Ten Questions You Should Ask Before Deciding to Become An Entrepreneur

by | May 17, 2024 | Business Development, Goals, Success, Video

The idea of being your own boss, pursuing your passion, and potentially striking it rich is appealing to any person. Visions of entrepreneurial freedom and success have inspired many to ditch the corporate grind and embark on the exhilarating yet challenging journey of starting a business. 


However, as enticing as the prospect may seem, the path to entrepreneurship is paved with obstacles, sacrifices, and hard-earned lessons. Before diving headfirst into this ambitious endeavor, it’s crucial to ask yourself some tough questions and honestly evaluate your preparedness. 


After all, statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics paint a sobering picture: 20% of businesses don’t survive their first year, 50% don’t make it past five years, and a staggering 70% are gone by the tenth year. Embracing entrepreneurship is a courageous leap, but one that should be taken with eyes wide open and a thorough understanding of the challenges that lie ahead.


If you’ve been thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, I encourage you to ask yourself these ten questions to test if you are ready. 


  1. Are you willing and able to work very long hours for a year without pay?

When we think of “entrepreneurship,” we often think about two things: money and success. To get to the point where you reap those rewards, you have to put in quite a bit of effort on the front end!


Entrepreneurship demands an unwavering commitment and an exceptional work ethic. In the early stages, you may find yourself burning the midnight oil, juggling multiple roles, and sacrificing personal time – all without the security of a steady paycheck. Ensure you have the financial reserves and mental fortitude to weather this initial storm.


  1. How well do you handle rejection?

As an entrepreneur, rejection is an inevitable part of the journey. Whether it’s investors turning down your pitch, clients declining your services, or customers critiquing your product, you will face rejection no matter how good your ideas, your product, or your business model is. 


The ability to bounce back from setbacks and maintain a positive mindset is crucial. If you cannot take constructive criticism and learn from it, you might want to do some reflection before you start a business because the best entrepreneurs can turn rejection into a learning opportunity.


  1. Do you have a good support system?

Building a business from the ground up can be an emotionally and mentally taxing endeavor. Having a strong support network of family, friends, or mentors who believe in your vision and can offer guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear can make a world of difference during challenging times. 


Before you embark on the journey of entrepreneurship, take inventory of the people in your life. Do you have reliable, supportive people who can walk alongside you as you begin this new journey?


  1. Are you a risk-taker?

Entrepreneurship is inherently risky, as you’re venturing into uncharted territory with no guarantees of success. Assess your appetite for risk and whether you’re comfortable with the potential of failure. 


Remember, calculated risks are part of the game, but recklessness can be detrimental. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you should be a risk-taker, but you shouldn’t be careless. The risks you take should be calculated, strategic, and well thought-out. 


  1. Does your product/solution/service solve a problem in the market?

Who would be your competitors? Before diving in, conduct thorough market research to validate your idea. Identify the specific problem your offering aims to solve, and analyze the competitive landscape to understand your unique value proposition and potential obstacles.


Once you collect a sufficient body of research, you can predict how successful your product would be. If your product solves a problem that other products don’t or solves the problem more efficiently, you have a good product!


  1. Who is your ideal customer?

Before you develop a good or service to be sold, you must know who your ideal customer is. This determines who you will market to, which is perhaps one of the most crucial deciding factors of a product’s success. Clearly defining your target audience is crucial for effective marketing and sales strategies. Understanding their needs, pain points, and behaviors will guide your messaging, positioning, and outreach efforts.


  1. Do you have a source of capital to start your business?

Launching a business requires a significant financial investment. Whether it’s for product development, marketing, overhead costs, or simply sustaining yourself during the initial lean times, a smart business person has their finances in order before becoming an entrepreneur. 


Explore various funding options, such as personal savings or investor partnerships, and have a solid financial plan in place. If you have to take out a huge loan that you might not be able to pay back in order to start your business, I recommend taking a few more years to save up before you begin your entrepreneurship journey.


  1. Is your business idea scalable?

As a business gains more customers, a great entrepreneur has the foresight to make sure the business can keep up. If your business is not scalable, you will be trading time for dollars. 


While some businesses thrive on personalized services, others rely on scalability for growth and profitability. Evaluate whether your business model has the potential to scale efficiently, or if you’ll be limited by your own time and resources. 


  1. Will this business idea make me money now and in the future?

In our current cultural climate, things change quickly! Will your product or service stand the test of time as culture shifts, changes, and grows? A lot of young entrepreneurs make the novice mistake of developing a product or service that works in their current context but becomes virtually useless within a matter of years.


Successful businesses must adapt to evolving market conditions and customer demands. If your business idea can easily be overtaken by new technology or a change in trends, it might be time to go back to the drawing board. Assess the long-term viability and potential for growth and profitability of your idea, and be prepared to pivot or innovate as necessary. 


  1. Why do you want to go into business?

This is the most important question, which is why I’ve saved it for last. Entrepreneurship is a demanding and often all-consuming journey. If you answered the preceding nine questions and still want to become an entrepreneur, your success is contingent on your ability to stay true to your values and desires.


Reflect deeply on your motivations – whether it’s a passion for solving a particular problem, the desire for autonomy, or the potential for financial freedom. A clear “why” will fuel your perseverance through the inevitable challenges and allow you to set clear, measurable, and achievable goals, both long-term and short-term, that align with your priorities. 


Three Additional Suggestions


Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is a bold and admirable decision, but one that should not be taken lightly. If you’ve asked yourself these ten questions and still desire to become an entrepreneur, I advise you to heed the following three suggestions so you can better prepare yourself for the rollercoaster ride ahead.


First, seek out honest feedback from trusted individuals who aren’t afraid to voice their concerns – their perspectives may reveal blindspots or weaknesses you’ve overlooked. As I previously mentioned, the ability to take constructive criticism is crucial for an entrepreneur; listen to suggestions from those with your best interest in mind, and carefully consider how to implement those suggestions into your business model.


Second, consider starting your business as a side hustle while maintaining a stable income source. This approach allows you to test the waters, validate your idea, and build momentum without taking on excessive risk. Once you start to see success with your business, then you can start to consider transitioning into entrepreneurship full-time; until you see that success, though, it’s best to have something to fall back on. 


Finally, if you are in a position where you are ready to take on entrepreneurship full-time, create a financial runway of at least one year to sustain yourself and your business during the initial lean times. This buffer will alleviate pressure and give you the breathing room to focus on growth and development.


The road to entrepreneurial success is paved with challenges, but those who embrace them with open eyes, unwavering determination, and a well-crafted plan are far more likely to emerge victorious. Before you begin this life-changing journey, make sure you are honest with yourself about your answers to these ten questions. Then, with the advice I gave in mind, get ready to follow your dreams and embark on the adventure of a lifetime!


Ready to become an entrepreneur, but worried about how you will find the time to accomplish what you need to? Are you already an entrepreneur who is struggling to keep up and always feels “crazy busy”? Sign up for my free webinar, Finding the 25th Hour, and I will walk you through how to maximize your time, increase your productivity, and reduce your stress all at the same time.

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