Making the decision to branch out on one’s own can be daunting. Even if you are largely convinced that you are ready and that your idea truly has legs, there is still that nagging sense of doubt that eats away at you.
The best way to face up to this confidence eroding creature inside you is to take a good hard look at yourself and your ability to handle the challenges of entrepreneurship. The questions below which originally appeared in a Wall Street Journal guide for small businesses will help you figure out if you are ready for the journey. If you can answer these to your satisfaction, then you can feel much better about taking the plunge.
Am I passionate about my product or service?
You can’t sustain your drive and desire to make it work if you don’t completely and wholeheartedly believe in what you are setting out to do. So, before you decide to quit that secure job to pursue that brilliant idea that woke you up in the middle of the night, do a belief check to make sure you find it as compelling in the morning as you did at 1 am.
What is my tolerance for risk?
It will likely be a roller coaster ride once you decide to step into the vehicle. If you are normally risk averse and don’t have an appetite for volatility, then this may not be your gig.
Am I good at making decisions?
There will be choices and decisions you will have to make right from Day 1. Renting or leasing? Full-time employee or part-time help? Traditional advertising or social media? Make sure you have the ability to make those decisions quickly and stand by them. And if some don’t work out, you need to be able to cut your losses quickly and move on instead of getting bogged down in regret.
Am I willing to take on numerous responsibilities?
As the founder of a start-up you probably won’t have the luxury of a full-fledged team. Your responsibilities may range from updating your website and social media profiles to managing your accounting books. Multi-jobbing is often a requirement for the small business owner.
Will I be able to avoid burnout?
Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by what you have to handle on a daily basis is a very real possibility and something you have to be mindful of. You should get into it only if you know you have the mental strength to handle the high stress levels or the option to step back and take a breather when the going gets too hectic.
Complete this introspective exercise before putting your idea through the rigors of planning and market research. It allows you to gauge whether you truly have an entrepreneur waiting inside even before you take a crack at that business plan.