Owning your own business is the American dream. But realizing that dream is a whole different matter. Regardless of how great your product or service is, or how much drive and determination you feel you have, before jumping in with both feet you need to pause and make a reality check with both eyes open. Here’s a list of 3 very crucial things every entrepreneur needs to consider before starting their own business.
It’s not as easy as it looks
Sure, that entrepreneurial guy down the street who runs his own business and drives the nice car may look like he’s got it easy, but you can be sure that he’s paid the price for whatever level of success he’s achieved. Today’s business environment is incredibly competitive. Any thought that you’ve somehow got the magic formula—or that your product or service is so phenomenal that you’re destined for overnight success—is total nonsense. So the question you need to consider before you do anything is: “Are you willing to put forth the kind of sustained effort it will take for your business to have a chance at being successful?” Until you can honestly answer that question you have no business starting a business.
Stress comes with the territory
No one likes the idea of working under stress. In fact, according to Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll, one-third of workers surveyed listed on-the-job stress as their biggest complaint. And if you think that being your own boss is a sure way to eliminate stress from your workday, it’s time to think again. Sitting at the desk where the buck stops can be incredibly stressful. After all, that’s where the decisions are made. The kind of decisions that are bound to take you out of your comfort zone. If stepping out of your comfort zone is difficult for you—if you’re more into playing it safe—then you need to consider if you’re really ready to start your own business. Only those who are willing to take calculated risks and face adversity head-on can expect to achieve long-term business success.
Sacrifices will need to be made
There’s no getting around it. Getting a new business off the ground is incredibly time consuming. Before moving forward with your startup you need to ask yourself if you are willing to make the kind of time sacrifices that you will undoubtedly need to make. If you have a family then you need to face the fact that, for the foreseeable future, the amount of quality family time you will have to spend with your spouse and any children you may have is going to be limited. By the same token, the extra monetary demands that accompany a startup will most likely require a tightening of the family budget. It’s critical that family members understand and are willing to accept the extra time and monetary demands that will be placed upon them for the sake of the new business. After all, in order to have the best chance of success, the American dream should be a shared dream.
About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finances. He has received many accolades for his work in teaching entrepreneur advice.