by Felena Hanson, founder of Hera Hub
Making the decision to start your own business can be daunting. There is the fear of failing, and even more profoundly, there is the fear of succeeding. But if you’re able to communicate how great you believe your business idea to be, and if you’re excited about convincing others to jump on board, then you are ready to motivate others through your leadership skills to be a part of the venture you are considering.
Even with all that said, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Starting your own business may not be the right path for you. In order to determine if you’re ready to start your own business, it helps to consider your decision within a framework of self-exploration.
With that in mind, there are 5 things to consider if you’re thinking about starting your own business:
Are you passionate about the idea, the goods, or the service you want to offer in your business? A study released by the National Association of Women Business Owners reveals that the biggest reason why women choose to start their own business is the ability to do something they are passionate about. In fact, that reason made up for 92 percent of the women in the study. For some of these women it was the tiresome task of building someone else’s dream while harboring desires to bring their own professional passion to life.
2. Getting dirty.
As an entrepreneur you’ll have more independence within your work, which translates to more time to spend with the people or things that fulfill you and bring your life more balance. However, the increased flexibility and autonomy over your time also means that you’ll have to “get your hands dirty” so to speak. There is a lot of grunt work as a new business owner. And while it may not always be enjoyable, it is incredibly rewarding to see the fruits of your labor. But it IS labor. Owning your own business is hard, there are long hours, lots of frustration, and there will be many highs and lows. Ask yourself if you’ll be able to accept getting your hands dirty and if you’re confident that your passion for your business idea will pull you through.
3. Do you have a community?
It is important to surround yourself with people who can help and support you. A coworking space like Hera Hub or a business accelerator will help you feel surrounded by inspiration from mentors and a supportive, productive community. It’s helpful to be able to ask questions of others who have been where you are now as you look to start your own business. There are also resources available to you through government funded agencies like SCORE and SDBC. You do not have to do this alone, nor should you.
4. Do you have a business plan?
It is so easy to be pulled off track in today’s world, where we are constantly bombarded by information and other people’s opinions. If you have a solid business plan it will help you stay focused on your core business. You will be able to successfully avoid being pulled too far off track should you be bombarded with advice from the outside world. That is not to say you shouldn’t listen and consider the thoughts and advice you will receive from others, but you can easily keep an idea journal that you can return to after you have built a solid foundation for you business. Having a solid business plan will help you achieve that.
5. Can you be comfortable with being uncomfortable?
If you’ve been an employee then you’ve already experienced the safety net that comes with being part of a big employment machine. You most likely had coworkers to support you if you dropped the ball or made a mistake. There were checks and balances all the way to the finish line to make sure things didn’t go wrong. But as an entrepreneur, there is no safety net. You will be taking risks, you’ll see what others don’t, you’ll be testing new ideas, and the buck will always stop with you.
All of this will require you to be courageous, have a thick skin, and be able to continue moving forward despite any rejection and skepticism you may receive, sometimes even on a daily basis. It’s an uncomfortable position to find yourself in, but if you can become comfortable with it then you’re ready to venture out on our entrepreneurial journey.
Felena Hanson is the founder of Hera Hub, a spa-inspired shared workspace and community for female entrepreneurs and author of “Flight Club: Rebel, Reinvent, and Thrive: How to Launch Your Dream Business“, which provides tools and resources to women in every stage of launching their business.