I just read Carol Roth's The Entrepreneur Equation. Every budding entrepreneur should read this book before throwing away the 9-to-5 (or 9-to-9) job and working for themselves.
Carol's 280-plus page book clearly lays out what it takes to be an entrepreneur. It asks the tough questions you should ask yourself before you decide if being an entrepreneur is for you. The book helps you answer these five basic questions.
- What is your motivation?
- Is this the right time?
- Do you have the right personality?
- What is the business opportunity?
- Have you assessed the risks and rewards?
I've had a full-time job. I built my business while I had a full-time job. Then I left my job to run my business (Smallbiztechnology.com) full time. So, this book really hits home with me. I know that Carol's five questions are important.
If you want to be an entrepreneur to make a lot of money, you'll most likely fail at it. The most successful entrepreneurs have a passion to create a great product. They put the pieces together to sell it to a base of customers who want it. Owning your own business (or being an entrepreneur) is not easy, so be sure you have the right motivation.
The timing of when you become an entrepreneur is very important. Most entrepreneurs don't have the gold-plated rise to fame that Google or Facebook did. Rather, the path of many entrepreneurs is full of challenges and hard knocks. But it hopefully also brings sweet success at some point. Regardless of your path, it's important that you're prepared for what lies ahead. Do you have the time to run your “side" business while you're still working? Do you have a new baby who needs caring for? Do you need to devote resources to a college student? Timing is important.
Being an entrepreneur requires a special personality. This does not mean that every entrepreneur is the same, but it does mean that you need the right "mix" to ensure that your entrepreneurial desire has the best chance of success. To be an entrepreneur, you have to be resourceful. And you have to have passion, thick skin and a few other things.
There are a lot of ways to make money. You can build another Facebook, buy a franchise, buy someone else's business or consult. There are hundreds of other business opportunities you can leverage. Understanding the business opportunity is critical to understanding the mechanics of your entrepreneurial endeavors.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur don't just pick any business to launch or run and think you'll be successful. Carefully review the business opportunities available to you so you pick one (or several) that give you the best chance of success and mesh well with your timing, personality and motivation.
Risks and rewards
Being an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to make big rewards on the risks you take. It also allows you to lose lots of money and time in your entrepreneurial endeavors. I'm sure you are prepared for the rewards. Are you prepared for the risks or failures?
If you have a full-time job and are itching to leave to be your own boss, slow down and ask yourself the tough questions that could make the difference between success and failure. Maybe you're better off working in a cubicle for the next seven months or seven years.