Inside Out Approach To Entrepreneurship, Part 3, Check Your Readiness
October 9, 2008 by Akemi Gaines
How do you know if you are ready to jump?
So you carved out your niche from what you love and polished it to a marketable products or services. Now you have the basic idea of what kind of business you will be in. But how do you know if you are ready to leave your corporate job and become an entrepreneur?
There are things you can check to objectively evaluate your readiness. For this, I’ve already written the e-workbook 7 Check Points For Aspiring Entrepreneurs, so I’ll just do a quick review of that book in this post. Then there is the inner knowing, the critical sense of readiness.
Don’t sabotage your aspiration with perfectionism
There is one thing I want to emphasize before we move ahead, however. It’s about perfectionism. When you are caught up in perfectionism, you are likely to say one of the following two things (or both) to procrastinate:
- “But I’m not ready yet. There are more I need to learn about this niche. If I’m starting my own business, I want to be the best, and I’m not there yet . . .”
- “(Even though you have a clear plan or picture of your future business), but I don’t know if my plan is good enough. There may be things I have not considered . . .”
The truth is you don’t need to be the best to start a business. You need to be good at it, of course, to the point it makes sense people pay for your service or products, and it’s important you are committed for improvement, but you don’t need to be the best.
Starbucks don’t offer the best coffee. They may say so, but that is just their marketing. I know much better coffee. But I still go to Starbucks often because I like the atmosphere there. Did Microsoft perfect its technology before launching to sell their software? Did you buy their stuff anyway? Same with service industry. Is you doctor the best? Maybe not even in the small community you live in. How about your hairdresser?
Later, when we talk about marketing, we will be talking about what home-based business marketer Naomi Dunford calls USP (Unique Selling Proposition). No, I’m not going to repeat what she already taught you, so if you are not familiar about this concept of how to differentiate you from the crowd, please check out that post and maybe the rest of her Marketing School series. What I want to say here is “I’m the best.” is NOT an effective differentiater, so right here and now, you need to be heading to high quality and uniqueness, not the impossible conceited status of the best-ness.
And you can never foresee and prepare for all the challenges you will have in your business. You and your business are to grow through the challenges. You can’t have a perfect business plan and be done with it. Commitment for improvement is far more important.
How to check your readiness
I think the best way is to talk it out. Get a trusted partner who would give you honest feedbacks, not just nice compliments. You may want to hire a business coach – it’s a good investment compared to crashing a new business due to poor preparation. Again, be sure to get a coach who knows what it is like to start a new (probably home based) business and who is honest and has integrity.
Then, talk about your plan. If you find yourself hesitating to talk about certain aspects of your plan, that is a good indication that part needs further work.
My $2.95 mini e-workbook offers a lot of questions you can use in this dialogue in the following seven areas:
- Motivation: The power of strong and sustainable motivation
- Strengths and Weaknesses as Entrepreneur: How to realize the strengths that often go ignored
- The Market: Understanding the market and its needs
- Vision: The big picture of the business and its owner
- Team Building: Strengthening the business by building a winning team
- Risk Management: The biggest difference between an employee and entrepreneur
- The Money Challenge: Testing the market and planning the cashflow
Be sure you are not “escaping”
In the first section “Motivation” of that workbook, I discuss the difference between moving toward your goals and dreams and moving away from what you loathe. This is important. If you want to escape, your goal is achieved the minute you step out the company building. It is not a sustainable motivation. If your motivation is all about escaping, you are not ready for a big adventure like starting a new business.
The inner knowing of readiness
I personally did this step really “wrong”, by the way. Sure, I studied and contemplated, but in the end, I basically just stepped out. No matter how much you prepare, there comes a moment you have to make a decision, and that comes as a quiet inner knowing. I knew I had to start a new life, so I did.
Please also read
Or read on to Part 4 of this series.
If you like this article, you might enjoy my eBook on spiritual entrepreneurship. Click here for free, immediate download