Jumping into the startup world and becoming an entrepreneur is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you might be completely convinced you have a billion-dollar idea. On the other, you risk a great deal getting started, and there’s no guarantee you’ll succeed.
The biggest challenges are the uncertainty of knowing whether each decision was the best or not, and having to make decisions quickly. In a corporate job there are a number of systems in place that dilute decision-making to the point that it’s more of a committee decision. Running your own company, you need to take full responsibility for your decisions and learn how to optimize that decision process quickly.
When weighing up whether or not to go all in, ask yourself these seven questions:
What is my motivation for starting a business?
You need to ask yourself why you want to start the business in the first place. If you simply hate your job, or you’re following a trend, it probably won’t survive.
Is it an industry you love and are passionate about? Is there a big problem you’re so frustrated about, that you can’t wait to create a solution for it? That sounds like a business worth starting.
What problem(s) am I solving?
I started Rising Women Network to solve a problem I had encountered myself. When looking online for advice on networking, Google would show global websites first, whereas I wanted more local and engaging experience.
I experienced it over and over again, and thought if I’m going through this, there must be many others with the same issue. At this point, I knew it was the issue I’ll be addressing as it has massive potential, I know people who feel this issue regularly and knew technology could provide a scalable solution.
Am I willing to sacrifice my lifestyle?
It’s a big decision to give up a high-paying job to follow your entrepreneurial idea. When I went full-time with company Alphonse Unlimited I already had a well-paid job that gave them a comfortable life. It was really important that I for me to know the potential changes to my lifestyle.
So, you should ask yourself what kind of life you would be comfortable with.
Are my family and friends supportive?
While the good days are busy and exciting, the bad days are hard. So you need to have people around you who you can lean on when things are tough.
What savings do I need?
It’s a good idea to have a fund to fall back on when you start up a new business. It’s unlikely you’ll start making money straight away, so if you have the chance to save up some money beforehand, then take it.
Will I seek funding for a fast-growing startup, or take my time building a lifestyle business?
Once you’ve secured external investment, you have to move fast. However, if you’re going it alone and you’re not relying on funding, then you can take a little more time.
With Rising Women Network, and given it’s a consumer first platform, I wanted to build a product people love as quickly as possible so I invested my own money to fund its growth.
Are you self-motivated?
Being accountable to other people at your previous job could have pressured you to hit milestones, get to work early and stay late, and give your best effort. Now you will have to be accountable to yourself. If you’re not self-motivated, then entrepreneurship will be short-lived for you. Building the business has to be your fuel, getting you up early and keeping you there late building the business.