The world today is flooded with stories of people who’ve “made it big” by starting their own business. From Etsy to eBay to storefronts around the world, people everywhere are lured by the promise that owning your own business is a sure path to wealth and success.
However, if you look behind the scenes, for every one story of entrepreneurial success, you’ll find dozens of entrepreneurial failures – stories of people who tried their hand at business ownership and failed, sometimes miserably.
How then is a person to know if business ownership is right for them? Do they simply “jump” and hope it turns out for the best because they have an idea and a passion for that idea? The successful business requires much more than an idea and passion. Perseverance, the ability to network, and the wisdom to know the difference between a great idea and a mediocre idea are all part of what makes a business successful. The individual himself or herself also has a hand to play in whether or not a business will be successful.
5 things you should ask yourself before becoming an entrepreneur
Am I Self-Motivated?
Owning your own business requires work. Infomercial promises of millions of dollars’ worth of income from working only 3-4 hours a week don’t happen very often, and when they do happen, they usually come on the heels of years of 60-80 hour work weeks.
As a business owner, you are responsible for putting in those long hours. So the question becomes: Am I self-motivated enough to put in the work required for this potential business to become successful? Will I commit to putting in the hours even when there’s no one standing over my desk threatening to fire me? A successful business requires that the business owner lead the way in terms of doing the work that needs to be done in order to make the business succeed.
Have I Trained Myself to Handle Rejection?
Rejection is a real and common part of growing a business. As a new business owner, one can receive hundreds of “no’s” before they hear that first “Yes!”
Walt Disney, as he worked to get funding for his first Disneyland theme park, was rejected by over 300 bankers before someone saw and understood his vision and agreed to lend him the money to build the park. Can you imagine? Who would’ve been dumb enough to turn down a piece of that pie?
In hindsight, it’s easy to tell the successful ideas from the failures. But with foresight, it’s different. Some people have the ability to envision a good thing before it happens, but most don’t. It’s going to be your job as a business owner to help people envision the potential in your business, and to have a thick enough skin to move on to the next potential client when someone says “No, thanks” to your offer.
Have I Learned to See Both Big Picture and Small Picture?
In the real world, some people excel at thinking “Big Picture” and some people excel at thinking in terms of the small details it will take to complete the big picture. As a business owner, it’s important that you learn to understand the importance of both big and small picture thinking and that you train yourself to see both in terms of building your business. A successful business can’t happen without knowing the end goal (big picture) and understanding what steps need to be taken to get there (small picture). Thinking both big picture and small picture might not come easily to you, but it is a skill that can be learned with time and practice.
Have I Mastered the Ability to Delegate?
Many a business owner has lost their business due to the inability or unwillingness to delegate responsibilities in order to help their business run more efficiently. Trying to do everything yourself if your business is growing can lead to poor-quality work, a bad reputation and serious stress and subsequent burnout. As your business grows, it’s important to learn to know how and when to delegate business responsibilities and to learn how to spot someone who possesses the qualities needed to help your business thrive and grow.
Am I Committed to Continued Education?
As a business owner, you’re never done learning how to successfully run your business, manage people or get clients. A wise entrepreneur understands that he or she has to commit to a continuing education in the areas of business management, relating to people and setting/achieving goals. Once you think you’ve “arrived” in terms of education, you’ve started on the road to a failed business. Commit to always learning from others who might know what you don’t about owning, running and growing a successful business.
Before you start your business, consider whether or not you have the above skills and qualities that will indeed be necessary to grow your business into a successful one. Then you can jump.