5 Questions to Ask Before You Go Into Business for Yourself
by Deborah A. Bailey
Thinking about starting your own business? Or maybe all you want is a side hustle (with “hustle” being the key word). When it comes to business ownership, do you have the right mindset?
Here are some important questions to ask yourself first!
1. Are you afraid to fail?
Failure is not a bad word in the entrepreneurial world. A high tolerance for risk and the ability (and desire) to reinvent yourself is required for long-term success. On social media, you might only see smiling, happy entrepreneurs who claim to make six figures with every launch. But for every successful launch, there’s one (or more) that didn’t work. You might not hear about those as often, but they’re much more likely. Entrepreneurs have to be resilient enough to learn from what didn’t work and keep it moving.
2. Do you hate working overtime?
There’s no such thing as regular nine-to-five hours when you work for yourself. Even if you have employees or contractors, you’ll still have to provide direction. “Auto-pilot” doesn’t mean you can have your business run itself while you sit on the beach. Even businesses with efficient systems still have to be managed.
3. Does it make you feel uncomfortable to stand out?
If you’re not comfortable promoting yourself, it will be almost impossible to market your business. You can’t fade into the background then wonder why potential clients don’t know you exist. Even if you hire professional help to market your business, you’ll have to get out there at some point.
4. Do you have trouble sticking to self-imposed deadlines?
When you work for yourself, there won’t be any managers setting deadlines for you. No supervisors watching you work and no time clocks to punch. You’ll have to be accountable to the timetables you set. If you have trouble being proactive, you’re going to find it hard to stick to a plan and generate an income on a regular basis.
5. Do you know your worth?
If you come from an “hours for dollars” environment, you’re going to have to shift your thinking. Rates and fees should be based on the value you’re delivering, not on the hours it takes to do something.
You’ll have to feel comfortable asking for what you’re worth. Otherwise, you’ll never stop discounting or be giving your work away for free. Not that free is bad. It can certainly be used very effectively for some offerings. But if you end up giving away everything because you’re afraid to put a value on it – you won’t be in business for very long.
As a small business owner, your business will be tied in with your beliefs and feelings about yourself. You won’t be just another employee tucked away in a big corporation. You’ll be the CEO of your own business. You’ve got to be ready to deal with the setbacks along with the successes.
Check your mindset first, then you’ll know if you’re ready to step out as an entrepreneur.