Do you secretly dream of having your own business and being your own boss?
A survey estimated more than 70% of people are unhappy with their jobs.
That apparently means you have a lot of company.
Another survey stated around 95% of new businesses close in five years.
Doesn’t that sound like a catch 22?
Figures like this scare the aspiring entrepreneurs and end up stopping them in their tracks.
Becoming an entrepreneur is the right choice for you or not is a question only you can answer, but to help you gain clarity and make the decision more effectively, here is the list of 11 questions to ask yourself before you make the call.
1. Can you start your business part time?
Most people think the only way to start a business is to quit their job and start full time, but that’s far from the truth.
In fact, not only it is possible to build a successful business working part time, but many entrepreneurs have done so already.
Working on your business part time doesn’t mean you won’t have enough hours to build a sustainable business.
If you manage your time correctly, not only you can start a business working part time, but you can also take it to a place where it can replace your current job.
Let me do some math for you.
If you work at least 4 hours per day on your business, that means you have 120 working hours per month, or 1440 hours per year.
By putting 4 hours a day into your side business you can accomplish a lot in the next 365 days, so there is no excuse.
Are you ready to devote Just 4 hours per day on your business?
Once your business starts generating good revenues, you will be in much better shape to quit your job.
2. Do you have a cash buffer in place?
Do you have enough money in savings to help you survive in rough times?
Before you quit, you need a plan; without a plan, you are done.
You need to know a few important numbers, which include your bare minimum living expenses per month.
– House rent/ mortgage
– Cell Phone
You need to have at least 6 – 12 months of bare minimum living expenses saved.
Personally, I had six months’ living expenses saved, which means even if I hadn’t gotten a single client for the first 6 months I would have still survived.
The reason you need to have at least 6 – 12 months of living expenses saved is because most of us don’t perform better under pressure; you need to be relaxed.
6 – 12 months buffer gives you the freedom to fail at a few things and not throw in the towel.
I am not saying you won’t be making any profit for a few months; I am just making sure money doesn’t get in the way of your success.
I was working at a software company; it was my third job.
Before joining I felt it was going to be my perfect job, the first few days went fine.
After a few weeks, I started noticing politics.
I hate office politics.
I am a straight forward guy and it became the biggest problem for me in my job.
My boss would favor team members who were less capable than me just because they sang his praises and agreed with everything he said, even if he was wrong.
I started to feel maybe working for someone else was not my cup of tea.
I began to look for a way out when suddenly a light bulb went off.
In my college days I sold a few things online, so I thought about restarting some sort of online business.
So now after I came home from my day job I would work on my online business for the next 4 to 5 hours. The business was slowly starting to take off.
Everything was going fine until one day my boss called me into his office and lashed me in front of everybody for no reason; I felt so stupid.
I got home and checked my bank account.
I had enough money to support myself for 6 months. The next day I gave my resignation.
The initial few months of working on my own business were tough, but things started to get better soon.
Today, I am my own boss and make a comfortable living using nothing but my laptop and an internet connection.
All of this wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have a cash buffer to support me during the initial few months.
3. Can you face the criticism from the people you love the most?
Most dreams fail to see the light of day because a spouse or a close friend was too critical.
When you tell your friends and family about your decision to quit your job they will call you crazy and peer pressure will kick in.
At first, they will be shocked, and then they will give you all sort of stats about why quitting your job is the worst decision.
You need to decide if you can take the pressure.
You can deal with the pressure in three ways.
First, you can try explaining your vision to your loved ones and get at least one of them on your side for emotional support.
In my case, it was my Mom.
Second, you can cut off the people who criticize you regularly.
I know it can be difficult at times to completely cut off the people you love just because they don’t buy your vision; it was tough for me.
My friends criticized me a lot, but I mustered the courage and told them that I get pissed when someone talks shit about my work and my vision.
I even left my city for 3 months to focus on my business.
And you know what?
I returned home more successful than ever.
The third way is stop worrying about what people say and remember history proves anybody who tried to follow his heart was laughed at initially.
4. Are you self-motivated?
“I want to be my own boss.” This statement sounds so freeing, but do you have what it takes to be your own boss?
With all due respect, most people are trained only to take action when there is some external pressure to do so; that’s why they are stuck in a job and can’t be an entrepreneur (nothing wrong with that, though).
An entrepreneur is self-motivated; he has an internal pressure, a drive to set and achieve his goals.
You should be ready to set your own goals.
Think about it.
Can you remember goals you achieved without anybody pressuring you to do so?
It can be as simple as going the extra mile when you didn’t have to.
5. Do you love your new work?
Before you quit your job and go full time with your new business, be careful you are not getting into this new business just for the money.
