At some point in our lives, we’ve all wanted to be our own boss, and build our own business. Maybe you wanted to own a restaurant or bar. Maybe you thought of selling your paintings, or becoming a published author.
There are many paths to entrepreneurship you can take. Surely one must be right for you. Or is it? Of course it’s great to set your own hours and run your own show, but this comes at a cost.
When you work for someone else and the ship sinks, you can always bail. When it’s your ship going under it’s a whole different scenario. Can you handle the pressure? How do you know if entrepreneurship is the right path for you? Here are four main things you should consider.
Exceptional Knowledge or Skill
We live and work in a DIY market. People can learn just about any skill or talent with YouTube videos and written tutorials. So why should they pay you to do it?
The obvious answer is convenience. But this doesn’t account for all the other options in the market. What is it that makes you and your brand so exceptional?
Usually, that deciding factor is the possession of exceptional knowledge, skill, and experience.
If there is something you can do better than most others, know more about than most people, have studied to a higher academic degree than most, or a field you have worked in extensively, then you’ve already passed the first test for entrepreneurship.
If not, hang in there. As successful people like Steve Jobs have shown us, sometimes you don’t need the actual skill behind your business. You just need to know how to market it, and get other people to do your bidding.
That brings us to our second test. Contrary to what many supervisors and managers demonstrate in the work place, leadership is not the ability to make people do what you want.
It’s the ability to encourage people to work together for a common goal. In a business setting, that common goal should be the success of your business, however you choose to define it.
Many entrepreneurs believe there’s an easy way around this. Why not just hire someone else to manage the company, while you handle the fun stuff? Well, have you ever wondered why the founders of big companies like Facebook and Google still run their own company?
Even when you hire managers, it’s still your job to lead the management team into carrying out your objectives. You still need to show them the direction you want to take the company in, and instill the company values and ethics.
So whether you like it or not, you’ll have to lead someone. After all that work, you might as well keep the title of CEO.
Managing Risk & Uncertainty
Taking risks is a part of doing business, and something entrepreneurs just have to get used to. Every new product or design is a risk. Every new ad. Every new employee you take on. Everyone you give access to company logins and social media accounts. And since 8 out of 10 businesses fail, just existing as a small business is a big risk already.
As an entrepreneur, uncertainty is an everyday reality. As a result, you have to get comfortable with risk.
That means being okay with changing markets, client demands, and having no real guarantee of a profit and how much that will be. Not every month will be a raging success, and it’s important to plan ahead for these outcomes.
No matter how exceptional your skills and leadership abilities, without funding capital, a business venture can’t get off the ground. If you can’t pay for it, it just can’t happen. Because of this, entrepreneurs must have a plan – or several – for getting money into the business.
This could require connections, creative thinking, or just a great deal of luck. Options for obtaining funding capital include investors, bank loans, crowdfunding, and personal savings.
While none of these guarantee your business will make it – no, not even capital investment – these are sure to ease the heardships on your journey; and make it just a little easier to weather whatever the marketplace throws your way.