Is Entrepreneurship For You?
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“If you simply work on things which you like and areardent about, you donot need to have a principalstrategy with how stuff will come out.” - Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook
Entrepreneurship means being your ownboss; it means having the freedom to choose your own working style, your own clients, and maybe making your dreams come true too.
It doesn’t have to be a big company needing lots of capital, many current entrepreneurs started with just one person or a couple of people with ambition, working out of their own homes until they made it.
So why aren’t more people trying it? Let’s take a look at the entrepreneurship game, and who’s winning it and how.
The Gig Economy and Making It as A Millennial
Entrepreneurship is already a growing trend. According to leading economists, there are countries where a majority of jobs created over the last decade are ‘non traditional.’ It might worry your parents to hear that you’ve left your decent (but soul sucking) job at an established business, but you’re in good company!
With more and more companies hiring consultants and part-time in order to reduce costs in medical expenses and pensions, at some point entrepreneurship seems to be the only sensible option.
Rise of the Internet Entrepreneurs
In the age of the internet, all you need is a some (or even one) goodbusiness ideas for new entrepreneurs (the easy part) and the guts and drive to work with it until everyone else recognises what a good idea it is (the hard part.)
There are sites like Kickstarter, and Initial Coin Offerings for non-traditional ways of getting capital, and Lyft, and Youtube or Patreon, for people who want to make themselves heard, and a hundred other sites to do a hundred things.
With the internet, you can pick up clients, make capital, make a website, make apps for websites and get paid for them, all with minimal effort and cost. Before the internet, flyer and advertisements would have been a big chunk of your budget. Now not only is it easier to get work, but the sort of work you can do has also exploded with a million new types of jobs.
The hard part, as all famous entrepreneurs will tell you, is doing the work.
Knowing Whether Entrepreneurship Is For You
Thinking about finally telling your boss that you quit might be making you feel on top of the world. But that’s the good part.
If you really want to be an entrepreneur, then consider:
- Your working hours are from now to forever: It’s your baby, and if clients don’t find you available then they will take their business elsewhere.
- Everything’s your job: In a 9-5, you have a work contract. In your own business, you deal with everything, including the plumbing. If you don’t have the money to hire an accountant or lawyer that might mean you yourselfhave to do your taxes and company registration, and everything else. If anything isn’t perfect then just like you no longer have a boss to yell at you, you no longer have a boss to cover for you.
- No more perks of the job: While you get to choose your own hours and clients, you also give up the (possible) security of having company-covered insurance.
- Money is going to be tight: No matter how good you are, and how smartly you plan, most new businesses run ata loss for around two to three years. That’s really a very rough guess, and it could be six months or 6 years. Luxuries are going to be scarce.
- To quote Star Trek, it is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose…that is life. As an entrepreneur, you can do your very best, make a great product that is necessary and do your best to get clients, and still end up dissolving the business. If you want to make your dream work, then you might have to try more than once. Consider whether you have the emotional and financial resources to fail and still keep going.
There are a lot of things to consider before dipping your toes into the waters of entrepreneurship, including doing a demands assessment, but these 4 points really capture the hard side of life as an entrepreneur.
If you don’t have supportive family and friends, it can get both lonely and tough. If you can’t handle the pressure, then you don’t have the basic qualities of a successful entrepreneur, no matter how good your ideas are.
…But If You Can Handle The Pressure
“There are lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there is justalegitimate,good reason, and I feel you know what it is: it’s to revolutionise the world.” - Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.
Then a business start-up might just be the way to fulfil your dreams. Every entrepreneur, no matter what they do, start from the same basic idea: they have seen something missing, and they want to fill in the gap.
Whether you want to start a restaurant, or build an app, or build up a traditional woodworking business, the basis is the same.
Keep failing, keep trying.
How to Start
“I’m sure that about half of what splits the non-successful entrepreneurs from the successful ones is sheer perseverance.” - Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple.
Don’t quit your day job, yet. If it’s possible, set up your business and start collecting clients or building up your product while you still have a steady income. If you have a spouse with a steady income, it’s easier, but saving up some for the tough times ahead is the smart choice. Learn how to start a small business while you aren’t depending on it for your daily needs.
Once you’ve set up the business, got enough in the bank to get you through the next few months, got some clients. Then quit. Don’t burn your bridges, be polite and professional just in case you need to come back.And then go live your dreams.