The entrepreneurial journey can be a long and difficult process, and it never really ends. Perhaps you’re a new entrepreneur and want to be your own boss, or maybe you’ve been a business owner for a long time and are still developing new ideas and projects to pursue. Those of us who identify as entrepreneurs often have a drive that urges us to constantly be making progress and trying new things.
We go on many entrepreneurial journeys throughout our lives. The biggest one is often the first time you launch your business, but the same process has to take place on a smaller scale with new projects within your business or whenever you start something new, which could be as small as taking up a new hobby or as large as building a whole new company.
Often, the problem we face is that we have too many ideas rather than not enough. It can be difficult to determine what to pursue when you have limited time and resources. It’s easy to get carried away and start many projects that don’t get very far due to overcommitment of your time and resources or other roadblocks. Learning to filter your ideas and determine what is most viable as well as what matters most to you is an important skill.
Even when the path you want to take is clear, the challenge is usually finding the time to do it. How do you know when it’s the right time to start a new entrepreneurial journey?
Often new projects or business ideas get pushed aside for some undefined later date because there never seems to be enough time to dedicate to them. But if you want to succeed at accomplishing any new project or initiative, you have to understand that there is no such thing as not enough time. Once you reach adulthood, your responsibilities are never ending. Even if you were able to one day check off every possible thing on your to-do list, the list would start right back over tomorrow. Time doesn’t make itself available—you have to make it available by determining what tasks are less important, and temporarily (or permanently) putting them on hold. It’s a matter of learning to prioritize your time rather than budgeting it. If you’re able to put responsibilities on hold to accomplish anything or do something fun, that’s how you’re prioritizing them. The same goes for whatever else you want to accomplish—starting your new business, writing a book, or even spending time with your family.
This is particularly important because if you’re going to embark on a new entrepreneurial journey or project, you need to ensure you’ve taken the necessary steps to prepare yourself in order to create the best chances for success and avoid getting stuck, creating burnout, or taking unnecessary risks.
Here are a few questions to help you determine whether you’re ready:
Do you have a detailed business plan?
There’s no point charging into a new project if you don’t know what you’re doing. Creating a business plan will likely take a good amount of time in research and consulting experts who have already been where you want to go. Of course, your business plan is likely to evolve as you grow, but it’s necessary to start off with a clear plan that you can begin executing step-by-step so you don’t flounder. By sitting down to create a business plan, you’ll identify aspects you haven’t thought through and be forced to problem-solve. It will also help you find holes in your knowledge so that you can seek out more education where needed.
Do you have a high enough risk tolerance?
Different types of businesses carry varying amounts of risk, and you have to ensure you have the necessary risk tolerance to take on this new endeavor. If this is your first time starting your own business, do you have the financial security to make it your only source of income? If not, how can you create that security? The last thing you want to happen is to take a risk that knocks you down too far to recover, especially since new businesses and projects often carry unexpected risks. Taking risks is an important part of finding success, but you need to make sure you’re prepared for anything that could go wrong.
Are you open to getting regular coaching?
You will inevitably run into unexpected roadblocks on your entrepreneurial journey, and you’ll be able to navigate them much more successfully if you seek out regular coaching. Challenges are part of the journey, and coaching can help you both prepare for them and adjust your strategy when they arise. Remain humble and keep an attitude of learning to gain as much as you can from everyone who coaches you as well as from your experiences.
If your answers to any of these questions are no, what needs to change in your life and mentality to turn them to yesses? Start by working on these elements before you launch into your new business plan to set yourself up with the best chances for success. Don’t forget that failure is an inherent part of the journey and is a necessary step in order to eventually succeed.
With the right mindset, preparation, and support, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. So go ahead and take that leap of faith. Your future self will thank you for it.