Over the last few months many people have asked me for advice regarding their ideas and if they should go ahead and do anything with them.
After hearing their ideas I always repeat the same answer (regardless of the quality of the idea). “There are lots of good ideas, however, the gap between a good idea and making it into a business, is huge. If you don’t feel like it’s the only thing you want to do and the only way you can live your life, my advice to you is “Don’t do it”. The price you need to pay for being an entrepreneur is not one that everyone can afford. It doesn’t mean you are less talented or professional, it just might not suite your character and or lifestyle and that’s ok.
My suggestion is, before you embark on your new venture; answer the following questions:
1. Are you ready and financially able to work long hours for an unknown period without earning any money?
2. Can you leave your comfortable workplace (although it might be boring) that gives you a monthly salary, a car, time for friends, delicious spoiling lunches, a cozy, ergonomically correct environment with a nice manager’s chair? In exchange for a grungy garage with a broken chair, cheap pizza for lunch, no salary, no weekends and no luxuries? While the clearest thing is that nothing, is clear?
3. Can you give up on seeing or even minimal quality time with your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband? Are they ok with that?
4. Can you sustain the difficult times? Times when nothing is going well and you can’t see when and from where salvation will come from?
5. Are you a risk taker and can you function in an unstable environment?
6. Do you think you will be able to work with partners? Are you ready to spend most of your waking hours with your partners (Days and nights, good times, difficult times, during the calm before the storm, during the storm and afterwards?)
7. Can you leave your ego outside the garage?
8. Are you ready to invest your money into the business (any amount that is => $2K)?
9. Do you believe in your idea enough that no negative feedback will make you think it’s not as good as you thought it was on conception?
10. Will you regret it for years if you don’t go for it?
If your answer to all of the above questions is YES, in my opinion you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I know, it seems like all the questions are filled with negativity and you are probably thinking that if that is the situation, why am I doing it myself? Well, first, not everything is negative; there are great moments with uber-excitement, but you must be aware of the less shiny aspects of being an entrepreneur. The media mainly presents the success stories, and rarely do you hear about the failures, which are probably 3 out of 4 at least.
Personally, the answer for why I am an entrepreneur is very simple. I just don’t know anything else. I truly feel that if I wasn’t an entrepreneur I would probably be a miserable man, devoid of any motivation to work. I guess it’s just stronger than I am. It doesn’t make me better or worse than anyone, it’s just who I am.