Anyone can become an entrepreneur ― but not without a little preparation. As with any career, entrepreneurship requires concerted effort in cultivating the proper skills, knowledge, and attitude to ensure business success. While you might be able to start your own business tomorrow, you probably aren’t ready for entrepreneurship’s trials and tribulations. Business ownership as a whole is exceedingly risky, so entering into it without research and organization is akin to guaranteeing your failure. Though you might crave the prestigious title of “entrepreneur,” here are seven signs you just aren’t ready for that life ― yet.
You Don’t Have a Great Idea
You can’t have a business without something to sell, and that something you sell must be great. Entrepreneurs rarely linger in the idea stage, since ideas themselves rarely make money. That means it is all the more vital you have a great idea before you take the leap into entrepreneurship.
You shouldn’t expect to find fame and fortune selling an old idea. Markets everywhere are saturated with companies vying for success, and your idea must either add a new feature to an existing product or corner a new market entirely. Otherwise, you will have an even steeper uphill battle from the start.
You Lack Basic Skills and Knowledge
What are the best sources of funding? What are a few ways to inspire growth? What hiring practices attract the best talent? What type of corporation is your small business?
For most people, running a business requires more than intuition. Even if you have managerial experience, you probably aren’t equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to manage a small business. Before you quit your day job, you should look into online MBA programs to prepare you for your entrepreneurial dreams and improve your knowledge.
You Aren’t Familiar With Your Passions and Values
The business you build will become an embodiment of your values, passions, and beliefs ― so it is imperative you understand yourself fully before creating such a creature. The last thing you want is to be surprised by how your business brand and culture has developed. Before you redefine yourself as an entrepreneur, you should engage in some soul-searching. As you realize what you want from this career, what your strengths and weaknesses are, what your ideal company looks like, and more, you will become a better entrepreneur.
You Hate Meeting New People
Who you know matters, especially when in business. Therefore, a fear or dislike of engaging with people is not a particularly good quality for a new entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is filled with events for meeting new people and networking, so you should get comfortable with being social.
Business school offers plenty of opportunities to become socially capable, and it sets you up with an established network of business experts. However, you can also practice social skills using a video camera or a few close friends.
You’re Bad at Long Term
In most entrepreneurs’ best-case-scenario, a business is successful for at least one lifetime ― if not several lifetimes. For many people, the future is a murky and bewildering concept, and instead of carefully considering their paths and organizing their prospects, they focus on the now.
In entrepreneurship, the now is undeniably important, but to maintain lasting success, you must be able to imagine the future and plan for it. From the start, you should be invested in what is happening now and what will happen eventually. You might find it helpful to write a timeline for big goals, such as expanding to a second location or introducing a new product.
You Are Petrified of Failure
In every career, there is failure ― but entrepreneurship claims a disproportionate share. Likely, you are all too aware of the statistic that 80 percent of businesses fail within the first year and a half, but even those entrepreneurs who survive that crucial window experience an absurd amount of disappointment and rejection. It is human to be afraid of failure, but if you are to be an entrepreneur, you cannot let that fear prevent you from acting. And even if your first business doesn’t work out, it could provide you with invaluable knowledge that you can leverage for your next business.
You Can’t Commit to the Lifestyle
Entrepreneurship isn’t simply a career ― it’s a way of life. As an entrepreneur, your life will be devoted to your business. Typically, small businesses don’t become profitable for several years, which means founders must be willing to live on a thin budget for quite some time. What’s more, you will hardly have free time to devote to family and friends. You must be willing to give your business your all ― or you must be willing to give up your dreams of entrepreneurship. Once your business is up and running and you have enough employees, you can step back and relax a little.