Right And Wrong Reasons To Go From Employee To Entrepreneur
In the internet age, more people than ever before are capable of starting a business. However, just because someone can take on entrepreneurship doesn’t mean that they should. There are many factors that play into launching a successful business, such as validating an idea, attaining resources, and being resilient. If your main purpose is to reap perks such as control or spare time, then disappointment will be waiting right around the corner. Read on for some of the right and wrong reasons to become an entrepreneur.
Right: You Have Something Customers Will Value
The whole point of a business is to deliver something that others need. If what you have to offer is something customers will be willing to buy, then that’s a great reason to become an entrepreneur.
This is especially true if there’s a void in the community for your particular product. Whether it’s a brand new item or something that just doesn’t have a ton of competition in the area yet, people will be more likely to get it where they can.
Wrong: You Want To Get Out Of Your Current Job
One of the first things that comes to mind when many people think about being a business owner is how different it will be from employment. It can be easy to romanticize these differences, but there are pros and cons to both situations.
Being disillusioned with your current job or boss doesn’t mean that entrepreneurship will be equally appealing. Rather than running from an old job, you should be running toward your dream business. Otherwise, you may find the same dissatisfaction — just in new forms.
Wrong: You Want To Be Famous
In the age of social media, more and more entrepreneurs are reaching celebrity status. While the attention may be good for business, it isn’t a reason to start a business. The point of a business should be what you’re delivering, not how well-known you can become.
Marketing is meant to draw eyes toward the product, not the mastermind behind it. Plus, striving for fame can add unnecessary pressure and set yourself up to be let down.
Right: You’ve Already Validated Your Idea
Just because you think that an idea is genius doesn’t mean it will be received that way by the masses. The best way to get others on board is to have data that proves your business is headed toward success.
Having anecdotes about your product or consumer surveys that show its value are just a couple examples of ways to validate what you think you already know. Plus, there’s a different kind of confidence that comes from facts rather than guessing.
Wrong: To Have More Control
One of the most appealing things about having a business is getting to be the one calling all the shots, but that isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Pressure from clients, employees, suppliers, etc. can leave you with less of a say in matters than you’d think.
Plus, every choice you make will directly impact the business. One entrepreneur reported to scordo.com that he’s watched hundreds of small businesses with massive potential fail because they “shot themselves in the foot by being careless and lazy.”
Right: You Like Having Multiple Responsibilities At Once
Unless you’re starting off with a ton of capital, you’ll probably end up wearing most of the hats when first launching a business. From marketing to accounting to human resources, there are a ton of areas that entrepreneurs need to be comfortable working in.
While delegating all of these duties to employees can come over time, business owners ultimately are responsible for them all. Those who are quick-thinking and adaptable are more likely to be capable of handling all of the pressure.
Wrong: You Want Something Less Tedious
Since the average day job can become redundant over time, the hectic and everchanging lifestyle of a business owner may seem appealing. There’s so much going on so fast that it may seem like a fun way of life.
While it’s true that business owners have a lot of hats to wear and things to learn, that can also translate into stress. Plus, there are bound to be some entrepreneurial duties that feel tedious and have even higher stakes.
Right: You Enjoy Learning As You Go
InsureChance founder Sean Dudayev says that as a business owner, “there are always new challenges to face, and you never stop learning.” For some, this can be exhilarating and a great reason to dive in.
While it isn’t a good idea to become a business owner just to escape a mundane job, it is a prerequisite to be someone who thrives under pressure. Entrepreneurs get surprises all the time and see it as a learning opportunity.
Wrong: You Want More Free Time
Some people go into business believing that they’ll be successful right from the start. The truth is, getting a business up and running requires extensive work, which doesn’t equate to more free time.
Business owner David explains, “If you think that it’s going to be Easy Street or that you’re entitled to success, you probably won’t work hard.” Entrepreneurs can find themselves working around the clock and aren’t guaranteed free time. As soon as something comes up, it’s ultimately on them.
Right: You Have Experience In The Field
Having an education and job experience isn’t only helpful to employers. While business owners don’t have to prove their worth to an employer to get the job, their background does matter.
