Should You Start Your Own Business?

A lot of people think that they’d like to start their own business. Often, that’s when they’re staring at the blank cubicle wall in front of them, wishing that they were anywhere else but there. They dream of millions and of the lifestyle they’d rather have than this nine-to-five miserable grind. The problem is that they don’t know where to start, where to raise the capital and even what it is that they’d want to do.

Many are living in a world of non-reality where they think this would be better somehow and that money would just flow in while they sit on a beach somewhere with a little umbrella in that cocktail they’re cradling. They could party every night and not have a care in the world, with no boss demanding that they be at work at nine a.m.. Wrong! That’s not the way it works.

In fact, if you start your own business, be prepared to be working a whole lot more than you are now. Be prepared for worry, frustration, more financial problems than you have now and probably no paycheck for a long time to come. Get ready for important decisions all the time with no one else helping you to make them. Be prepared for a lot of failure. Be prepared to hear the word ‘No’ every day. Be prepared to not go out even on weekends because you have no money. This is the reality for many who start businesses.

The fact is that most businesses fail, either from the get go or some short time thereafter. Check the statistics on your own. Only a small percentage of businesses ever survive. And there’s also a difference between merely surviving and making a good living. There’s a myriad of reasons for this. Here are a few to get you started:

Lack of Planning and research

Lack of capital

Incorrect advice— listening to others who don’t have a clue.

Lack of work ethic.

Lack of customers.

Too much overhead.

Hiring the wrong people.

Lack of experience in chosen field of business.

Lack of patience.

Lack of love of the chosen field.

Lack of innovation.

Choosing a field not suited to your strengths.

Not everyone is cut out to be in business, and we live in an ultra-competitive world. Everyone has different talents, capabilities, financial constraints, work ethics, ideas, connections, opportunities and goals.

People often make the mistake of looking at others and saying to themselves, “I can do that.” This sentence is true in some cases, but not always. People fail to look at the entire journeys and circumstances of other entrepreneurs. Rather, we see the end result of successful endeavors instead of all the failures out there, the heartaches, the financial ruins and the blood, sweat and tears that went into a venture from the very beginning.

Analyze your own traits, mindset, likes, dislikes, perseverance, financial situation and experience before you even consider opening a business. Even more importantly, decide what it is that you want to do.

I’ve asked so many people I’ve come across in life who are miserable with whatever job it is that they’re doing as to what it is that they would really like to do. The answers are varied but 99.9% of the time the answer is: “Err…I don’t really know.” Other times it’s “Oh, chill and sit on a beach, vacation year-round, sit home and watch TV, play golf all day,” or some such variation of these types of things. So, the first real question becomes: how are you going to do what you want, get what you want, if you have no idea what it is that you really want? This is what needs to be thought about first. To the others who just want to chill, think carefully because it’s not really what you think it is. Human beings get bored quickly and we need something to do…something we like that gives satisfaction and a sense of daily purpose and achievement.

Don’t always think that someone who started a business had hordes of capital; some of the largest businesses in the world were started out of garages—Apple Computer, Microsoft, Amazon, to name a few. There’s plenty of venture capital out there, too, if you really think that your idea is that great.

Analyze your own background carefully to decipher your real knowledge in your chosen realm. See if you can start your business on the side, in the mornings before work and in the evenings after, rather than being a couch potato in front of the TV. This can work in many fields but not so well in others. I’m aware, for example, that opening something like a restaurant isn’t a part time gig.

Think carefully before you act and decide what you want before you press ‘GO’.

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