Over the years, I’ve often been lauded for following my dream and taking the entrepreneurial plunge. And I cannot deny it’s a heady feeling – you get to be your own boss and call the shots, 24/7!
But I’m here to also prick the bubble and tell you that despite the perks of being your own boss, entrepreneurship is certainly no cakewalk. In fact, it’s an unparalleled journey of self-discovery, where the ups and downs are equally important. You’ve got to be ready to face the worst with equal amount of energy – as you welcome the best.
If there’s one thing that will stand you in good stead as you navigate the choppy waters of entrepreneurship, it’s your passion. When you have an insatiable zest for what you do, that’s when the real magic happens.
So if you think you’re brimming with entrepreneurial zeal, here’s a ready reckoner you can use to decide whether now’s the right time for you:
- Am I ready for uncertainty?
According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey, a staggering 80 per cent of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. So why doesn’t everyone quit and do what they really love? I have one word for you: uncertainty. Uncertainty keeps us right where we are, unafraid to spread our wings and take flight. The trick is to accept that not knowing what will happen next is one of life’s greatest realities (unless you’re a palmist or a crystal ball reader!) I’ve found that being prepared for multiple outcomes, as well as being agile and able to respond – rather than react to a situation – helps immensely. I’ve also learnt not to overthink, to trust my instincts when it comes to dealing with unpredictable circumstances (or people, for that matter).
- Do I know what I want?
Are you absolutely 100 per cent clear in your mind of what you need to do? Do you think that you and your business can grow to be an authority in your field? I’ve seen many entrepreneurs-to-be run with a business idea just because it’s trending or profitable. However, entrepreneurship is a long-term game that will require you to devote every spare minute and every iota of energy you have. Like they say, if you’re not in it for the long haul, don’t bother.
- Can I build the right team?
Think of a duck floating in water – what you see above the surface is a picture of calm, but underneath the surface, the duck paddles furiously to stay afloat. I think this is the perfect analogy for an entrepreneur and his or her team. The founder is usually the face of the company, but there are countless others who work tirelessly behind the scenes.
I can count on my fingers the number of people who say they’ve achieved what they have entirely on their own; but I know that’s not the complete truth. There’s just no way you can achieve success on your own, which is why I believe the right team that complements your strengths can go a long way in charting your success.
- Am I prepared to embrace stress?
Ladies, it’s time to face the facts: You will feel like you’re living in a pressure cooker most of the time and you will have sleepless nights, thinking and rethinking every decision you’ve made. Stress is a pretty evident by-product of entrepreneurship. Limiting your stress all boils down to proper time management.
Here are two handy tricks to better organise your time:
- Prioritisation, though seemingly simple enough, can save you hours of haphazardness. Set internal deadlines for yourself and use the tools such as calendars and app organisers on your phone or tablet to keep ahead of the clock.
- Say ‘no’ to additional demands on your time. If a task asks too much of you, just say NO. And don’t feel guilty about it.
- Do I have a support system that will back me all the way?
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi sure ruffled numerous feathers when she said that women can’t have it all. I’d go a step further and say even men can’t ever have it all. The truth is we all have the same 24 hours and within this time frame, we have to manage our personal commitments, our professional aspirations, our hobbies, as well as our social lives. So how can you cope? By building an infallible support system. For instance, a loving and supportive partner to share your responsibilities, family or friends who step in to babysit, and hired help to manage the home front – these and more will turn out to be the backbone of your success story.
So is now the right time for you to take the plunge? If you can tick three or more items off the above checklist, I’d say you’re good to go! Ladies, embrace the inner entrepreneur in you and give it your best. I can guarantee you won’t regret it!