Should You Take the Leap?

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone.  It is a leap into the unknown.  While there can be great rewards, there are also great risks.  Like for almost everything in life, there are lost of little quizzes, especially on-line, that you can take on the subject.  Score the right amount of points, and you should be an entrepreneur.  The decision to leap into entrepreneurship is a very important one.  Just as you wouldn’t pick a spouse based on a Cosmo sex quiz, don’t put too much weight in these quizzes that determine your entrepreneurial ability.  If you seriously take inventory of your personality, likes, and goals, you can gauge whether taking the leap into entrepreneurship is for you. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone.  That’s OK.  Everyone is different.  Some people love the thrill of being dropped ten stories on a roller-coaster ride.  Some don’t.  Neither makes you a good or bad person.

From the lowest to the highest.

One thing that you will need to be comfortable with if you are to be an entrepreneur is that you will have to do, or be prepared to do, almost every task that it takes to run your business.  While your business card may say “CEO,” this doesn’t mean that you get to sit in a fancy office all day and rely on your staff to do all the dirty work.  Unless you are lucky enough to have a huge infusion of cash, you will need to keep your overhead low.  That means, in the beginning, much of your company’s work will fall on you.  Even if you have staff to help, they will not always be there.  They may get sick or not show.  If that happens, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves to get the job done.  Getting the job done is how you get paid, so letting the job go undone is not an option.  This could mean making deliveries, packing boxes, cleaning bathrooms.  The list of possibilities is endless.  While you may not be doing these things every day, there may come a time when the only person that you can turn to is you.

It’s a juggling act.

If you only want to keep your nose down and focus on one task, then entrepreneurship may be difficult for you.  As an entrepreneur, you have to juggle a multitude of tasks.  The network is down.  The printer broke.  A delivery is late or wrong. Your insurance is up for renewal.  Your bank balance is low.  It all gets in the way of getting the job done, but these problems have to be addressed.  While your role in fixing them might be finding the right person to fix the problem, the buck still stops with you.  You’re no longer in the corporate womb where so much is done for you so that you can focus on doing your job.  If the thought of having to buy toner cartridges for the printer or searching for liability insurance makes you sick, you may want to know how you’re going to handle these things before you take the leap.

You’re going to see the man behind the curtain.

There is illusion and then there is reality.  For those in a “regular” job, it is easy to buy into the illusion of regularity and stability.  It seems like your job is solid, your company is solid, and there is ground under your feet.  However, that is an illusion.  The reality is you don’t know the future.  Your company could go under, your boss could fire you, your company could eliminate your job.  Even though that is the reality, it’s easy to ignore the reality and buy into the illusion of stability.

As an entrepreneur, you see the man behind the curtain.  You are confronted with the reality that there is little to no solid ground under your feet.  The reality may be that you’re down to your last $1,000.  You haven’t had a new customer in days.  Your supplier failed to deliver on time, and it is costing you sales.  You see that you are on a roller-coaster ride, and you don’t know what the next turn will bring.

Time to evaluate.

How did these different scenarios make you feel?  Did you freak out?  Did your stomach churn?  Guess what?  That’s OK.  The question isn’t whether you reacted badly.  The question is can you handle it.  As an entrepreneur, you’re going to face some heart-thumping, stomach-churning moments.  That is practically guaranteed.  Is that enough to make you take a pass?  If it is, then that’s OK.  But, if what’s driving you is more powerful than the stomach-churning moments ahead, then you may be ready to take the leap.