In This Episode

There has never been an easier time than now to get into business for yourself.  With modern technology and the resulting connectivity you could literally have a worldwide business set up and running in a matter of days.  So depending on your view this could be an exciting opportunity or totally overwhelming.  But just because you can set up a business, does that mean you should?

We’ve spoken a lot over the years about what it means to be a business owner and the mentality of a business owner vs. an employee.  One isn’t better than the other, but like most things in life it depends on your perspective.  Knowing us as you do, we’re big believers in people owning their own business.  However, we recognize that not everyone is cut out to do their own thing.  As Judge Smails said in Caddyshack, “Well, the world needs ditch diggers too!”

So how do you tell if you have what it takes to be a business owner vs. resigning yourself to being a “ditch digger” instead?  Here are some key things to consider:

  • Short-Term vs. Long-Term: as you make day-to-day decisions are you focused more on the short-term or the long-term? If all or most of your decisions are made based on short-term thinking (e.g. how can I get to 5pm Friday so I can unplug) vs. longer-term thinking and asking yourself how this decision impacts the business which includes everything from your customers to employees and vendors and everyone in between.
  • 9-to-5 vs. 24/7: do you think about your work as something that should be contained in 40 hours per week or do you realize that your mind is going 24/7 and that requires you to be available and on your game whether it’s Tuesday at 10am or Saturday evening at 8pm?
  • Self-Focused vs. Others-Focused: when you are making decisions are you focused mostly on what the impact will be on you or are you taking into consideration how your decision will impact others as well? If you are others focused you’ll do uncomfortable things to help you and your business grow.  If you’re self-focused chances are you’ll talk yourself into not doing things to help you and your business grow.
  • Place Your Bets: so are you the betting type? Are you more likely to bet on yourself vs. others?  Just about every business owner you meet has bet on themselves, and they continue to do it every day.
  • Risk Averse or Risk Taking: risk is one of those things that’s like beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder. What do you consider “risky”?  Is it more or less risky to work for someone else vs. yourself?  Do you prefer to have more or less “control” over your future?
  • How’s Your Gut: do you handle stress and uncertainty well? One of the most rewarding and exhilarating things about owning your own business is that each day can be different and present new challenges and opportunities.  Does that sound like fun to you or like it would cause ulcers?

There are several things you should consider if you’re thinking about going into business for yourself, including the items listed above as well as other topics we covered on the show today.  Keep in mind that just about every business owner you talk with will tell you they would do it all over again if they had the chance vs. continuing to work for someone else.  What kinds of regrets can you live with?

People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show