The notion of being a business owner is easy to romanticise. Being your own boss, in control of your own work hours, creating the environment you work in to suit you. Pursuing your passions through means that are almost entirely tailored to your liking definitely sounds appealing, and without a doubt has its advantages. However the reality of entrepreneurship can shock new business owners. It is demanding, and carries with it endless responsibility and constant inconsistency. Do you have the skills or mindsets to thrive as a business owner?
- Leader vs Follower
You don’t tend to show initiative and you enjoy taking orders or instructions. Do you enjoy being a follower, and prefer to take out tasks that are already set out for you as opposed to the other way around? Business owners not only follow out tasks, but delegate them and organise not only themselves but the people around them. Decisions made ultimately fall on them. If the idea of harbouring that level of responsibility frightens you- then entrepreneurship might not be for you.
- Are you a risk taker?
The inherent nature of entrepreneurship is inconsistency and uncertainty. Are you one to thrive on the unknown? Many of us love the stability of a consistency and a regular pay check and need that comfort and consistency to function. If you’re one of those people, then being a business owner is not for you. The reality of owning even the most lucrative of businesses is that there is always irregularity.
- Are you a committed individual?
To succeed in business you need to be highly committed to sticking with it when times get tough –because they will get very tough. Some of us love jumping around careers or hobbies, flourish with constant change, and being in a position to easily approach a new task, or in this case career. But if it isn’t in your nature to adamantly stick something out, you might find the reality of being a business owner becomes rather frightening. Managing your own workplace, and by extension your own income and the income of others takes a toll. You can’t give two weeks’ notice and drop of a letter or resignation to your employer then jump on LinkedIn to find something new. 50% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years…. You may become a part of that statistic if you realise you’ve got yourself into a particularly tricky mess to escape from! You need to be focused, highly dedicated and motivated.
- You’re innovative by nature
When you sit in your local coffee shop… do you find your mind running a million miles an hour? Thinking how you would change how it’s run to be more efficient, alter the interior or character of the venue, and make more profit? In this case entrepreneurship might be your calling. You look at the world with the perspective on how to improve it, how to develop and progress, and never simply accepting things as they are if it’s not to your standard.
- You’re trying to escape
If you are perusing a business venture for the sole reason that you want to ‘escape’ –you need to perhaps reconsider. You want to avoid and run away from an overbearing boss or lazy and annoying co-workers, you just want your own space? Being a business owner might seem like that best way to live an affluent lifestyle whilst being your own boss, and choosing who you want to surround yourself with. The reality is very different. You will likely find yourself at times needing to be the overbearing boss you once ridiculed. You now have to dictate and delegate tasks to your employees, whilst balancing and maintaining a healthy relationship with them. All the while you are coping with the stress of how your business is being operated or portrayed according to the people you hired.
You need only the desire and funds to start a business. However it takes a lot more than that to succeed in a business long-term. Assess whether you have what it takes to stick it out, or if you are prepared for the disadvantages and shortcoming that accompany being a business owner.