by Debbie Ruston, Featured Contributor
IT ISN’T HOW to write a business plan, how many staff to hire, or how to budget. There are obviously things like this to learn when running a business, however, the most important questions start before you get to that point.
Ask yourself – WHY do I want to be self employed? It isn’t enough to say you don’t like your boss. Although that may be a trigger that sets your entrepreneurial wheels in motion, it has to be more than that. So you don’t like your boss. Join the crowd….most don’t. So what makes your situation different and why are you leaving the perceived safety of having a job, to starting your own business? Take some time to think about this from your heart and take the time to really think this through. An example of how this could look: (you may want to print this page off, so you can go through this properly when you have time)
These questions will uncover to you the real reason you want to start a business. It is very revealing when you take the time to go through this exercise. Understanding why you want to become a business owner, and what brought you to this spot will assist you in deciding what type of business to start. Too often people choose a business because they really don’t know what else to do and they have not done this preliminary reflecting. For instance, a person may start a franchise. They don’t realize the limitations and long hours they would be putting in, and the amount of time it will take to pay off that investment. That may not be the solution they actually wanted.
This person may want a business to stop working the long hours they are putting in at their job. To start a franchise that will require long hours would not be the best solution to achieve the goal of more family time, and will most likely cause even more stress and frustration for the individual and their family, because that would also require a substantial investment. This leaves the franchise owner feeling like they have to work long hours to pay off the investment.
To make a better choice, look at the answers to the questions that have a * beside them. It’s important to identify what you are not happy with, what you really love, your underlying motivating factor (as in being with your family more), what’s truly important, ideas, interests, skills, passions and experience. This will allow you to explore from the heart the direction you should be taking. You will find answers here that you hadn’t previously considered. This will allow you to do work that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. You will truly understand the real reasons you are taking this step and be able to make better choices.
You don’t learn these things in business school. This comes from real world experience, from those that have walked the walk, been through the challenges, learned from their mistakes, overcome adversity and those that have been willing to do what ti takes for as long as it takes. If you are contemplating entrepreneurship, take the time to think these things through…you will be happier with the outcome.
For even more insights into these important questions, listen to my recent podcast: