There's a lot to be said for being your own boss. You get to chart your own course, create your own hours, and choose your own employees.
However as glorious as it can sound especially in today's job market, entrepreneurship is a big-deal decision that isn't right for everybody.
What do you need to mull over to make a decision? If you're thinking about owning your own business, first see how accurately you believe the following statements describe you:
- I am comfortable owning my own business and not realizing a profit for one to three years, even if I need to work long hours.
- I feel comfortable knowing that entrepreneurship involves employing
skills in a variety of roles, such as technician, manager,
administrator and accountant.
- I am self-motivated and rarely procrastinate.
- I enjoy challenging myself to move beyond my comfort zone.
- I have had positive experiences selling and/or I believe I have some talent in sales.
- I am willing to challenge myself and explore getting out of my comfort zone.
- I find taking risks to be exciting, motivating and energizing.
- I am persistent.
- I shrug off mistakes and failures pretty easily and get back to what I need to be doing.
- I am decisive and action-oriented.
- I enjoy talking with people, am a good communicator, and I get along with most everyone.
Recently the Wall Street Journal Online interviewed Pamela Slim, author of "Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur" and blogger extraordinaire at Escape from Cubicle Nation, about what kind of mindset it takes to be an entrepreneur.
"Entrepreneurs are wired to be comfortable with open-endedness and ambiguity," Slim offers.
Some people choose to start new businesses repeatedly, while others switch back and forth between entrepreneurship and working for an organization.
If you're ready to take your entrepreneurship exploration to the next level, SCORE offers small business mentoring.
Another key step to take is to talk with entrepreneurs about their experiences. What are their challenges and how do they handle them? What do they find are their most critically used skills? What advice can they offer?
There are many other considerations in addition to the viability of your business idea, your temperament, your skills, and your contacts that you'll want to think about before taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Two key considerations are money and family.
Obviously you'll want to crunch the numbers carefully before quitting your day job. Many people start businesses in their off hours at first, as profits can be slow to trickle in.
If you are part of a partnership and/or are a parent with children at home, be sure to think about and discuss the ramifications of being a business owner with them. What would need to change at home to make this work? What additional support might you need?
If you decide to start your own business, you don't have to go it alone. There are many support organizations for entrepreneurs to connect with and learn from.
If you're thinking about starting a business, what's holding you back? And if you own your own business, what do you most appreciate about that?