Considering an Entrepreneurial Journey? A MUST Read Before You Launch Part One.
Picture this: You are sitting at your desk four o’ clock on a Friday afternoon. Your mind is racing. Surely there must be more to this work thing than the nine to five. I have dreams, goals and I am really getting burnt out here, something has to give. Is it time for me to take the leap and start my own thing?
If this is you, you are not alone. Many people come to this crossroad. My story however, is much different for my journey into starting my own thing began right out of college. I acquired my insurance and securities licenses, signed an office lease, put my shingle on the wall and started prospecting business day one!
Regardless of how you reach your defining moment, I believe there are some common factors that lead each of us to the decision to launch out and claim our piece of the “entrepreneurial dream.” BUT, before you board and set sail on your personal journey, it is important to take a serious look at your vessel, your resources and in particular the resolve to reach your destination. I submit the following pre-launch checklist for your consideration.
Not to start out gloom and doom but the reality is, the odds are not in your favor. The journey of entrepreneurship is not a made for television movie where in a two hour time frame, someone goes from having nothing to owning a successful corner café or launching a world-wide accepted new product or service. According to a recent article in the Gallup Business Journal entitled “Why So Many New Companies Fail During Their First Five Years.” October 23, 2014; 50% of all new start-ups fail in the first five years and 80% fail in the first year.
The good news however is that this same research discovered that the success of a new business had a significant amount to do with the person (that’s you and me) starting the business. The research noted that of the 4,000 entrepreneurs studied, the approach and desire coupled with demonstrated actions clearly were the most heavily determining factors to the success and failures of the new start-ups.
Check Your Map:
It is critical you have a well laid out plan before you start your journey. Hit and miss can destroy you! This does not mean that you have everything figured out…it simply means you have a plan and a purpose to guide through all the “learning moments” you will experience. Your map must be current and provide all the necessary data and resources available regarding your journey. These include your capital, your product, your market, your competition, your support system and any legal issues just to name a few. Imagine beginning a trip to an unfamiliar destination and the key guiding force is outdated, incomplete and lacking critical information to help you get there.
Check Your Stake In the Game:
Knowing your personal value is significant to your outcome, how would you answer the following questions? What is your invested interest in the outcome? Does it matter personally and emotionally as well as financially if you succeed or fail? One of the key ingredients in determining the outcome of a successful business is the level of ownership in the results. Naturally, the more highly invested, the more involved in influencing the outcome. To get a level of the size of your stake in the game regarding your dream, answer the following statements.
1. The most important person I answer to regarding my performance regardless of employment status is me.
2. It really hurts when I fall short and I will do everything in my power to fix it as soon as possible.
3. I experience real joy and satisfaction in great outcomes for others and for myself
4. I am constantly on my own striving to be more productive and I am in a constant learning mode
5. My work matters to me beyond the paycheck
If you are able to unconditionally agree with the statements above, then you possess the attitude and approach as well as the commitment to being highly invested in the outcome. Coupling this with a genuine sense of urgency to succeed will be a great catalyst to launching you in the right direction on your entrepreneurial journey.
So, as you can see there is a lot to this pre-launch process. Tune in tomorrow, same channel for the conclusion of this “must read” post.