finding out if being your own boss is really for you.
More reality, it’s not for everybody.
So, before you invest any time and money, you need to ask yourself a ton of questions.
Here’s just a few of things/questions you need to consider:
If you’re currently working a 40 hour work week and wanna keep it that way; don’t quit your day job! Owning your own business means long hours. Your 40 hour work week may become a 50-60-70 hour work week. Are you ready for that type of lifestyle change? Do you have the drive and commitment to pull that off?
Do you have the support of your family? Is your spouse prepared to fill the void left when you’re off building your business? Do you have kids? What sacrifices are you ready/willing to make where they’re concerned?
What about the financial sacrifices you’ll have to make? Are you ready to go from a steady pay cheque to no pay cheque? From an employer paid vacation to NO vacation? How’s your emergency fund? Do you have enough saved to get you through the start-up phase AND some rough patches?
What is your tolerance for risk? Are you adequately prepared for walking away from a steady 9 – 5 type job and plunging yourself and your family into the great unknown? Is your spouse/partner prepared for the consequences this could bring? Imagine the worst case scenario – zero bucks in the bank; credit cards maxed out, no food in the fridge, a mortgage payment due, your spouse barely speaking to you….. Regardless of how prepared you think you are, something’s gonna go sideways. How will you deal with that type of stress and uncertainty?
Speaking of stress….how well do you handle it? Are you the type of person who crumbles under pressure? Or, are you the type who eats stress for breakfast? Dealing with stress on a daily basis is exhausting; are you prepared for sleepless nights, bouts of anxiety, and feelings of doubt?
How many hats can you wear at one time? When you work for somebody else, your job will typically focus on one area. When you’re running your own business, your responsibilities will encompass all areas – sales, marketing, accounting, purchasing, human resources, the list goes on. Are you a “jack of all trades” and fairly comfortable in all areas? If not, do you have some mentors lined up that can help?
How are you at motivating others? Are you a good leader? And, I’m not just talking staff here, I’m talking customers, vendors, investors…. It’s essential you have the ability to inspire others to follow you and your vision.
If at first you don’t succeed, what is your tendency? Do you throw in the towel and give up? Or, do you pick yourself up, brush the dust off, put on a helmet, put your head back down, and try again? Failing is part of the entrepreneurial journey; do you have the ability to treat failures as opportunities to learn?
How ya doing so far? Have you already thought of all of these things?
To find out what they are, go online, find an entrepreneurial self-assessment quiz and take it. There’s no wrong answers; all you have to do is BE HONEST.
Pay strong attention to the results. You may confirm what you already know, that you’re ready. However, you may learn you need to develop in a few areas first. If that’s the case, don’t despair. Take some time to train and educate yourself in these areas of weakness. Over time, your skills and experience will build ensuring a much improved chance of success down the road.
Good luck on your journey.