I was only 16 years old, almost ready to finish my high school. One day, came home and ask my mother to lend me $1000 to start my own business. The answer was no, as it should be, and I was told to concentrate on my study instead of starting a business with one of my friends. But as we all know, most of the time parents loses and the children wins. So, in this case as well, I have won the argument and got $1000 to invest in a business. But, in reality that was my first loss. I have lost the money within 5 weeks. The reasons? There are so many actual facts but the most important one was, I wasn’t ready to be an entrepreneur. I was excited about the idea, I was passionate about the cause and I was confident that I will make it happen but what I wasn’t, was the actual fact.
Who doesn’t want to be their own boss? Most people do. So how would you know if you are ready to be a successful entrepreneur? With continued longing for ownership of ideas, riches and freedom – the restrictive policies at workplaces, and cubicles, corporate politics and all those that rob you from experiencing freedom both financial and creative can actually impact your happiness quotient.
While starting your own business can sound quite fascinating at onset, however you need to have a thorough detailed plan before venturing into one. How do you know if you are prepared to take up the entrepreneurial dream and make it a success story? Sense of ownership accompanies the need to take up more responsibilities – both for good and bad, profit or loss.
You are required to cherish your dream and follow your heart especially during economic downtimes and sustain pressures if you choose to be an entrepreneur. You need to be ready for all the hardships that every entrepreneur is put through to rise above all occasions as a sound leader of immense strength.
I am an entrepreneur now and the journey has started almost 9 years back. That was my 2nd attempt and thankfully, I didn’t fail this time. My parents have taken the hit of losing $1000 for me when I was 15 but if my 2nd attempt were failed then I am sure I wouldn’t have been able to take that financial stress and it could be a very different story for my life. So, thank God. But most importantly, before my 2nd attempt, I have asked myself so many questions. I have done my homework right and I got my facts correct this time. And when I have done my homework and answered those questions, I was 100% honest to myself. So, what were those facts that I had to get it right prior I start my own business?
- Do I respect time?
Time is money and one of the most precious gifts in our life. Starting your own business is like starting a project. I have looked back in my life and tried to remember, how many projects I have initiated in my life so far and how many of them I have finished on time? Did I focus all the time? Was I enthusiastic about my project throughout? And most importantly, did I execute them successfully within a specified time frame?
- My career goals
Am I internally driven towards my career? What is my goal and how can I achieve them? What is my plan for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years from now? Is starting a business will take me to my goal?
- My people skill
Am I a people person? Am I good manager? Can I take control of a situation? Am I able to hire people and delegate responsibilities? If situation gets out of control, can I fire someone?
- Critic my own work
Feedback is very important in life if you want to progress. And most importantly, can you provide feedback? Not only to other’s work, can you provide feedback about yourself? Criticism is easy but providing constructive criticism is hard. Am I able to do that?
- Negotiation skill
Am I able to negotiate or I always compromise with the situation? Negotiation skill is very important to be an entrepreneur.
- Pressure, risk and rejection
How good I am while working under pressure? And this pressure can be multi channelled when you are an entrepreneur. How do I handle rejection and am I a risk taker?
- Research and emotion
One thing I have learned when I have failed in my first business, is your business idea has been well researched and during the whole process you can’t be emotionally attached to the business idea. Once you are emotionally attached, your factual sense slowly stops working. And once it stops working, you will start failing even before you start.
So, if your answer to most of these questions is with doubt or No, then you’re perhaps not ready yet to become an entrepreneur.
However, on the other hand if you are highly confident about your abilities and answers to most of these questions are an affirmative Yes, then you need to roll up your sleeves to get started on an entrepreneurial journey.
Few things are very important even if you answered most of these questions are a yes.
- Structure and discipline.
- Learn from an experienced entrepreneur. Observe and understand the reason.
- Ask the question “why?”
- Measure your risk-taking abilities.
- Have a mentor or coach in your life to guide and support you from a neutral prospective.
There is more to your above ability and leadership skills to make your own business a success. The business should be able to make profits, so find groups that will fund and support your ideas.
Build a team and network with people to understand the business and industry demands, customer mindsets and study the competition in detail to know where your business could stand a winning edge over other players.
Meet investors and interview new recruits to form a part of your team, seek voluntary participation from individuals who share the same vision and make them a part of your brainstorming exercise. Meticulous planning to detail holds the key to getting started right as an entrepreneur.