11 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Entrepreneurial Journey

Life as an entrepreneur can be hectic, yet fun. It can allow you to reach your dreams, but it’s hard work for you to start a business and get where you want to be. You’ll need to make sure this is the right avenue for you and ensure you’re going to be able to do the hard work to reach your goals. Before you consider starting an entrepreneurial journey, make sure you know what your dreams are and how you can reach them. Also, take the time to go through each of the questions here to learn more about yourself and become aware of some of the things that might be coming your way as you get started.

Why Do You Want to be an Entrepreneur?

Many people simply say they want to be an entrepreneur because they hate working for someone else. The problem with this answer is that instead of having someone else tell you what to do to boost the business and help it be successful, you’ll have to figure out everything on your own. Ask yourself why you want to become an entrepreneur to learn more about what your goals for the future are and whether you’re going to have what it takes to reach them. You’re going to need more than just a desire to be able to work for yourself.

Are You Self-Motivated? Do You Have Self-Discipline?

A cup which says "begin."

As an entrepreneur you always have to stay motivated.

This is likely the biggest thing to consider before you start out as an entrepreneur. Are you going to be able to get up and going every single morning? Are you going to be able to put forth the work every single day, even on days you don’t really feel like doing anything? If you cannot get up and going every day or you may not be able to keep working towards your goal even when you don’t feel like it, you’re not going to be successful. You need to always be ready to work on your business and you need the ability to start working on tasks on your own without having someone else tell you what to do. When answering this question, be honest and ensure this is the right plan for your future.

Can You Be Flexible?

Entrepreneurs need to be flexible. You must be able to switch goals, to adjust anything you have planned, and to be able to move from one task to another depending on what needs your attention at the moment. You need to be able to give up things outside of your business if necessary to ensure the success of your business. Asking this question allows you to make sure you’re going to be where you need to be when you need to be there and make sure you can adjust as needed to reach your goals. You’ll need to be flexible to avoid getting too into one train of thought or one task and avoiding something that could make a bigger difference in the long run for your business.

What Needs to Change in Your Life for You to Be Successful?

You’re not going to be able to just switch from working in a typical job to being an entrepreneur. There’s likely going to be a lot you’ll need to change about your life to help you be successful. What does need to change? Are these changes possible for you? By asking yourself these questions, you can make sure you know what to expect as you start your journey and make sure you have what it takes to make the necessary changes to ensure you have the best chance of success.

Are You Going to Be Able to Balance Your Work and Personal Life?

Woman balancing on a rope in a canyon

Finding the balance between work and leisure is a tightrope act.

You likely don’t want to give up your social life, but as an entrepreneur, your business will always be on your mind. You might find you’re working much longer hours to try to get everything done. Are you going to be able to balance your work with everything else in your life? Can you make sure you still fit in other activities you enjoy and make time for friends and family? Only working can cause you to burn out quickly. Making sure you have a plan to balance your work and personal life can help you avoid this and enjoy your work more even when you’re putting in more hours to get everything done.

How Will You Handle Personal Expenses While You’re Starting a Business?

It’s quite possible it will be a year or two, or longer, before you see an income. At first, much of your funds for the business will be tied up in improving your business and getting you to your goals. Can you handle not having an income for a year? How about having a very small income? Make sure you know how you’re going to handle any personal expenses you might have during the first year or longer so you won’t have to give up on your dream just to avoid running out of money to cover personal expenses.

Do You Have All the Skills You Need to Create a Business?

If you’re starting a business in the same industry you’ve worked in, you’ll likely already know quite a bit about the industry. Yet, you’ll still need to make sure you have all of the skills you need to successfully launch your business. Do you understand how finances for a business work? Do you know how to handle internet marketing for your business? Asking yourself this question now gives you the opportunity to find out what you need to learn more about and what skills you might want to acquire before you start your business.

Can You Put in the Time to Get Your Business Up and Running?

Woman in front of a laptop creating a startup website

Make sure that you invest enough time and energy in your business.

You have already figured out how you’re going to balance your work and personal life. But, do you really have the time to get your business up and running? If you’re trying to balance work and a personal life, and you’re still working another job to provide yourself with an income, you’ll find you do not have enough time or energy to put into your own business. Answer this question honestly to find out what you need to do to be able to put enough time into launching your business and to make sure you’re still going to be able to balance everything as you get started.

How Will You Work Towards Goals and Avoid Being Discouraged?

You’re not going to just jump into being an entrepreneur and be successful. You’re going to be discouraged at some point in your journey and you’ll have times when it’s incredibly difficult for you to continue working on your goals because you’re discouraged. How will you handle this? You’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for disappointment, prepared to fail sometimes, and prepared to adjust your goals or what you’re doing to try to reach those goals. Thinking about what you can do to avoid being discouraged and to continue working on your goals can help you make sure you’re able to continue working on your business even if it seems like everything is going wrong at the moment.

How Will You Be Able to Handle Always Representing Your Business?

As an entrepreneur, you don’t really have any time off. Even if you’re relaxing with friends or away on a vacation, you’re representing your business. You never know when you’re going to meet someone who could be a potential investor or a potential customer. Ask yourself this question to make sure you understand how important it is to always be a representative of your business and to ensure you’re always prepared just in case you meet someone you can discuss your business with. You’re going to always want to give them a good first impression.

Can You Handle the Stress of Being an Entrepreneur and Keep Going?

Discouraged man sitting on the couch

Stress is part of the life of an entrepreneur, try to find a way to deal with it.

Being an entrepreneur is stressful. As you’ve learned through answering the previous questions, you’ll need to make sure you have balance in your life, make sure you’re always thinking about and representing your business, learn new skills, and make sure you can live without much of an income while your business gets started. All of this is stressful, and you’ll need to consider how you’re going to handle all of this stress. By making at least a basic plan now, you’ll know what to do once running a new business becomes stressful and you’ll be able to solve any problems instead of making them worse by succumbing to your stress.

The Bottom Line

Each of these questions can tell you a little bit about yourself and what you need to know to avoid some of the common pitfalls entrepreneurs face. They’ll give you some information you can use as you get started and help you make sure you understand what to expect while you reach for your dreams. Take the time to answer each question as honestly and fully as possible so you can learn more about what to expect as you start your entrepreneurial journey.

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