By BEN HARGROVE
You have always wanted to start your own business, and now you are finally ready to take the plunge. But while it may sound like a dream to be your own boss, being a successful entrepreneur means more than just having a great business idea. Before getting started, ask yourself the following questions to help determine if being an entrepreneur is right for you.
Are you a risk taker?
The days of finding lifetime employment at a large stable corporation may be largely gone, but large companies will still offer a lot more stability than you will find when striking out on your own. Are you prepared to give up on the idea of a steady paycheck? Paid vacation? The rewards may be greater when starting your own business, but, particularly in the short term, so are the risks.
Are you disciplined?
Even if you have been a manager, you have still operated within a larger structure. You have had your own deadlines to answer to. But what happens when you are only answering to yourself? Can you set your own schedule and stick to it? If you are working out of your home, can you avoid distractions? Can you make sure you won’t miss your deadlines?
Are you able to see things through?
Some people love the thrill of the new. But once a new project is underway, they lose interest and start thinking about the next one. Starting a business is a long-term proposition. It may take years to make a profit, if you ever do. Are you willing to be in it for the long haul?
Are you a salesman?
You may hate the idea of selling, but if you are not willing to sell people on your own business, you won’t be able to motivate others to do the same. You are the face of your own business, so you are a big part, maybe the biggest part, of what you are selling. If you can sell yourself, you can sell people on your company.
Do you really believe in your idea?
Even if you are a great salesman and have great perseverance, you may find yourself going through the motions if you don’t have complete faith in your business concept. Is this the sort of idea that will be worth all the risk and sacrifice that goes into starting your own business? Now is the time to ask yourself that key question.