Below, I have listed seven questions which each aspiring entrepreneur should ask themselves prior to taking the dive into owning one’s own business. If done correctly, owning one’s own business can be extremely rewarding.
I did not always have an entrepreneurial mind. As a matter of fact, when I graduated college, I was very lost. I was working at a software company and for a few more thousand dollars, took a job at a large public company (you would laugh if I told you the name). I was doing account management for their financial clients. Because it was a work from home position, my management skills were limited to overseeing the couch and DVR. After trying to ruffle a few feathers and really make a difference in the company, I was gradually ousted from “the group” and was eventually pushed out. I wasn’t fired, but I was put in a situation where it was in my best interest to leave.
I stayed at the position for a record breaking 6 months. What I learned was the true definition of the word “complacent.” This brings me to the first question which I will put forth to get your brain in gear. Please keep in mind that these questions are here to help you and give you some guidance as to whether or not owning your own business would be right for you.
1. One day, your son or daughter will be asked about who you are. More likely than not, the first thing that will come up will be your career. How do you think they will describe your career and your job? Does that answer resonate well with you? If the answer is fine with you, there are two presumed scenarios. The first is that you were very successful and enjoy reading about entrepreneurs on the web. Thus, I am flattered you are reading my article. The second is that you have an entrepreneurial frame of mind.
2. How much would you invest in yourself? If you had to put a net worth on your brain, would it be more or less than what someone else is paying for it? Also, is that someone even using your brain?
If you’re like many hard workers who are in this situation, you have to work harder to become an entrepreneur for a few reasons. The first is that your brain is not being put to work on a daily basis, so you have to get that going. Additionally, because of the economy, it is very scary to go off on your own. So choose your time wisely, but don’t put it off too long.
3. If you were left on the street with only $ 10,000 to your name, what would you do? How much of that money would you spend on books? If the answer is less than $ 1,000, you probably are good where you are at. This is a great test as entrepreneurs don’t create something out of nothing, they create something out of learning. Books are a very important factor of business success. Remember, in this case, you do not have the internet (you shouldn’t rely on it too heavily anyway.)
4. If somebody offered you a million dollars to never work again, would you?
Entrepreneurs like the game. Entrepreneurs get a rush out of the results they product. Ever wonder why Brett Favre didn’t retire when everybody told him to? He is a competitor. He obviously was not doing it for the money; it’s the game that is important to the entrepreneur.
5. Do you understand the concepts of bad bets?
Don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur or risk taker because you sit at a blackjack table in Atlantic City. If you do now, during your next game of 21, look around you and notice who your are surrounded by. Forget about their fancy watch and attire. They are not that successful. Stamp my guarantee on that statement. Every now and again, you may see somebody playing who has managed to accomplish something substantial, but they are not the “crew” that is typically at the tables. Entrepreneurs take calculated bets. However, the blackjack frame of mind may help you open your own business. Entrepreneurs need to be risk takers, after all. But you might as well save that money that you’re going to give to the Trump Plaza and invest it in yourself.
6. Would you buy a nice car on credit?
The answer should be either “no” or “not again.” Entrepreneurs, or good people for that matter, do not need to show off their wealth. If they would like to buy something nice, they do not buy it on credit and they surely do not invest in a car.
7. Is television your hobby?
I’ll never forget one of the bankers at my bank telling me that he had 7 months off with pay after getting laid off from his previous job. I asked him what he did with his time. He informed me that he watched television. Entrepreneurs need to be intellectually stimulated. Television is the opposite of that.