The more an entrepreneur knows about the industry their business is a part of, the better prepared they’ll be to make it thrive. Knowing the ins and outs of the market, customers, and competition is a vital part of being successful, so the more of it you have going in the better.
Wrong: You Want The Big Bucks
As they say, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. However, it doesn’t always pay off. One expert explained to scordo.com, “Yes, all small business owners should think that they can fail. This keeps you on your toes and motivates you to work hard.”
He went on to explain that one accident almost cost him his entire business. While financial freedom can come will entrepreneurship, it isn’t guaranteed and is always at stake. Money shouldn’t be your main driving point.
Right: You Can Get Back Up After Being Knocked Down
Resiliency is a vital characteristic for business owners. Entrepreneur David explained that his first year he merely broke even, which meant that all of his expenses came out of his savings. He didn’t let that discourage him, though.
Instead, he “spent every moment of every day making sure that (his business) would work.” That’s the kind of spirit that business owners have to maintain because new challenges continue to add up over time. At the end of the day, it’s up to them not to give up.
Wrong: A Family Member Wants To Be Your Partner
We’ve all had those conversations with friends or family about some great idea we could turn into a business. While it can be fun to dream, putting those things into reality can get shaky very quickly.
Oftentimes, personal relationships don’t translate into the best business relationships. It can be difficult to subjectively analyze how compatible you are working together. Tension between business partners can wreak havoc on its success, and even harm the relationship.
Right: You Have The Necessary Resources
As mentioned, having the capital to start a business is ideal, but that’s not all you’ll need. Other resources like space to operate, trusted networks to work with, and expertise all play into a successful starting point. The more you have going in, the better.
SeniorCareBox founder Kyle Ems notes, “the amount of free or affordable resources available online or at startup incubators has never been greater.” Tapping into whatever is at your disposal can make the transition into entrepreneurship so much easier.
Wrong: You’re Relying On A Big Loan
It’s true that business owners have to spend money in order to make money. If the amount needed to get things up and running far exceeds your savings, it may seem like a business loan is an easy fix.
However, banks aren’t always so willing to loan to someone who has an unproven business idea. They want to make sure they’ll get their money, plus fees and interest, back. You’ll want to be sure you can fill those obligations.
Right: You’re Optimistic About The Idea
Business owners have to believe in themselves and what they’re trying to do, even when others doubt it. While nothing is guaranteed, there’s a kind of passionate restlessness that comes from optimistic entrepreneurs.
Sarah O’Toole, owner of The Seasonal Diet, explains, “Being an entrepreneur means that I get to work on things that really light me up inside.” That light will reflect onto others. Only when business owners believe in themselves will others believe in them, too.
Wrong: You Want A More Flexible Schedule
Starting a business for more time flexibility goes hand in hand with doing it to get wealthy or have more control. While it’s true that all of these things can happen, it’s also true that they can all go out the window.
Business owners have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to stay afloat, and the company’s needs can change at any time. While you may not have a boss dictating your schedule, you will have customers who do.
Right: You Have A Unique Solution To A Problem
Entrepreneur David told scordo.com that he wanted his business “to provide something that customers would find essential, and no real alternatives but to pay for.” This is the same idea behind providing a solution to a problem.
If your business will somehow make people’s lives easier, then there’s a good chance customers will be eager to partake. This is especially true if it’s something that they need, such as a specialty service or a niche (but necessary) product.
Wrong: You Have Passion But No Direction
Having passion without direction is like have emotion without logic. Both are needed to have a chance at entrepreneurship. No matter how excited someone is, if they have no idea what they’re doing it will come across.
As mentioned, learning as you go is an important part of being an entrepreneur. However, starting from ground zero requires some sense of where to go from there. Plus, there are plenty of ways to fulfill passions that don’t have such a high risk.
Right: Working Tirelessly Toward Your Passion Excites You
Starting a business can be exhausting and frustrating, but it’s easier to get past that if the hard work is what drives you. Entrepreneurs who have a strong sense of passion and purpose are bursting with motivation, and that pulls them through the tougher days.
Many business owners will say that because they love what they do, it doesn’t feel like work. If being an entrepreneur is what you feel you’re meant to do, then fighting for it doesn’t seem like such a chore.