Being an entrepreneur sounds like fun. You’re following your dreams, starting your own business, being your own boss. You can build a business specifically how you want to, you can work from anywhere and charge what you need to charge to provide a great quality product but also afford the lifestyle you desire. You suddenly have all the freedom you need to make it work, but can you make it work? What does it take to run your own business?
Whether you’re freelancing, writing products, coding or working as a virtual assistant, you’re in business for yourself and it can be a challenge.
If you haven’t made the leap to entrepreneur yet, here are some tips on how you know if you’re cut out for it:
1. You have a thick skin
If you’re going to start your own business, you have to be ready for the naysayers. These people can be your own family or strangers on the internet. There’s always people ready to tear others down, and you will be no exception.
If you don’t get bothered by what anyone says – whether it’s your mother or a random troll online – then you can handle being an entrepreneur. But if you’re the type of person who wants total and complete validation, then you should probably find another career path.
You have to be willing to take heat. Some of it might be constructive, some of it might reveal fears you already have. But you have to be ready to accept it and hear it without losing your confidence.
2. You’ve failed before – and recovered
Studies show that people who have grit, who believe that they can fail and still succeed in the end are the ones who do better in life. If you’re the type of person who’s quit more than things than you can remember, being an entrepreneur might not be the best career for you.
Choosing this lifestyle means that you’re going to have to get used to people saying no to you. You’ll face adversity, deal with risk and learn what happens when you fail. If all of that makes your stomach churn, you probably need a different career path.
If you’re the type of person who tries skiing a black diamond without a helmet, then being an entrepreneur is probably not right for you either. You have to have the right mix of cautious and bold without being careless or afraid.
3. You have a backup plan
You never want to start off in a totally new direction without a parachute. Even if you have total faith in yourself and your business is guaranteed to succeed, it always helps knowing that you have time and money in case something goes wrong.
The whole cliche of “the most effective people are those without nothing to lose” only works in action films. You have to have savings, possible other forms of income and marketable skills to ensure that if your business doesn’t work, you have something to fall back on.
Knowing you have a back-up plan means that you can be patient while you wait for your business to grow. It means that you won’t take on projects that pay poorly just because you need the money. It means you can make the best decisions for your business, not your bank account. It gives you the security and peace of mind to think rationally instead of panicking about how you’re going to pay for rent.