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.
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.
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.
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.
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