Have you got a unique product or service, and considering donning your entrepreneur cap to take it to the world?
Breaking free of the rat race and risking everything for your original idea or new business model is one of the most challenging decisions a person can make. It can make or break you in more ways than one, and it takes a special kind of someone to decide they still want to do it, despite all odds.
So how do they do it? What motivates and drives them?
Here are the 7 crucial questions to ask yourself when rising to the challenge.
I know many entrepreneurs and love hearing their stories. Why? Because they’re absolutely fascinating. It’s such an enthralling story to hear their successes, but even more interesting to find out how they overcame their failures.
One common factor in all of their stories is hard work. Hours and hours of hard work. But we do it anyway because we love it. Why? Because it’s all ours. There’s something motivating about working on your own personal project; it can take you to levels you would’ve never thought possible.
The reality is, the risk is high when trying to make it on your own. So, why do we do it?
Because taking the leap is scary, but not taking it is far worse. If you truly have an entrepreneurial spirit, not letting it out to play is the biggest regret you will ever have.
Ask yourself the following 7 questions, because your answers will determine if you’re ready to be an entrepreneur, in all of its glory (and non-glory!).
(1) What Truly Matters to You?
You have to be in it for the right reasons, and those are personal to you. No one else can tell you how to be motivated to take a risk, nor would you want them to.
Your core values are what will drive you through the highs and the lows, so they must be strong and compelling. Some people may choose financial gain, but there’s little substance to that. Money comes and goes quickly when you’re starting your own business and if your sole driver is this, it’s going to be a stressful roller coaster!
Look deep into yourself and think: what career choice would give me the most fulfilment?
For example, I did it because I am naturally passionate about copywriting and marketing, and I wanted to share that passion with clients. Additionally, the flexible lifestyle allowed me the opportunity to call the shots and be my own boss. Sure, I was out on a limb and every choice I made was a nervous step, however I was able to focus my passion toward something for myself, and I could choose my own hours.
I was sick of trying to cram my entire life into two days a week, so this way, I could follow my dreams on my terms, and enjoy a better balance as a result.
(2) What Is Your Business Idea?
In the end, you still need your innovation to sustain you, which means that you have to be sure that your business idea and model has potential.
This is where many people fail before they even get out of the gate! They are blinded by excitement, and overlook if it is financially viable.
While your product or service may sound amazing to you, is there a paying audience who will want it?
My suggestion is to get in a Marketing Consultant to play devil’s advocate to ensure it aligns with a customer segment’s needs; and if it doesn’t, what positioning is needed to make it desirable. I have many clients who run initial concepts by me with amazing ideas for a product, but haven’t thought about if there is an actual market there ready for it.
(3) Are You Fully Committed?
So, you have the right motivations behind you and the right product in front- are you 100% in?
The entrepreneurial world doesn’t reward the half-hearted. It takes hours of dedication, research and self-exploration to get it off the ground, which means working around family, social and other work commitments.
But it’s also recognising when it’s time to make the business your main priority.
Are you still sitting on the fence about your business?
I was working full time as a CMO for quite a few years, and writing as a copywriter for Melotti Media on the side. Between the two jobs, I was working from around 7am to midnight consistently, and I kept that pace because I was fully committed to seeing it through until I resigned to do Melotti Media full time.
You need to be all in, or nothing.
(4) Do You Have a Solid Plan?
It’s that age-old adage: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. As cliché as that is, it’s definitely true for backing yourself as an entrepreneur. Those countless hours spent writing business plans, marketing strategies and financial forecasts are worth every second when you finally hit the market.
Have you spent adequate time mapping out your business?
Your business’ survivability will rely heavily on the groundwork you set forth during those precious stages of planning.
There are enough hurdles out there; don’t make it harder for yourself by ‘winging’ it. There’s too much on the line to risk it, especially when planning is not that difficult.
(5) Are You Prepared For The Instability?
Working 9 to 5, Monday to Friday may not be your thing, but gosh it brings a nice sense of routine security to your life! Work goes out and money comes in- easy.
But when it’s your show, you need to accept that things are anything but, especially at the start.
Are you able to accept and absorb the turbulent nature of entrepreneurship?
Some new businesses go through rough patches and even complete failure; that’s the nature of the beast. It’s nice to look at businesses that are highly successful and be inspired, but what lies under their surface?
Probably a team of entrepreneurs who have seen it all before getting to where they are now. The real question is, can you weather the storm?
(6) Can You Be Your Own Boss?
Discipline! It takes a firm discipline to harness the true power of entrepreneurship because you are answerable to yourself. For some, this comes quite easily, as your internal passion can drive you more than any boss ever could. However, for others, it can be a real challenge telling yourself to get to work and not procrastinate.
Are you ok with holding yourself personally accountable?
I’m luckily in my circumstances, because I have a real sense of self discipline ingrained into me, but I can say that from my experience, you can learn these good habits quickly. If you force yourself to get to work, even when you don’t want to, you will find that it gets easier and easier (especially if your livelihood is on the line!).
(7) Are You Ready To Enjoy?
If you have successfully answered from 1 to 6 above, then you’re doing a mighty fine job! Pat yourself on the back, because you’ve risen to the call that you know you have burning inside.
There’s only one thing left: to enjoy the ride.
Can you let yourself enjoy the experience, no matter what happens?
There is nothing quite like being an entrepreneur. Sure, you may fail a few times and have many bumps and bruises along the way, but that only makes the sense of accomplishment even sweeter.
Go out and Make Your Own Success
It takes a special kind of person to embrace the challenge and enjoy the risk of it all, but if you have it within you, don’t stifle your innovative spirit.
You deserve to give yourself the chance to shine, because in the end, it’s all worth it.