3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

Written by rebekah Published in

Thought Leader Blog Post
Starting a business can be scary; there is no doubt about it. When you finally decide to take the plunge, and quit your cushy, full-time job with benefits to create your own way in the world, it can be terrifying, isolating and exciting, all at the same time. It probably feels like you are jumping out of a plane with no parachute. Yet, the only way to know if your idea will work is to just go for it, and hope for the best.


While you can never fully predict if you will be successful or not, you can at least arm yourself with tools to increase your chances. As an entrepreneur, one of the things I have found to be crucial is the ability to be unsympathetically honest with yourself. Not to get all self-help guru on you, but knowing your personality and what you can handle, will go a long way.


Here are a few things you should figure out about yourself before starting a business:


The Amount You Can Take On

To be successful at anything, you can’t spread yourself too thin. As an entrepreneur, “no” should become your new favorite word. When you first set out on your own, you think that you will do whatever it takes to be successful. This includes grueling workweeks, insane amounts of hours and never ending to-do lists. You can only maintain this pace for so long, until you become completely burnt out. From the beginning you should set very strict guidelines about the amount of hours you will work and how many projects will take on. In the long run, it will pay off if you produce quality work for a few people, rather than mediocre results for a lot of clients.


The Things You Are Willing to Sacrifice

Becoming resentful will only hurt your business. You need to know what you are and aren’t willing to sacrifice. For example, I make it a point to only work once or twice a week. I am not willing to sacrifice my free time every night to get things done. I need my time to catch up with friends, watch TV, and simply unwind. At the beginning, you might tell yourself that it is okay to miss your friend’s birthday parties or son’s soccer games. Once you are successful, you won’t do that anymore. However, your to-do list will never be done, and if you don’t set the precedent from the beginning, it will be hard to break the habit. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything that makes you happy. It can all go together, but it has to be a balancing act.


The Time When You Need to Take a Break


We all can only take so much, and we eventually get to a breaking point. As an entrepreneur, you have to know when you can’t take anymore. Sometimes you get to a point where you just need to walk away for a few minutes (maybe even a few days), and collect your thoughts. When you own your own business, you have a lot of people counting on you, so your mental health really should be a priority. If you are feeling unraveled, taking a break is not a sign of weakness. It shows you are really in-tuned with what you need.


You will learn early on that being an entrepreneur is an on-going process. If you have the entrepreneurial gene, you will probably always be reaching for something new. This is why it is important to set these boundaries from the very beginning. By laying a healthy foundation, you will set yourself up for success and happiness!

Rebekah Epstein is the founder of fifteen media, an agency that works exclusively with PR firms to streamline media relations in a digital era. She specializes in business, lifestyle, fashion and beauty PR. Rebekah also [amateurly] blogs about the ups and downs of Gen Y entrepreneurship at NeonNotebook.


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