Consider this harsh reality in my thought process of becoming an entrepreneur: While criticism will come your way, the only way to not be criticized is to do nothing. To say nothing. To be nothing.
No matter what you do or how well you do it, there will always be people who will criticize, who don’t like the way you conduct your venture, who simply don’t like your entrepreneur product or service idea.
It 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.
They are the same folks 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 new and bold, to the people who will shake up the norm and give us new possibilities…they have my utmost respect and appreciation.
Every year, thousands of people make the transition from employee, student, housewife, immigrant, retired or disabled person to become an entrepreneur.
While many succeed, many also fail.
Why do they fail? Because they weren’t ready to make the lifestyle change and face the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
Quitting a full-time job or career position to launch an entrepreneurial venture isn’t something to be taken lightly. How do you know if the entrepreneurial life is for you?
But, even if self-assessment tests may affirm your entrepreneur-type personality, that still doesn’t mean you’re ready to immediately become one.
Other factors that come in play—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?
Most successful entrepreneurs recall a sense of urgency that prompted them to begin their journey.
Many say they knew when the time was right for them to begin, while others cite getting fired, laid off or passed over for promotion has fueling the fire to pursue their own entrepreneurial spirit.
The business literature tells us that a fundamental need to control one’s own destiny ranks very high on the list of most entrepreneurs.
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.
The final element that determines your readiness concerns, if needed, raising money from investors.
If you can make other people believe in your dream and share your goals to the extent of providing cash to support your venture, chances are you will have what it takes to make it a success.
Your reality check will be that once you’ve made the decision to break away, there are always a number of things you ought to do prior to making that 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.
And you better be ready to defer gratification and make substantial sacrifices to ensure your rewards eventually come your way.
I love entrepreneurship so much that it’s hard for me to not want to see everyone succeed who takes those entrepreneurial steps.
But it’s a rarity that one person has all the qualities needed to be successful in venture creation.
What is important is to recognize, acknowledge and understand your strengths and weaknesses, and do something positively constructive about them.
Let me leave you this week with, I hope, inspiring quote: “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 to become the best that you can be, and help identify if you are ready for the entrepreneur challenge.