Quitting a full-time job that you don’t like is relatively easy, but walking away from a comfortable career, to pursue your endeavor is often difficult. And yet, for many aspiring entrepreneurs, the desire to do something on their own is a strong motivation enough to leave fat paychecks and professional status.
Every year, thousands of people around the globe, turn entrepreneurs. As each of them will swear by, it’s a challenging road, filled with harsh reality checks, unpleasant surprises and a great deal of financial and emotional strain. Here are the five things you should ask yourselves before striking out on your own:
Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?
Entrepreneurship begins with a lot of uncertainty and is certainly not a 9-5 job. Situations of uncertainty and ambiguity are also situations of creativity and innovation.
If you are a person who prefers a controlled life with a definite schedule, it might be difficult for you to handle the ambiguity of an entrepreneur’s life. Entrepreneurship calls for long hours, hard work and supreme dedication to start with. Being in control of your schedule and able to manage your routine and surrounding environment, would help you to organize your business better than others. However, you may want to plan out, before you leap of faith. Take stock of your savings, pool whatever you can from your close circuit of family and friends, chalk out a business plan and seek a community of support who can be with you during the tough times.
Starting your own company involves risks and herding it toward success requires serious dedication. You rarely find successful 9-to-5 entrepreneurs. So, make sure you, along with your family, are mentally ready for the long hours that come with founding a business.
Successful entrepreneurs are those who trod along with their perseverance and grit in uncertain situations until they turn the tables around.
Are you disciplined?
One of the fundamental tenets of an entrepreneur is being disciplined in life.
Discipline is doing what you know needs to be done even if you don’t want to do it.
You should realize and accept that you are solely and entirely responsible for wherever you are today. Whatever you achieve or lose, is a direct outcome of your actions, decisions and the choices you made. Do you cringe at these statements? If yes, then probably, you are not yet ready for entrepreneurship and will need some mental conditioning to train your mind on these lines.
Remember that in the world of startups, the risk is the admission fee for entrepreneurship. You have to take full accountability and ownership of everything – there are practically no fallback plans and you do not get an opportunity to discuss with anyone why you were passed over for a promotion or why you could not get an important document out on time.
Clients would not hear any excuses and they are willing to leave you at the drop of a hat. Even if they are at fault, you may have to prepare yourself to deal with it. You need the discipline to stay mentally strong, survive and be ahead of your work to grow your business.
And foremost of all, you must be true to yourself. If your past tells you that you struggle with accountability and discipline in life, entrepreneurship will have to wait. A better way to move forward will be to revisit your current situation, modus operandi and work towards improving it via better decision-making and holding yourself accountable for the outcomes of your actions.
Are you physically strong and in for the long run?
The aspect might sound to be soft and relatively low placed in the order of priorities of an entrepreneur, however, this must be one of the key deciding questions.
Often, most of us, due to our lifestyles, tend to be out of sync with our bodies. Taking care of one’s physique may appear important for everyone, but it is all more so in case of an entrepreneur. Your clients do not appreciate you calling out sick and there are no sick days at your work too when you get started. Moreover, there is a high possibility that this will continue for a few years. And this implies, you must be fully productive all the time or else, lose out on a few business opportunities.
Keep yourself in good health with an appropriate diet and adequate exercise. A healthy mind automatically reflects in your decision-making capabilities. Conversely, if you haven’t been a healthy person, it might be worthwhile to spend some time and money to establish a cleaner and healthier lifestyle for yourself, before turning to entrepreneurship.
Are your really passionate about THIS big idea?
Long hours and entrepreneurship are synonymous for many. So, if you enjoy what you are doing, then there won’t be any room for boredom and rather you would be adequately motivated to strive longer and harder in the game – as an effect, the same long hours would become enjoyable.
Money is a motivation only to a certain extent – our mind and body need something challenging and exciting to stay engaged and if that ‘something’ is your work, then entrepreneurship can be fun for you.
Can you lead from the front?
Entrepreneurs thrive on creative energy. Every decision has a ripple effect throughout the company. As an entrepreneur, you must have this desire and the drive to get your company successfully off the ground. Building a solid team fosters this creative spirit – it creates a close-bound culture where everyone works toward a common goal and shares the wins or loses together. As an entrepreneur, you must have the ability to accept that you’ll never know everything – and that means, you have to be open to hire people who might appear to be better than you but have the skills that you lack.
If you answered YES while reading these questions, then you’re ready to take the entrepreneurship plunge. There shall be several ups and downs, but as long as you hold on to your strengths and learn from your mistakes (which will be plenty), you’ll discover a truly rewarding experience. So, gear up for an exciting ride.