If the last 10 years have proven anything, it’s that we can’t always count on a paycheck by working a regular 9 to 5—especially in the Detroit area. With the near collapse of the auto industry, the housing market’s slow recovery and unemployment still lagging, we can’t help but explore different alternatives to earning money.
Enter: The Entrepreneur.
Owning your own business is becoming more and more popular these days, specifically during the revitalization of the city of Detroit. While facilitating the HOPE Inside Small Business Workshops, I’ve learned that people turn to entrepreneurship for 3 reasons:
To be in control of their own earning potential
To fulfill a sometimes lifelong dream or goal and
To have the freedom to spend their time the way they want
If you fall into one of the above categories, then you may want to consider starting your own business. But should you do it? You see, the question isn’t so much about whether or not you can be an entrepreneur, but whether or not you should become one.
According to Bloomberg, 80% of small businesses fail within the first 18 months. Let’s let that sink in for a moment. This means that if you and 9 of your friends each start a business, eight of you will be looking for work again in less than 2 years! This also means that the odds aren’t in your favor whatsoever, so you need to be certain that you want to invest in such an undertaking.
Although there are a plethora of questions you should ask yourself before embarking on an entrepreneurial escapade, listed below are the top 3 questions you should carefully consider before becoming the next billionaire business mogul:
Why do I want to start a business?
If you’re angry at your current boss or purposely rebelling against the establishment by not becoming a part of the corporate machine, you may want to re-think starting you own business. Maybe talking to your boss about your issues or finding work through a non-profit that works for a cause you believe in, could make for a better situation in the immediate future. If not, then keep reading.
If I HAD to do it for free, would I?
This one shouldn’t be a question, but rather an expectation. You most likely will not be making the big bucks right away. Actually, with most businesses, you’ll be spending more money than you make in the beginning. Therefore, it’s pertinent that you are honest with yourself (and your partner(s) about why you want to do this in the first place; you may have to do it for free at some point, so make sure you at least like what you’re doing.
IF YOU FAIL, WOULD YOU TRY AGAIN?
This is the most important question. So many successful and infamous entrepreneurs failed. They failed some more, and then failed again. We’ve heard the stories about how Bill Gates, Ariana Huffington, Walt Disney and Tyler Perry were all rejected—many, many, MANY times—before finally becoming the history-making juggernauts that we all know them to be today. You’ve absolutely, positively got to have persistence, tenacity, grit, thick skin….you get the picture. There’s something to be said about a person that who can withstand hearing a hundred no’s only to continue forging ahead to his or her dreams.
Although there are plenty of questions to be answered before you take the first step in becoming an entrepreneur, these three questions should spark an interesting internal (or external, if you have a partner) dialogue. Being your own boss is no small feat, but if you’re prepared, determined and a little lucky, you can most definitely beat the odds.