Your Career: Starting Your Own Business

In the last Career post, we touched briefly on starting your own business. Specifically, what questions to ask yourself. In this post, we’ll go into more details so you can decide if owning your own business is right for you.

When you’re sitting at your current job, ticked off at your boss, frustrated at your measly paycheck, and tired of the tedious tasks, it can be tempting to get away from it all and become your own boss, with your own rules. But before you decide to make that leap, you need to decide if it’s really the right step for you.

Entrepreneurs tend to have many similar traits that serve them well in their careers. Among these traits are a drive to succeed, the ability to self-motivate, creativity, and willingness to think “outside the box.” If you’re missing some or all of these qualities, you may still be able to successfully run your own business, but the journey may be a bit more difficult. Having the passion for what you decide to do, however, can outweigh just about anything.

If you decide that starting a business is the right choice for you, you’ll next need to decide what it is you want to do. This can be based on a talent or a passion or both, but make sure that whatever you decide holds your interest enough that you’re willing to stick with it in the long-term. If you lose interest after a short while, your business is not likely to succeed. Passion for what you’re doing can keep you going, but lack of passion can dwindle your chances of success.

Another thing to keep in mind is the money factor. Regardless of what you decide to do, chances are pretty slim that you’ll bring in a lot of money right off the bat. You need to be mentally and physically prepared for the lack of funds in the beginning. There will be a lot of expenses and not much income, and you’ll still have living expenses not related to the business, as well. Think about cutting back expenses or building your savings — or, most likely, both — before making the business your primary source of income.

As a reminder, here are other questions to ask yourself, as indicated in the previous post:

  • Will you work by yourself, or will you need partners or employees?
  • How will you get paid?
  • Where will start-up money come from? Will you need a loan?
  • Will you work out of your home, or will you need a physical location? How will you pay for the associated expenses?
  • How will you let the world know about your business? Who is your clientele?
  • How will you deal with customer/client concerns?

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and you’ll likely keep adding to it as you go. You don’t need to have all the answers right away, but the more research and preparation you can be beforehand, the most likely you are to be successful. Many have gone before you, but success is not guaranteed. Think long and hard about your choices and the path you want to take. And good luck! Owning your own business is not easy!


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