3 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business

businesswoman draws business goal diagram

It is a big step to go into your own business. It is something you have either been thinking about or something you have thought about for a while. Starting a business will fundamentally change your life…mostly for the better. I know you are thinking “for the better” of course, if it all works out. No in fact I mean, it will fundamentally change your life for the better, regardless of whether your first venture works out, or whether it is your second, third or fourth.

Of course, I would never encourage someone to get into business without understanding whether it is something you truly want. After all, there are a lot of things to consider; your family, the financial investment and well being, whether you have the time and energy to expend on making a business successful, your skills, etc. Although at the same time, I have talked to people who dreamt of starting a business for thirty years and then later regretted never having taken the leap.

There are more than enough statistics and people that tell you it is risky getting into business. Sure lots of business have failed however; please don’t mix up a business failing with the person being a failure. It could also be said those people who never took the leap and then went on to regret it, failed in a much bigger way.

The three top reasons people give for starting their own business is; they want to be their own boss, they want to have more freedom and they want to make more money. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. When people ask me about getting into business, these are the question I ask them and hopefully they will help you, as well.

    1. Would you still want to start your own business, if you were making half the money you are currently making (regardless of how much that is)?
    2. If you were working twice as many hours as you are currently working?
    3. If you were working for the same boss as you are working for today?

If the answer to each of these is yes, then next I ask, “What specifically is it you want to learn from the experience?”To answer this you need to think beyond what you believe your will get from the business. Think about what you want to learn and how starting and operating the business could help you do this.

Starting a business, is a lot like going to school. The only thing is you are in a self study program and you need to think about what you want to learn. Remember I said earlier not to mix up a business failing with the person being a failure. Starting and running a business is an opportunity to learn skills and to build resiliency you simply don’t get in working for someone else or in going to school. It is a unique learning ground and there is no failure in learning as long as you don’t give up.

Be really honest with yourself in answering the first three questions. While you might find it hard to believe you could make half, work double and still have no freedom, understand one of the reasons businesses fail is because the owner isn’t prepared to “live their business” when the time comes. There will be moments and challenges that will test you, regardless of how successful you ultimately become. The question is are you ready. It comes down to how bad do you want it, and what are you willing to do to get it.

Success comes from the journey, not necessarily the destination…hugs!!!

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