If that’s the case, you will be replacing one job with another.
You are taking the risk to pursue a new career, choose something you genuinely love to do.
If you don’t love what you do, you will give up when times get tough, and you can be sure there will be tough times, at least initially.
A top trait of successful entrepreneurs is that they were not doing it just for the money; they had a bigger reason.
6. Do you have a big vision for your business?
By vision I mean you need to see clearly where your new business will be in the next 5 years.
If you are planning to pursue a business you think has no capability to grow, don’t quit your job yet.
Not until you know how you can take this child that is your business and make him reach his adolescence.
7. Are you ready to invest a lot of hours in learning new skills?
Your new business will require you to learn a lot of new skills.
Be prepared to spend extra hours in learning.
For example, learning that latest social media technique to promote your business, or that tax-saving strategy, or whatever else it may be.
You should be ready to give your heart to your new business, so every cell in you is working towards making your new business successful.
You should be obsessed with your new business for at least a year.
Being an entrepreneur is hard, be ready to work hard, harder than you have ever worked.
But the best part is you will enjoy every bit of it.
There is an immense satisfaction in knowing that every hour you work is going towards something you believe in.
8. Have you set your expectations correctly?
Let’s get this straight.
If you expect to make millions the very next year after quitting your job, you will be disappointed.
If initially income from your business is on par with or even a little less than what you used to make in your job, you shouldn’t get disheartened.
Think about it, you have been working on your business for just a short time, but still you managed to reach this level
Imagine how far you can go if you give your business the time and focus it deserves.
Most people often think in extremes while thinking of quitting their job or starting a new business.
Either they feel that if their business fails they will lose their family, and will be forced to beg, or they imagine that they are going to make millions the very next year.
Both of these scenarios are highly unlikely, if not impossible, at least in the first year.
First, let’s take care of the negative scenario.
If you follow the advice of having a 6 – 12 month buffer, you will have plenty of time to figure out how things are going, and what you need to do next.
Another solution to this problem is that you need to have a backup plan.
By backup plan I mean you need to know, if your business doesn’t work, how you are going to handle the situation.
Although this step looks negative and will make you nervous, trust me, it is important to have a backup plan so you can proceed with confidence.
So here is the question to ask yourself:
What’s the worst that can happen if you fail at your business? And how will you handle it?
By answering this question, you will eradicate your worst fear that can paralyze you and stop you from giving 100% to your dream.
9. Are you ready to reduce your overheads for at least a year?
Reducing your business and personal overheads can indirectly increase your chances of building a successful business, by allowing you to invest more in meaningful business activities and help you sustain yourself in the bad months.
Even if you are doing really well, don’t even think about buying toys for at least a year or two.
My first year working as an entrepreneur was good, and my second year was great, but still I waited till the beginning of the third year to buy my first bike.
You can reduce your business overhead by simple activities like working from home, or using public transportation instead of buying a car, etc.
For reducing personal overheads, the list goes like eat out less frequently, don’t buy toys, make your family members understand why it is important for you to spend less for the next year, etc.
10. Are you ready to fail?
Our society has made such a big deal out of failure that most people are scared to try new things, because nobody wants to fail and look stupid.
Most people are afraid to fail, except a few who consider themselves entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is about risk and excitement; it’s about failing and learning from the feedback so you can do it better the next time.
When you become an entrepreneur, you will realize some months will be big and some will be small in terms of overall success.
There will be many things you will fail at, but unless you lose a massive chunk of your capital, you will be good.
Try to fail small and win big.
11. Have you found your WHY?
It is a proven psychology that if you have a strong enough reason to do something, you will find a way.
Let’s get the psychology on our side. Let your brain give you the strong reasons, your WHY, so when times get tough you can come back and see why you started.
So ask yourself:
Why do you want to start your own business?
Why do you want to quit your job?
Why must you become a successful business owner?
Let yourself be as emotional as possible.
Take a piece of paper and start writing; dump everything you can onto it, and hold nothing back.
We humans, are emotional creatures; hence this exercise needs emotional content; the more emotional the reasons, the better it is.
In the comment section below let everybody know how many of those 11 questions did you answer with an enthusiastic YES?
If you answered all 11 questions with a yes, your chances of succeeding as an entrepreneur are higher than 90% of people out there.
If you answered some of the questions with a NO, don’t worry, because you still have your job, right? Well, I hope you do 🙂
You can take your time to make the changes in your life accordingly, so you can come back here in the next few weeks or months and answer all of those questions with a resounding YES.
So keep hustling, keep dreaming, and you’ll be there in no time.