For most people, the moment when they made the decision to leave their job and start a business of their own always stands out in their minds. They can point to a specific day, a specific conversation or a certain book they were reading when they decided that they were actually going to do it. They can remember what they were wearing, what they were doing, what they were thinking or what someone else was telling them at that point. It was an iconic moment.
It’s as though time slows down and everything becomes crystal clear in that moment. An idea might come bubbling to the surface and you might say, “Aha!” That’s why this is often referred to as the “aha” moment. However, if you haven’t had this moment yet, don’t despair. Just ask yourself the following questions in the first 90 days after starting your business:
How Much Experience Do I Really Have?
In order to run your own business, you need a certain amount of experience in the field. You can’t just start a website selling clothes if you’ve never worked for a website selling clothes. On the other hand, you could start a website selling clothes if you’ve worked for a website selling jewelry. It is possible to transfer the knowledge that you have to another field, but the point is, you need the knowledge in the first place.
Make sure you understand how a business runs before you attempt to run one yourself. In general, a couple of years of work experience is the absolute minimum that’s necessary before you decide to start something of your own. In some unusual circumstances, you might be able to get by without this. For example, if you’re planning to start a business with a partner who provides the experience while you provide the creative ideas, you might be able to start a business with very little experience.
Do I Have What It Takes?
What does it take to run a business? First of all, you need to have thick skin. A lot of people will tell you that you don’t have what it takes, that you’re going about it all wrong, that it’s not the right time, that your idea sucks or that your partner is going to drag you down. You might also hear that you’re too young, you’re too old, you’re too middle-aged, you’re too soft on employees or you’re too bad at communicating with people. Everyone will always have something to say and more often than not, it isn’t going to be encouraging.
Everywhere you turn, you’re going to come across another reason why you shouldn’t be pursuing your dream. You might actually start to believe some of them. However, if you read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, the number of business anecdotes he tells you will astound you. Plus, you’ll also get to see that business owners come in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, male or female, introverted or extroverted. You can still run a good business as long as you put the necessary amount of effort into it.
Is This What I Really Want?
Running a business is a huge commitment. You’re going to be running it for a minimum of five to ten years. You might even end up running it your whole life. So before you dive in, ask yourself if doing this is going to make you happy. You will get to see your business grow at every stage, kind of like a new born baby. Growing pains will happen, but the good news is there are plenty of encouraging people out there to set you straight when you feel like giving up.
Everyone knows what will make them happy and what won’t. We all have enough life experience to know what types of things have made us happy in the past. And even if we’ve never attempted anything like this before, we still know how the idea of starting a small business makes us feel inside. Do you feel happy, enthusiastic, and excited at the idea of running your own business? Or do you feel dull, morose, or neutral about it? Let your heart do some of the heavy thinking for you before you begin.