Entrepreneurship is popular. Social media is full of examples of people who have seized their own destiny and turned a hobby or a side gig into a full-time profitable venture. Many are turning away from employers who won’t offer flexibility in terms of hours and location in favor of starting their own businesses. At the same time, as appealing as it may appear, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Below are a few things you may want to consider before you take the leap.
It would be nice to think that determination and persistence will get you through anything, but sometimes, what you need to survive a rough patch in business is just cold, hard cash. Even if your business is not one that needs a lot of capital at the outset, are you in a position to shore up the financial reserves if necessary? Can you weather a stretch without income? Is there anything major that you need to buy before you can get up and running? You may want to find out if you qualify for any small business loans. Some include additional benefits, such as access to programs and coaching that will help you further develop your company.
Are you a risk taker? You might assume that every successful entrepreneur needs to say yes to this question, but the truth is really somewhere in the middle. You do need to be willing to take calculated risks, but you can’t be reckless. However, there will be times when you may need to take a chance in order to really grow the business.
One of the biggest risk factors is living with the uncertainty of an unsteady income. It can help if you have a spouse who makes a regular income and who can provide such things as health insurance. Alternately, some keep their day job for a while as they get a business up and running so that they can better make decisions for the long-term health of their company without having to worry about short-term earnings. There are things to treat yourself with after your business finances have stabilized that you will be glad you waited on, and didn’t impulsively purchase when your funds were still so unknown.
Attitude Toward Failure
A big part of risk tolerance is how you respond to failure. The truth about failure is that there is no if about it; the word is always when. Everyone who tries hard things will fail sometimes. If you are like most people, this thought makes you feel anxious, but if this is the case, you need to start training yourself to take it in your stride.
Part of being an entrepreneurial success is trying new things, and they won’t always work out as planned. Whatever happens, it can be a learning experience at worst and sometimes even the motivation for a new direction. One of the best things you can do for yourself as an aspiring entrepreneur is to make friends with the concept of failure and start reframing the stigma that is attached to it. When you are unafraid, you can think more creatively, solve more problems and push toward success despite the pitfalls along the way.