Article Contributed by Rebecca Collett
It doesn’t matter what the social media hype says, the self-help overnight millionaire is selling or the glossy magazine is showcasing, being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone.
Becoming caught up in the sensationalism, the promise of 4-hour work weeks and sipping pina colada’s poolside as you run your empire from a smart phone, is tempting.
So let me cut through the propaganda and reveal the contradictory world of entrepreneurship to you.
As someone who spent years as an employee and then as owner of two businesses, I’m still fascinated that the elements which draw us in, are the same ones that can send us running in the opposite direction.
Those warring emotions prompted me to create StartUp KickStart, a set of affordable do-it-yourself step-by-step guides, which are designed to help budding entrepreneurs navigate these turbulent times. You will be able to assess your business’s viability and then launch with maximum impact and minimal cost OR to drop the idea without too much cost or pain.
These are the paradoxical reasons you should think twice before taking the entrepreneurial plunge:
You’re a Risk Taker
If you avoid risk, that’s a good thing. It will stop you from making hasty decisions and jumping in with your eyes closed and hands tied behind your back. But if you are too risk averse, it will stop you from making any decisions or taking action. The balance – work out your risk tolerance, identify what you are risking and are at risk of, and put strategies in place to mitigate, eliminate or exploit them.
You’re Highly Capable
Being able to do everything in a business is fabulous, except that it means you end up doing everything. You think you don’t need to outsource anything, because, “Why pay someone else when you can do it yourself and save the expense?” No one running a business has the skill, time or energy to do everything that needs to be done well, quickly and efficiently. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. Outsource tasks that will free your time so you can concentrate on the ones you enjoy, are great at and no one else can, to move your business forward.
Everyone Loves Your Idea
If everyone is enraptured by your business idea, you haven’t done enough research and ventured outside your support networks. Criticism is a good thing, it helps you improve and develop your business before spending lots of money and time on a product that will only be bought by your immediate supporters…if they have the money and inclination to do so once you have launched. People think starting a business is all about having a great idea. Yes, you need one of those, but the truth is, there are a lot of brilliant ideas that never move beyond the idea phase, launch to the sound of crickets and are never bought by more than a handful of people. Don’t be one of those, do your research, cover all the steps, test and leverage off the experience of others – do it smart, not hard!
You Want Freedom
The thing with starting your own company is you will have more freedom but you will also have all the responsibility. When you work for someone else, you show up each day, you know your job description and what is expected, and your salary is set. When you venture into the world of business ownership, the length of your working day is dependent on what needs to be completed. Your job description will vary day-to-day and you will be the entire c-suite, switching hats like Imelda Marcos changes shoes. You will be the hardest boss you’ve ever worked for because it is your money, reputation, time, energy and lifestyle that is on the line. Your income will fluctuate and you might not pay yourself a salary for months because you are paying everyone else. The solution? Decide what freedom actually means to you.
You Love Vacations
Endless holidays. Not having to obtain leave approvals or negotiate convenient dates. It’s ideal because, if you structure your business correctly from the beginning, you won’t need to be there all the time to make the company run smoothly, however, you will never be able to switch off completely. You knew there was a catch, didn’t you? Yes, you can digitally detox and not look at a device as you trek through remote areas, un-contactable by another living soul, but your entrepreneurial brain won’t stop. Going away on vacation is when I innovate the most, generate new ideas and I’m inspired to new challenges, all without consciously thinking about my business. And just to be completely contrary, you will discover having physical and mental distance from your business gives you the ability and space to work on your business.
So, if your head isn’t spinning from the paradoxes above and the urge to be an entrepreneur is still burning in your veins, I salute you. For all the crazy rollercoaster, bare-knuckled moments you will experience, it will be an incredibly thrilling journey that no one can take away from you, no matter what the outcome is.
About Your Guest Blogger: Rebecca Collett is the Founder and Managing Director of StartUp KickStart which helps entrepreneurs like you turn your passion into profit. If you have an idea and don’t know what your next step should be, it’s wise to take time and go through the proven step-by-step process offered by StartUp KickStart. You’ll be able to assess the viability of your entrepreneurial vision – or not – and find the best way to move forward.