Great business ideas are a dime a dozen, but most of them never get implemented. People dream about starting their own businesses but keep working at their nine to five jobs and their ideas never come to fruition. This is because it takes a certain kind of personality to take a germ of an idea and turn it into a successful venture.
It’s relatively easy to think of an idea; sometimes cool ideas come to us in a flash, when we weren’t even thinking about business. Taking an abstract dream and creating a workable plan to make it happen is what’s truly difficult.
How do you know if you should quit your job and devote yourself to implementing your idea? Ask yourself these four questions:
How afraid am I of failure? Everyone is afraid of failure, but successful entrepreneurs have learned to overcome this fear and move ahead despite it. It’s impossible to make no mistakes on your business journey, so you have to learn to accept failure. Pick yourself up, learn your lesson, and try again. If you let fear rule your emotions, you’ll never get up the guts to strike out on your own. Even if you do get started, if fear is your go-to emotion, it will bring you down at some point.
- Do I tend to find excuses for my mistakes? Entrepreneurship is about taking full responsibility for everything that happens in the company. Whether things go badly or well, you are the one who is responsible for it. Excuses are not productive; they are just ways to explain to yourself or others why your mistakes are someone else’s fault. Benjamin Franklin said, “I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else.” In order to move forward in business and in life, you have to admit to your mistakes and figure out how to fix them and move on. If you aren’t willing to be accountable for your actions, entrepreneurship isn’t for you.
- Am I afraid of success? This may sound like an odd question, but a lot of people are in fact scared of success, even if they don’t realize it. These people tend to get nervous as soon as their business starts to take off, and sabotage it by procrastinating, fighting with their business partners, etc. Success is scary because it requires you to leave your comfort zone and move into uncharted territory. Successful business owners are those that are strong enough to adapt to change, accept success as their due and immediately start thinking of ways to be even more successful.
- Do I need someone to tell me what to do? Not everyone is a self-starter. Some people work best in a structured environment, with a boss who provides a list of tasks and checks to make sure they are completed. If that’s you, stay in your full time position. Running your own business requires you to set the standards, be the model and follow through. You need to stay focused and not allow yourself to be easily distracted. You need to keep your eye on the ball, and be organized and committed to producing what you promised. Keeping your priorities straight and knowing in what order to tackle tasks is an important part of being an entrepreneur. Instead of having someone tell you what to do, you have to learn to delegate work to others.
Although the majority of awesome ideas never make it to the implementation stage, your idea doesn’t have to be one of them. If you have the personality traits necessary to make it in the business world, jump right in. If you think you might be afraid of failure, responsibility or success, don’t despair. These fears can be worked on and overcome. It might mean taking some time for self-improvement before striking out on your own, but it will be time well-invested in the success of your venture.