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Seven Signs You Might Not Be Ready For Business Ownership

April 4, 2009

Before you go into business for yourself you’ll need to critically assess if you have what it takes to succeed. Here are seven signs you might not be quite ready.

You’re not quite ready If…

1. You’re not comfortable being the decision maker

Are you the kind of person who is comfortable having the final, non negotiable say in something?  You’ll need to be when you decide to start your own business. Countless times you will need to make “make or break” decisions about your business and those decisions will be yours alone. Other times you will need to draw a line in the sand and stick by your guns on a decision you know is right for your business – if you’re not currently comfortable with that, you’ll need to get there.

2. You lack long term focus

Some people live day to day, or have a hard time planning past next week. That’s fine in your personal life, but in business a short term outlook can be a killer. You’ll need to be comfortable planning for the next five years, and maintain focus on that plan in order to be successful. Remember – Short term outlooks lead to short term goals. And I’m sure you want to be in business long term.

3. You lack time or willingness to reprioritize your life

If you can’t picture a life where you won’t be able to watch every episode of Survivor, business owner ship may not be for you. Starting and run a profitable business takes an inordinate amount of time, and while we all have other commitments outside of our businesses, you need to sacrifice and reprioritize your personal time to make it work.

4. You don’t have the support of your significant other

Starting and running a business will affect your family, and especially your significant other more than you realize. They shoulder much of the burden of the startup, even if they aren’t actively involved in it’s management. Their support is imperative to your success. If they are not supportive, work to get them there before you launch.

5. The thought of 16 hour days make you cringe

As we said above, starting and running a business is an inordinate amount of work. The myth is that business owners have a lot more free time than the “wage slaves”, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You will work longer, harder, and more intensely than you ever have working for someone else.

6. You have a hard time accepting full responsibility

Everything your business does, or does not do, is your responsibility. Sure a supplier may have dropped the ball, or an employee messed up, but guess what? You are the person who will need to answer to that. More times than I can count I’ve had to step up and take responsibility for something that wasn’t necessarily my “fault”. It’s part of paying the cost to be the boss – be ready for it.

7. Your personal house is not in order

You will need to be in a strong position personally to make a business work. This means in a good place with your relationships, finances, and state of mind. When you are in the early stages of building a business, you will be faced with numerous situations where throwing in the towel seems like a good idea. The stronger a personal foundation you have built the easier it will be for you to push on and make your venture a success. 

Self Assess For Success

As you can see some of the above are personality based, and will be harder to change. While others are more lifestyle choice based. The idea here is to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and to critically assess yourself before you take a leap into running your own business.

If you find you exhibit just a few of the above traits, don’t get down, or throw in the towel. Just work at improving before you launch, you’ll put yourself in a much better position relative to the competition who didn’t do the same kind of self assessment.

What do you think?   Please share your comments on this article.

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