Advertising
Advertising

8 Things You Need To Know About Yourself Before Starting A Business

8 Things You Need To Know About Yourself Before Starting A Business

Many people dream of leaving their day job behind and starting their own business. In this dream, an endless amount of cash flows to them as they sit sipping champagne and barking orders at employees. Or the dream is of you, sitting on a cloud, casually making jewelry, with little else to worry about in life.

Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. Not to say that starting your own business won’t change your life for the better. Indeed, many entrepreneurs will tell you that going self employed was the best decision they ever made.

They will also tell you it is really hard work, that there are many obstacles on the road to your individual success, and it really is important to know yourself first before jumping ship on your current lifestyle.

Advertising

This last one might shock you. Why do you need to know yourself to start a business? Just think of it like this: if you don’t know yourself, then you could end up starting a business that you don’t enjoy in the long term. You might struggle to find the motivation to see it through to relative success. You may find the world of business is not what you expected, and that you were happier in your day job.

Everyone should dream. However, before your dreams ever become a reality you have to think, plan, and prepare. Before you give up your day job, here are eight things you need to know about yourself.

1. What Do You Want To Do?

To say that you want to start your own business is pretty vague. What do you actually want to do? Do you have an existing passion or interest that you want to capitalize on? Have you seen a gap in the marketplace that you know you can fill? You will have a much better chance of success if you go into business knowing what your strengths are, where your ideas stand, and what you can see yourself doing for years to come.

Advertising

2. Know That You Can Be Your Own Boss

Many people want to start a business so that they can be their own boss. This is all well and good, but this alone is not enough of a motive for quitting your job. You will still be left with the boss of all bosses to deal with — your own conscience. You will have to manage your own time, and motivate yourself to get the work done. Can you make yourself productive without racking yourself with guilt every time you have a break? If not, you might actually end up missing your old boss.

3. Know That Your Motives Are Well-Founded

Rage-quitting your job because of an argument with a co-worker is not a great way to start a new life. If your motives are well-founded, then your business ideas are likely to be more grounded, and your action will be based on accomplishing something you believe in. The purest of motives is that you are completely passionate about your ideas, services, or product. Money is also a motive. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it isn’t your only reason. If it is, you might miss your old paycheck just as much as you miss your old boss. Starting a business is hard work, often involving a lot of time with no pay at first.

4. What Do You Not Want To Do?

There are always parts of a particular business or industry that you are not interested in, or that represent your weaknesses. Knowing what you do not want to do is; in a way, as important as knowing what you want. You can build your team around people, and roles that plug in your gaps. You don’t have to do everything yourself.

Advertising

5. Know Your Own Personality

One of the most important parts to starting a new business is to know your own personality, and to be comfortable with yourself. It’s like that with a lot of aspects of life. When you come across as an authentic and genuine person, other people will trust you. They will want to give you work, they will be happy to work alongside you, and they will feel they can rely on you. Of course, if you identify any troublesome qualities you should work on them. Being a well-rounded individual will be of immense value, no matter what business you start.

6. You Can Stay True To Yourself

It’s dog eat dog out there. That’s the classic phrase young business men and women are told by their successors. While most people in the world are not out to get one over on you, some are. There happens to be sharks in the murky waters of entrepreneurship. Staying true to yourself is of immense value to you. Not doing so could lead to you accepting work or deals at a lower rate than you are happy with, or engaging in something that you are not morally comfortable with. Learning to say “no” is extremely important. A prerequisite to staying true to yourself is knowing yourself in the first place.

7. What Are Your Interests Outside Of Business?

Having established what you want to do in the world of business and why, you must also challenge yourself to know about your interests outside of all of that. Working for yourself is all about life balance. You will dedicate a lot of your time to your business, but when the work is done you need to wind down and enjoy life. Otherwise, there is little point working for yourself, and your routine will be as dull as the office job that you left behind. Are you a family man? Do you love to surf? Have you always wanted to learn how to paint? Open up your world and be happy. Doing so will also help to keep you stay motivated and successful in your work.

Advertising

8. Know That You Can Stick It Out, Whatever Happens

Back to the dream world for a minute. Many people believe they can get their business rolling, sit back, and watch it run itself. It is more likely to run itself into the ground with an approach like that. Realistically, businesses experience ups and downs. You shouldn’t be too surprised if you face emotional and financial turmoil at some point. Can you stick it out when times are tough? How do you respond to that crushing blow that the world can sometimes deliver? Strength and confidence will ultimately lead you to success — if you have what it takes. So if you still want to run your own business, and you know yourself well enough to succeed, then go get after it.

