When are you ready to start your own business?

I have heard many people saying that they want to start their own business, but many few of them actually did.  Why?  Because those who are only saying it don’t have these 4 minimum requirements:

  1. Commitment
  2. Support
  3. Tenacity
  4. Humility

Commitment

What is commitment?  It is when you can quit something immediately to start something else.  In this case, if you can quit your job immediately to start your own business, then you are committed.

Without commitment, you will not start your own business.  Many “experts” advise people to start something small on the side while keeping their day job.  I personally think this is not going to fly because why would you spend the time to think about other people’s business during the day when you can actually use the time to think about your own?  If you can, then you are probably not that serious about your business.

Consider this example.  If you saw two kids fell on the street (one of them is yours and the other one is somebody else’s.  You don’t have a personal connection with that somebody, but you sort of know who he is), whose kid are you going to save first?  I’d save my kid first because he is more important to me, and I am personally and emotionally more connected with my own kid.

Or let’s say if you only have one hour to spend with your own kid versus somebody else’s kid, whose kid are you going to spend the time with?

If you cannot find that personal, emotional connection with your own business, just forget it since you will be able to use those few extra hours to work for a job and get a promotion sooner.

Hence, first step — commitment, and that is — quit your job immediately.

Support

Secondly, you need support.  Here are a few ways to build your support, and I suggest that you do all of the following:

  1. Get a life coach: One of the best things I did in my life by accident was to hire a life coach, and trust me, I was very skeptical about what a life coach can do for me.  Now, I am really glad that I at least gave it a try.  These people are professionally trained to arouse the hero in you.  Thus, if you don’t have one yet, get one now.
  2. Form a board of advisors: You need to first identify your weaknesses.  For first-time entrepreneurs, it’ll be your experience.  Hence, you’d want a seasoned entrepreneur to cultivate your entrepreneurial skills.  Specifically, you need someone to tell you the TRUTH because most entrepreneurs are extremely optimistic, and they have to really work hard to learn realism.  Once you complete the board, you will need to set accountability with them.  For example, if you fail to do what you plan to do, you will give up 2% of your share to the option pool and you will ask for their commitment to meet with you on a monthly basis.
  3. Get your family on board: Sometimes this is the hardest part because your family may not have an entrepreneurial background or worse, your family had a bad entrepreneurial experience.  In either case, you need to get them on board.  It’s very hard to feel right about what you do when your family turns its back on you.  In addition, if you cannot even convince your parents about what you do, then why should other people buy into what you do?  However, as much as you want to get them on board, some entrepreneurs fail to do that, and most of them give up their dreams because of this reason.  Therefore, set a timeline for yourself, and if you cannot get them on board in time, you will just have to do it first if you really believe in your dream.
  4. Reform your network of friends: Some friends are bad.  They only discourage you whenever you want to walk the extra mile — they think it’s pointless to “try so hard” on anything.  You have to cut loose those friends, and get some new friends who support your passion and expand your vision.

Building a well-rounded support network is extremely important.  Without it, you will be like a sinking ship, and if you can’t even build one, you might as well give up entrepreneurship now.

Tenacity

Now, you have a great support network and you are 200% committed to your dream.  It’s time for you to go out and knock on people’s door for some resources.  Here are some of the things that you will hear people say when you knock on their doors:

  1. There’s no need for this / no one will want to pay for this
  2. The market is too small / only fools will want this
  3. Who are you?  Why do you think you can make it successful?  What’s your background?  How many companies have you started before?
  4. Have you seen company A and product B?  Aren’t you doing the same thing?
  5. … (no response)
  6. How come nobody else is doing it?
  7. I don’t think you will make money at all

When you hear these things, you have to first congratulate yourself because you are doing the right thing.  If you don’t hear these things at least once a day, then either you are not talking to people at all or you are still in your dream.  In either case, you should sense that something is wrong because people are skeptical about new things — it’s a human nature.

Here is how the human cognitive process works:

  1. They hear / see something
  2. They try to associate that something with some old things they know
  3. They try to draw a conclusion about your new thing from some old things they know

However, new things are new because they are not old.  So, how can you make an accurate prediction about something new from something old?  You can’t because they are just not the same.

Your job as an entrepreneur is to extract the valuable part of their feedback and continuously improve your concept.  If you fail to do this, you will get discouraged and you will not last for too long.

Therefore, tenacity, in my opinion, is the ability to stay focused on listening to beautiful music (valuable feedback) in a noisy environment (irrelevant information).

Humility

You need a co-founder because you are not perfect, and you don’t have time to become perfect to do everything all by yourself.  Entrepreneurs who fail to see that cannot be an entrepreneur.  If you are good at bringing people on board, then you need someone who is good at building the product.

Being humble does not mean that you think less of yourself — you just think of yourself less.  At the end of the day, if your dream only involves yourself, then your dream is probably just a fantasy that is full of yourself.  Thus, realize your weakness, find a soul mate, and change the world with him!

Although being an entrepreneur is not easy, it is extremely rewarding.  Hence, if you are serious about your life, find ways to meet the four minimum requirements and go pursue your dream!

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About Daniel Chu
“Success is to drive and continually shape the excellence in you and around you” – Daniel Chu Born in January 1st 1983 in Taipei Taiwan, Daniel Che Yi Chu moved to Ontario Canada by himself at the age of 14, seeking for better education. In 2007, Daniel obtained his Honor Bachelor of Science (with distinction) in Computer Science (Software Engineering) from the University of Toronto, St. George campus. Currently an IT Project Manager at TELUS, Daniel is leading teams with up to 15 members and managing budgets between $100K-$800K, facilitating a $900M deal with the Quebec government (http://bit.ly/17A6tu). Since graduation, Daniel joined TELUS’s Leadership Development Program (http://bit.ly/bLnKD), which gave him an opportunity to explore different professional roles, such as a Business Analyst, Developer, IT Project Manager, Human Resources Project Manager, and Strategic Advisor. Continued to grow, Daniel joined Toastmasters in 2008, and obtained both the Competent Leader and Competent Communicator designation in 2009. Also in 2009, Daniel was nominated and elected President of his Toastmasters Club (http://www.telespeakers.com). Daniel is a committed Christian who is also a committed volunteer at Big Brothers and the Crisis Center. He helps the Crisis Center deliver suicide prevention workshops at Vancouver’s high schools. Daniel enjoys various activities, such as swimming, playing basketball, and bowling. He also enjoys reading and writing.

2 Responses to When are you ready to start your own business?

  1. Pingback: Closer To The Ideal » Blog Archive » What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

  2. great idea says:

    thank you so much for your ideas and sharing

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