Are you ready to start your own business?

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“If we look at fear "without fear" at least once, we will get an idea of its dual aspect: on the one hand, it can activate us, on the other - paralyze us.”  

Are there times when you feel so motivated and full of ideas that you can’t wait to implement them right away? And other times feel so emotionally drained and haunted by the fear of failure that you decide to rather just settle for your boring, uninspiring 9-5 job? 

Now, imagine you are living in a beautiful forest, surrounded by high trees, and in a warm tropical climate. You have plenty of food and water. Life is good and you are comfortable. But, down there next to the cliff, is a bridge. A bridge immersed in mist. You always thought about the things you would find on the other side, but you never had the courage to cross it. Deep down you know you want to, but you doubt yourself – what if you don’t make it to the other side? What if you just find a wasteland? You have everything now, but still, you feel there is something more. 

When people think of starting a business, what stops them in most cases is fear of the unknown. Self-doubt takes the lead and prevents us from taking action. In his book “Basic Forms Of Fear”, Fritz Riemann says something that I deeply believe in, “If we look at fear “without fear” at least once, we will get an idea of its dual aspect: on the one hand, it can activate us, on the other – paralyze us.”  

In the following lines, are a few questions which you should answer truthfully. Don`t underestimate these simple questions as they will allow you to better understand yourself and the stage you are at right now. In this article, I will cover only a few of the main ones, but you can download the full list here. 

1. How Am I Doing?

“How are you?” You probably hear this question at least once a day, right? It’s the one thing polite people usually ask. But do they expect a truthful answer? I don`t think so. You often hear “I am doing well, how about you?”. It is so, so common that we easily forget how powerful that question is. Sit down in front of a mirror, and ask yourself “How AM I doing?”. Emotionally? Financially? Career or family-wise? Get to know and understand your current situation. You may be wondering, why do I need to do that? I just want to know if I am ready to start my business, it is not about me, it is about my business. If you are not feeling great and you experience a high fluctuation in your emotions, then how do you expect to make the right decisions? What happens on the days when you’re too stressed, overwhelmed, or not in the mood and you have clients relying on you to get the job done? Do you give up? 

There will be times when anxiety will take over or you would be super motivated and your vision will be blurred by purple butterflies. And if that`s you, you can still be ready to start a business. The idea is to acknowledge how you are feeling and still take action.  

2. What sacrifices are you ready to make? 

“So, you are telling me that this guy standing in front of a swimming pool, next to his 10 luxury cars is making a sacrifice? Sure, I can definitely do that. I can sacrifice my 9-5 exhausting job to be on the beach drinking cocktails, work on my own terms, and just relax. I would have more time for my family and way less stress. “

Believe it or not, that comes to mind for so many future entrepreneurs. They often neglect to understand that there were months, sometimes years, of work put in to reach those achievements. They never see the late nights filled with stress trying to find a solution to an unsolvable problem. Or the sacrifice of time for family, friends or loved ones. This might seem harsh to some, but let’s face it. If you are not ready to accept that this might be your reality in pursuing your goals, then how are you doing to endure the difficult times? You need to accept the probability of sacrificing a lot of what you currently have for an idea that might fail. Once you realize this, you have the freedom of preparation which is a huge advantage.

Why would anyone want to do that? Indeed it seems illogical, but starting and growing your own business gives you so much fulfillment that after a certain period of time you can’t function without it. It is almost like having a kid, they drive you crazy, but you can barely remember what life was like before they were around and you can not imagine what life will be like without them.

Just a side note, what you see on those well-made ads that make you purchase things, is well thought out. They only show you the “success”. Targeting desires is what makes people take action. But, you should be careful of what expectations you set for yourself, as this will affect the actions you take or do not take. 

3. Are you open-minded? 

“My way is the right way and your opinion is worth exactly nothing.”

You might not say it out loud, but with your actions you clearly manifest it. After you start your business you will soon realize that you need to deal with people-induced pressure. There will be a rain of opinions and criticism, which at some point could suffocate you. To deal with all the “good” intentions you need to stay open-minded. You need to be able to remind yourself that you believe in the things you are doing, but you also need to realize that from time to time you will make mistakes and people will point them out. The knowledge of how to handle criticism is an art that many of us need to try to master. It is an internal opposition to the idea that we did something the wrong way. We need to keep learning and be ready to transform constructive feedback into rightful on-time actions, especially at the time we are starting our business. Many companies fail because they forgot how to handle criticism and to sift the valuable information that might come from it. 

4. Can you accept failure? 

I am still searching for a person that doesn’t fear failure in one way or another. If you are that person, please reach out to me! This topic is my favorite, so definitely more to come, but for now, what is essential is not to look for an absence of fear, but rather to focus on accepting it and moving on. Here are some recent stats provided by Fundera

  • 20% of small businesses fail within the first year
  • 30% will fail by the end of the second year 
  • 50% will fail by the end of the fifth year 
  • 70% will fail by the end of the tenth year 

I know, I know, this Joanna girl is so pessimistic. The facts are that you would fail at least one time in your entrepreneurial life, so better be ready to accept that and move on. 

5. Do you have a plan B? 

The person that invented the idea of having a “Plan B” has my deep admiration. What I love the most about it, is that if you come up with plan B early on, you then reduce the stress of being successful at any cost. It gives you space and comfort to clearly see that you are not trapped by just one option.

One wise man once said, “ The most successful people are those who are good at plan B.”. This wise man is James A. Yorke. 

Final thoughts

There is so much more that could be said on this topic and we have not even discussed financial and time resources. It is not that they are not important, but because I deeply believe that they have way less influence over our decision to start our business than we might think of. 

Remember there is no right or wrong answer, just your answer. And no one except you, can tell if you are ready to start your own business. This article is intended to guide you and hopefully help you realize that if you accept the flaws, you will enjoy the success of your business. 

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Joanna Ata

I know how hard things can get when you are trying to figure out everything by yourself, but you shouldn`t. Being there myself I understand all the anxiety, fears, and desires that you have. For the past few years, I had the amazing chance to work closely with many different entrepreneurs and business owners, to be there for them, when there were ups and downs. Now I want to help as many people as possible to grow a successful business.