What to Know Before Starting a Business
Think about something that you really care about, something you feel like you would die without. Maybe it's a relationship, or a child, or a pet, or a skill that you hold near and dear. No matter the image that pops into your head, I would guarantee that you have had to work for this thing in some capacity. Every relationship, job, and hobby requires a level of effort and skin in the game. The more you get you invest, the more your loyalty will grow.
Owning a business requires your undivided loyalty. The mindset of instant gratification will never get you anywhere in a venture. A baby business requires all of your time, attention, and emotional sanity. It pulls you away from your relationships, your hobbies, and the simple things in life that used to bring you joy. You want joy, but you also want money and success and stability. It's a feeling of panic unlike any other.
Before you start a business, you need to be ready to have long term goals without any short-term pay off.
Lately, I've encountered so many young people hungry to own their own business and control their career. Their passion is there and the idea is often present, but the biggest thing lacking is experience. In some ways, owning a business is probably a lot like parenting - you can't possibly be ready, and you won't know how it feels until you do it. However, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself to have a child: babysit, read books, talk to experts. Readying yourself to own a business should be given equal attention.
Here's what they don't tell you - owning a business is 99% grit and 1% glory. Being a dreamer means nothing if you aren't willing to get your hands dirty.
If you want to know if entrepreneurship is for you, don't start a business. That's right, do. not. proceed. Instead, find a startup that can't pay you anything and works you to the bone. Find something that allows you to put all your eggs in one basket with no promise of a return. It's important to get a taste of what you will be doing with your time. Things like paychecks, benefits, and days off are not in your foreseeable future, but your long-term goals will be so much better for your experience. You have to know what you're getting into before you can decide if it's what you really want. If you aren't willing to sacrifice, you aren't ready to gain.
Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone, and if you jump in the deep end without doing your research, you could drown. Make sure that you love business as much as you love your idea, if not more. Don't wing it. Have a long-term vision, do your research, get your hands dirty, and be ready for the unexpected.