You're not ready for entrepreneurship- here's your gut check.
The hardest part of shifting from a normal life to that of an entrepreneur or business owner is managing your psychology. A decision to start a business is a decision to undertake more responsibility as well as face more uncertainty.
There are a few big shifts you have to make in your mindset- and it's not intuitive or easy.
The first- you need to take full responsibility for your life. Most people go through their lives having other people tell them what they should be doing.
Elementary school, middle school, highschool, college...often much of this is planned out for you. You've been asking teachers whether or not you can go take a shit for the better part of 2 decades. You'd better believe you are heavily conditioned to ask for permission and direction.
The second is the level of uncertainty you invite into your life. As an employee, there are certainties and constraints you can rely on. Many parts of your day are ritualized and standardized as a default. Where you go to work, when you get there, what you do, when you leave, how you dress, putting money aside for taxes. Other then making sure you've been paid on time, your paycheck isn't something you really have to think about.
None of this is certain for the new entrepreneur. As a business owner, everything is on you. You decide where you work. You decide when you go to work. You decide what you do. You decide when the day is over. You decide your taxes. You will struggle to create and live the cadence and structure of the days that build your ideal life.
The third- you move from living in a time economy to living in a value economy. Regular members of society work in a time economy. This means you trade time for money. The business owner needs to figure out how to scale a business far beyond what he can do in his hours- and so he must construct a way to earn his living off of value added. He must build a machine that will sell while he sleeps.
The hierarchy of labor is as such:
Unskilled labor traded for time = $
Specialized knowledge + labor traded for time = $$
Specialized knowledge + courage to self direct and take educated risks= $$$
Taylor Pearson has a great article on this, check it out.
The fourth- most people live sheltered lives. You can lead a comfortable, repetitive, and tolerable existence inside the confines of a 9 to 5 and a home life. I have nothing against this- as long as it's of your own choosing. But inviting the chaos of building a business means embracing uncertainty and becoming comfortable with new and uncomfortable situations. It means being ok with living in a world where your emotional range is amplified by an insane amount.
So what can you do, knowing these four realities?
- Ask yourself if you're willing to make those four shifts.
- Ask yourself if you see any way to mitigate the risks that come with some of the shifts.
- Can you tell the difference between what you think is risky, vs what is actually risky?
- Challenge yourself to fight your way out of your comfort zone- getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is your greatest competitive edge. When you see everyone else is ready to quit, you know that's when the game has just begun.
- Protect yourself by limiting the damage of a worst case scenario. Knowing how uncertain building a new business can be, you shouldn't start your business with no plan or strategy. Understand what each risk entails, and create a plan to combat it. For example- if you know you'll be tested emotionally, willingly condition yourself so you can perform under pressure in a real situation. If you're going to risk financially, keep a job while you start this on the side.
There's no such thing as certainty or a guarantee of success. Give yourself a significant advantage by not going in blind.