Featured photo credit: jseliger2 via flickr.com

More by this author

Learn to code Learn Coding For Free With These 10 Sites 4 Ways to Send a Money Transfer Online INDX.guru 8 Powerful Hidden Features in Stock Market Apps You’ve Probably Missed 4 Apps To Turn You Into A Stock Market Pro (You Should Use) “I would be so successful if someone just gave me a shot”, you might think. Why not be the one to give youreself a shot? Many people out there have mindsets and attitudes that set them up for failure. They might answer my question with, “That's a crazy idea!” or “I've already tried that!” but how much of that is just making excuses? When it comes to limiting your own success, there are ten particular mindsets that turn those answers into self-fulfilling prophecy: 1. Loafing You'll write that novel just as soon as you're done with your favorite show. Oh, but now you're hungry. You'll get started after a snack. Oh, but now that snack has made you sleepy – a little nap couldn't hurt, right? One of the hardest parts, and the most obvious, of achieving success is the actual work. Procrastinating, making excuses or tricking yourself into loafing is just going to cement the fact that nothing will ever get done. It might not sound pretty, or even too easy, but the easiest way to get to success is to just jump in and get going (which is exactly how I got started). 2. Blaming It's not your fault you're not successful – the industry is bad, you don't have the money, etc, etc. When it comes down to it, however, who is the one responsible for your success? You. This is the day and age where people are launching successful start-ups in a few months, getting published online and finding their way to success one way or another. Some things might be out of your control, but blaming others is just going to waste the energy and time you need to get going. 3. Sour-grapes Being envious of the success of others is almost as bad as blaming them. All the time and energy you could be putting into your own goals is going towards a person who more than likely has done nothing but show you that the goal is attainable. You don't have to be applauding their success, but being envious and sour about it is a waste of time – let it roll off your shoulders and dig down towards accomplishing your own goals. 4. Minimizing others success Again, you don't have to be cheering and raving about the success of others, but minimizing their accomplishments looks bad on you and on your own goals. If you attained success, would you want others rolling their eyes and treating it like it is not a big deal in the slightest? I highly doubt it. “So they climbed Mount Everest, big whoop. Plenty of people have done it before”. Have you? 5. Talking You're going to do this, you're going to do that – the proof is in the pudding, ultimately. Talking about your goals and what you're going to accomplish is all well and good, but talking time is better spent actually doing. Talking about your goals has actually been shown to make you less likely to reach them, so zip up those chattering lips and dive in. 6. Making assumptions You know what they say about the word ‘assume’, it makes (a word I’ll leave out of this article) out of ‘u’ and ‘me’ . Unsuccessful people are the best at making assumptions without considering other outlets or opportunities. Missed chance after missed chance can put anyone behind or completely ruin something that you poured a lot of hard work into. People are often surprised at what happens if they take a chance instead of listening to that little pessimist inside their heads. ‘Never assume’ is good advice and it is a mindset you should get out of as quickly as possible. 7. Procrastinating This one is obvious, isn't it? It's about the same as loafing, but even worse because it applies to multiple areas of our lives. That big project? Eh, its not due for a week. My dreams? Eh, I'm going to be taking a class to learn how to write in a few months, I can relax until then. Procrastinating isn't the friend of successful people. Many of them had to learn how to either make procrastination work for them or to barrel through it and press on, even with the proverbial sloth demanding you park it on the couch. 8. Naysaying “It will never work. It is impossible, I just can't ...”. That is about when it is time to take a good look at yourself. There are a plethora of people out there that once thought the same thing: you can't get a man into space, you can't find a way for a human to fly, you can't cure a disease. Well, people did what was once considered impossible. If they can defy the entire world, why can't you defy your internal pessimist and get there? Don't tell yourself that it is impossible. In the world we live in today, it seems like impossible is becoming a word that gets weaker every day, and the same is true of your goals. 9. Consuming Fast food, energy drinks, trash TV – your brain is sobbing at the thought. With all the time spent taking in things that are not good for your brain or body, how can anyone expect it to happily balance out and produce the stuff you need to achieve success? Your output should be greater than your input; though you don't have to take the starving artist spiel literally. The point is, your production is where the value is, not the absorption. 10. Quitting “Well, I tried.” Sure, you tried once. That horse is shaking its head and trotting off to find someone who will get back on it. There's nothing necessarily wrong with cutting your losses sometimes. After all, no experience is ever truly wasted, but quitting is the top enemy to successful people. If you believe in something, if you want to find that success, there is no road map. You may very well have to carve your own path through treacherous jungle. If you give up the first time a mosquito bites you then you've doomed yourself already. Success, in large part, is about the human being in the arena. People cheer for them, their struggle and victory, but the person who watches idly and scoffs, having never tried has also never really lived. Mindsets are not set in stone. It is never too late to get started and change your perspective. After all, achieving success is completely up to you – you are the one making excuses and holding yourself back. You are also the one that will decide when it is time to stand up and get back into that arena. 10 Bad Habits That Stop People From Achieving Success

Trending in Entrepreneur

1 How to Write a Mission Statement That Empowers Your Employees 2 How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs 3 How to Start an Online Business That Will Grow and Succeed 4 9 Essential Tips for Starting Your Own Business 5 How to Start a Small Business From the Ground Up That Thrives

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

Advertising

Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

Advertising

However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

Advertising

5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

Advertising

Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next