Have you ever wanted to start your own business but are unsure whether you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit in you? Are you feeling unfulfilled in your career?
With the arrival of a birthday each year, it’s fairly common for us to reassess where we are at in our life, relationships and career. We ask ourselves questions such as, am I happy in my job? Am I feeling fulfilled at work? Is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life?
When you spend up to a third of your life at work, it’s fairly important that you enjoy what you do. For a lot of us we get up, go to work, do our job and enjoyment is often fairly low down the important priorities list. Whilst enjoyment should be at the top, often other things such as financial security and what job options you have take precedent. With so many of us not enjoying our jobs and careers, it’s no wonder we look outside our cubicles for something else. That something else could be finding another job or career that aligns with our passion or starting a business based around what you enjoy.
If your job doesn’t excite or energise you, and you want this year to be a year where you explore other options for your career, then it’s time to think about becoming an entrepreneur. Maybe you’ve never stopped to consider this as an option. Entrepreneurship can be a rather daunting thought. That little voice in your head takes over and bombards you with more questions. What would I do? How would I earn money? Where would I begin?
Before you succumb to that little voice, let’s look at 4 simple questions you should ask yourself which might help you decide whether entrepreneurship is for you.
Do I want to help others?
As humans, we’re wired to want to help others. It makes us feel good and often through helping others we are in fact, helping ourselves. It also brings a sense of community into our interactions and provides purpose to our life. If you recall a time when a natural disaster such as a flood or fire occurred, it’s very evidence there’s a strong bond in the community as people rally together to assist those affected. There’s an extra bonus when you know your work impacts others for the better, you often experience greater job satisfaction. Think firefighters, nurses and social workers. Scientists refer to this feeling as a “helper’s high”, adding that the release of endorphins positively impacts mood and boosts morale.
Can I solve a problem that others have?
Solving problems is really at the core of business today. Find a solution to a problem and you have yourself an instant money-making machine. Okay, so money won’t magically appear in your hands but if you think about business as nothing more than solving a problem, you’re thinking like an entrepreneur. How do you know what problem you can solve? Grab a piece of paper, sit yourself somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and fold the paper in half lengthways. Next, think about all your skills. List them down the left side of the paper. Then for every skill you have listed, think about the problem it solves and write this on the right side of the paper. For example, I have the skill of interview coaching, this solves the problem of a lack of confidence people have in interviews. Now step back and review your list, identify your top 5 and research whether you can build a business based on one of those.
Do I have a growth mindset?
Why does mindset matter and what is a growth mindset? According to Dr Carol Dweck, a growth mindset helps us reach greater levels of achievement. Someone with a growth mindset embraces challenges, persists in the face of setbacks, learns from criticism and finds lessons and inspiration in the success of others. For any would-be entrepreneur, it’s critical to adopt this mindset approach. It’s not all doom and gloom if your mindset still needs some work. Cassandra Dunn, a psychologist, offers 5 tips for developing a growth mindset, they are: a) start using the word “yet”, for example I’m not much of an entrepreneur yet, b) progress not perfection, c) unhook from criticism and praise, d) celebrate effort, not talent and e) learn to love the process.
Am I persistent and determined?
This question is closely linked to the adoption of a growth mindset. Any entrepreneurial journey is a marathon, not a sprint. It may take 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years. It’s important not to give up. Keep your eye on your goal and stay the course.
We’re often quick to dismiss something if it feels uncomfortable or overwhelming. But sometimes it’s worth asking yourself, “what if”? What if I started my own business? What if I became an entrepreneur? More than ever people are taking control of their careers and entering the entrepreneurial world. A world where you can set your own hours, do what you love and feel like the work you are doing is truly making a difference. If you’re still not convinced whether becoming an entrepreneur is for you then ask yourself this question, “Will I look back on my life in 10, 15 or 20 years from now and regret not becoming an entrepreneur?”