There is no one-size-fits all answer when I get asked, “Should I go into busines for myself?” There are some reasons you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur and when a client mentions one of the following as the reasons he or she wants to become a business owner, I caution them that they might be headed down a path they won’t enjoy and at which they may not succeed.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Be An Entrepreneur
- You want to be rich. Sure, you may make enough money at your business to be what you consider rich or wealthy. But if the only reason you want to be self employed is to be “rich” you are headed down the wrong path. To be “in business” you will need to choose a business filing entity for tax purpose and you will also need to find an accountant who can work with you to determine what your salary should be. There are tax ramifications to being a business owner and you want to stay on the good side of the IRS. Remember, being motivated by money only is not a reason to become an entrepreneur — it’s hard work and you may not earn enough to support yourself in the beginning of your journey.
- To be able to take a vacation or a day off when ever you want. Um, if you don’t work, you don’t earn. When you’re an employee, you may earn vacation time that will allow you the opportunity to take days off of work and still get paid. In most entrepreneurial endeavors, you need to perform in order to invoice and have a chance of making money. So, yes, you can take time off, but you need to know who’s “minding the store” while you’re gone. Don’t underestimate how long your business will take you to run and skimp on how many hours you’re putting into it.
- Why not? Everyone else is doing it. “Why not” is not a reason to open a business and hang out your shingle. Running a business should be predicated on the fact that you have a passion for something. You have a driving need to deliver that passion to the market and you’re willing to put in the time it takes to make your business a success. Becoming an entrepreneur is not a task to be undertaken lightly especially if your endeavor will bring with it many upfront start up costs. Don’t jump into business ownership unless you’re truly certain you’re ready for the commitment.
If someone has a drive and a motivation and a love of being their own boss, I will work with them to help them realize that dream. If, however, any of these reasons I mention sound like any of the reasons you’re having for going into business for yourself, I urge you to rethink your motivation and desires.
Do Older Entrepreneurs Have An Advantage? Are you at a disadvantage as older entrepreneur? There are thoughts on both sides of the equation. We are seeing more older entrepreneurs because people are retiring, don’t want to or can’t afford to, be retired and are jumping into business ownership in greater numbers than ever before.
Do Older Entrepreneurs Have An Advantage?
If you’re an older individual does opening your own business seem like a wise move for you financially, emotionally and physically? Here are a few more points to ponder when making the decision to become an entrepreneur:
- How will you pay for the start up costs? Will the endeavor you’re undertaking require an outlay of upfront cash? Can you work your new business on a shoestring until you have the funds to make a move to a bigger endeavor? Do you have investments or equity in a home that you’re willing to risk to fund the start up? Think long and hard before you make that decision.
- Will going into business fit with your retirement goals? Do you have an objective for your retirement? Will opening a business impact that negatively or positively? Do you have a dream or a passion you want to follow but never did because you were employed?
- Should you consider a side hustle before you retire to see if you really want to be an entrepreneur? The idea of owning a business may not be what the reality is and a side hustle might help you figure that out.
- Do you have an end game in mind for your business? Meaning do you want to start this business as a legacy to your children? Do you hope to build it up and sell it so you have more money to add to your retirement nest egg?
- Do you know all that you need to be a business owner? Do you have access to a business coach or a mentor from an organization like SCORE or your local Small Business Adminsitration? Get all of your ducks in a row before you hang out your “open for business” sign.
What are you hoping for when you want to open a busienss when you’re nearing, or at, retirement age? How can we help?
Should you hire a business coach? It’s a question that many entrepreneurs ask themselves during the course of owning a business. If you’re on the fence and wonder whether you would benefit from working with a business or a life coach, here are some reasons to consider.
Should You Hire A Business Coach?
Consider that athletes and musicians and many other professionals work with coaches and you can see why they are relied upon to help business professionals achieve higher levels of success and grow their business.
A coach is an unbiased observer who may see solutions that you aren’t seeing because you’re in the midst of the problem or challenge.
Your coach can be a confidant and will point out items that others in your circle of friends or colleagues may not feel comfortable pointing out.
If you’re looking for objective feedback, whether on a new project, to charge higher prices or to make other changes, your coach can provide you a sounding board.
Accountability is one of the biggest appeal of working with a coach. If you’re a solopreneur it is sometimes hard to keep your nose to the grindstone and to accomplishing goals you’ve set for yourself. Your coach can hold you accountable and help you set goals.
It’s impossible to brainstorm when you’re alone. Look to your coach as a brainstorming partner.
Celebrate successes with someone who has watched you walk through fire to achieve your goals! Your coach is there for the trials and tribulations and for the ultimate successes!
Have you ever wondered if coaching is for you? Reach out to a coach and ask if you can schedule an initial session. You need to mesh with the potential coach — both in terms of your business aspirations and personality. If you don’t mesh, you won’t feel motivated to achieve goals set with that particular coach.
Are there steps to take to be a successful entrepreneur? Yes. Not everything is a cookie cutter approach, but there are universal truths that successful entrepreneurs appear to follow. Are those who have achieved success doing something more or differently than you are? If so, what? What can you do to emulate what they’re doing to help assure your business can be as successful as the guy-next-door?
Steps To Take To Be A Successful Entrepreneur
- Entrepreneurs who are successful are doing what they love. If you don’t love selling widgets, then you need to find a business that you are passionate about and one that does excite you. Take some time and determine what you’re most passionate about and what you could make money doing.
- Know what is driving you toward being a business owner. Most entrepreneurs are driven to act because of a life-changing event. Illness. Loss of job. Moving to a new location, etc.
- They operate on a shoestring when they are in start-up mode. You don’t need a fancy corner office when funds are tight. Spend money on quality business cards and make certain you have a website and a social media presence. From there, work slowly to start spending money — you don’t want to be so far in debt that you can’t see sunlight.
- They interact with like-minded individuals. If you surround yourself with successful entrepreneurs their attitude might just be contagious.
- They give back. In the entrepreneurial community there is a mindset of “givers get” and this means that if you give back, what you need might just circle back to you.
Are you operating at the peak level of success that you’d dreamed of? What’s stopping you from achieving that next level? Are you stuck and spinning your wheels? If you feel that way, drop me an email, coaching might just be what you need to push through whatever’s blocking you and help move you forward in your entrepreneurial dream.