10 Questions All Young Entrepreneurs Need To Answer
You’re young, you’re talented, you’re driven… and you have your sights set on being a successful entrepreneur. As you get ready to make the leap into the world of owning your own business or running your own company, it is important to know where you are going and that you have the tools necessary to get there. To help you get started, here are 10 questions that all young entrepreneurs need to answer for themselves.
1. Where does my passion lie?
Everyone talks about passion, but using this as a foundation for entrepreneurship really is important. Sure, you can make money doing something that you don’t really love, but it is usually the people who pour their blood, sweat, and tears into a company who have the better chance at success. Why? Because if you are passionate about your product or company, you will stretch yourself further, work harder, and not be persuaded to give up or quit as easily as those who are motivated by other things.
2. What are my strengths & weaknesses?
Knowing the areas where you are strong, as well as those where you lack experience and talent in, really will help you in getting started. Often times, entrepreneurs will play a variety of roles within a small company or startup operation, but knowing your limits will keep you from sabotaging your efforts. If a position is important to the business, and you are no good at it, be wise enough to hire or outsource it.
3. What is my motive?
Let me start by saying that “money” is not the right answer here. Neither is fame or power, by the way. Yes, you will likely make money and probably even a name for yourself, but if your motive isn’t a little deeper, it likely won’t last. Motive is all about what drives you from an internal place. What you can look for in the mirror each morning, and be proud of. Having pure motives in life and career gives you peace and purpose, and these things are invaluable.
4. What am I afraid of?
Have you ever seen someone freeze or make a really poor choice when they were faced with a terrifying situation? This is because fear is a force that has the power to paralyze, cripple, and incapacitate people. As entrepreneurs, the last thing we want to be is stuck in a place where we can’t think, rationalize, or move. In order to avoid this, it is important to know what you are afraid of. Once you have identified the areas of fear in your life, you will be able to train yourself the proper response patterns to follow if you find yourself in a frightening situation.
5. Does the data match the enthusiasm?
One mistake that young entrepreneurs tend to make is letting their enthusiasm override the facts. Everyone gets great ideas, and many driven people want to act on those ideas immediately, while they are most excited about them. The danger with this, though, is that you risk spending time, effort, and resources on something that may not even be viable once it is analyzed a bit. Take the time to sleep on an idea and do your research. If the data comes back strong and your enthusiasm managed to last through the week or the month it took to gather intelligence, you’ll be in a much better place to act.
6. Who is my mentor?
While many people may not specifically claim having a mentor, everyone has someone that they bounce ideas off of, ask for help from time to time, or simply learn from. Having a mentor not only eases the learning curve for new things, but helps you to stay grounded as well. A great mentor will be someone who has been down your path or a similar one and who is willing to help you navigate the hard parts.
7. Do I have support?
If you are going to be a great entrepreneur, you will have to think outside the box and take some risks that most people wouldn’t consider taking. You will also have to get used to the idea that not everyone will support what you are doing. All leaders and innovators face discouragement, criticism, and those who doubt what they are doing. The best way to combat these nay-sayers, though, is to have a solid circle of people in your life or company that will support you. Identify these people, and then use them as a rock to anchor your ambitions to when you hit a storm of disparagement.
8. Where will I get my cash?
Having good cash flow for opening a company or developing an initial product really can make or break a business. Unfortunately, most people just don’t have piles of money lying around in their closet to use as startup funds. While you may not know exactly what specific source your cash will come from, you need to have a general plan and a way to execute it. If you plan on taking out a loan, make sure you have the credit or assets to obtain it. If you will use an angel investor, how will you locate and sell this person on your project? Basically, understand that money doesn’t grow on trees and be sure that you are willing and prepared to jump through the hoops that may be required to get the cash you need.
9. Am I prepared for rejection?
Being an entrepreneur requires you to have thick skin and that you be tough. Not everyone wants to see you succeed and many would like nothing better than to toss you on your ass when you ask for their help with something. Your dream is not their motivation and your need is not their problem. So, before you empty your piggy bank and quit your day job to pursue an entrepreneurial endeavor, make sure that you are prepared to deal with the rejections that is inevitable.
10. What will I do with my success?
I once was told that planning for something puts you in a better place to actually receive it. That being said, you should have a vision for your future successes. Think of the things you want to do for yourself and your family, for your company and employees, and for the community or world at large once you have reached the top. While it may seem childish to sit and daydream about a bright future, it will align your thinking with success and give you an image of your future to work towards.
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