The reasons are many for pursuing the entrepreneurial journey, all of them honourable and admirable, but I’m also mindful of the cloak of uncertainty that enshrouds my thought when I embrace such discussions about those reasons.
I feel so compelled at times to stand on my soapbox and ask these wonderful people who are sharing their dreams, “Are you really ready for entrepreneurship?”
Some harsh realities about life when entertaining the thought of becoming entrepreneurial that never leaves my thought process is that the only way to not be criticized is to do nothing. To say nothing. And to be nothing.
A lesson new entrepreneurs often find difficult to talk about is this: No matter what you do or how well you do it, there will always be people who will criticize, who do not like you or the way you conduct your venture or, ironically, don’t like your product or service idea.
That is a truth of entrepreneurship that all of us in the entrepreneurial world must accept and embrace.
I love entrepreneurs. They are the folks who make our society great, who will correct what is wrong and make good things even better.
To anyone giving their blood, sweat and tears to a perceived opportunity, to anyone rocking the boat to do something many would train out of us, to the people who will shake up the norm and give us new possibilities, those people have my utmost respect and appreciation.
Let’s take a look at your readiness to become a budding entrepreneur.
Every year, thousands of people make the transition from employee, student, housewife, immigrant, retired, disabled to become an entrepreneur.
While many succeed, others fail. Many of those who fail do so simply because they weren’t ready to make the change and take up the challenge.
Quitting a full-time job or career position to launch an entrepreneurial venture isn’t something to be taken lightly by anyone. How do you know if the entrepreneurial life is for you?
But even if self-assessment tests indicate you’ve got the right personality for entrepreneurial success, that still doesn’t mean you’re ready to become one at a given point in time.
Do I have enough money? Is my family ready for the change? Does the market need a service or product such as I am embracing as my opportunity entry?
If the answers are a resounding yes to those questions, you may well be on your way to becoming an entrepreneurial venture owner.
Most successful entrepreneurs recall a sense of urgency that prompted them to begin their journey beyond a desire to a necessity.
Many say they knew when the time was right for them to begin and others say that getting fired, laid off or passed over for promotion fueled their entrepreneurial fire.
The literature tells us that a fundamental need to control one’s own destiny ranks very high on most entrepreneurs’ lists for launching an entrepreneurial dram venture.
Often this “need” resonates so strongly that entrepreneurs will risk family, future and careers to become their own boss.
Translating into being unable to feel truly fulfilled working for someone else, these individuals can’t be happy taking orders in any fashion from someone higher in the pecking order.
One tip to help determine your readiness is on the money side—are you are able to raise significant amounts of money from investors?
I am confronted with this issue every other day as I function as an investment/finance broker and work to assist the good folk of Western Canada to find investment/finance funds for their dreams.
If you can make other people believe in your dream to the point where they will provide cash to help make it happen, chances are you will have what it takes to be successful.
Your reality check will be once you’ve made the decision to break away, there are always a number of things you ought to do before taking the big step.
You do need to conduct thorough market research, acquire enough cash in a well-crafted plan and discuss the decision with your family and loved ones. Then, recognize the rewards of entrepreneurial pursuit are not instantaneous.
You better be ready to defer gratification and make substantial sacrifices to ensure your rewards eventually come your way.
But please understand this—it is a rarity that one person has all the qualities needed to be successful in venture creation.
Everyone has strong and weak points in their makeup, but what is important is to recognize, acknowledge and understand those strengths and weaknesses and do something positively constructive about them.
I would like to leave you this week with, I hope, an inspiring quote from a man of our North American history books that I pray will find its way embedded in your soul whilst you explore your readiness:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how a strong man stumbles, or where a doer of deeds could have actually done them better.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again.
“Because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who is at the best, knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
I hope these words of another inspire you, dear readers, to become the best that you can be —and help identify if you are ready to embrace entrepreneurship.
Joel Young is founder of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.