Forbes – Entrepreneurs by Goncalo de Vasconcelos, Contributor
Becoming an entrepreneur is a life changing decision. Sometimes it just happens naturally and, before you know it, you’re an entrepreneur. However most times it requires a deep, possibly life changing self-analysis.
“Should I become an entrepreneur?” is a question only you can answer.
However, there are two key actions that can take you a long way when considering the question. Firstly, talk to friends and family that know you well – they will probably have a good picture whether being an entrepreneur suits your personality. Secondly, challenge yourself with the questions below. You can keep the answers to yourself but you must answer the questions with a brutal honesty and self-analysis. There are no right or wrong answers. Just a less enjoyable path if you fool yourself when considering the questions below. Remember,
Anybody can be an entrepreneur, but not everybody will enjoy being one.
1) Is entrepreneurship for me?
Entrepreneurial success stories abound. There is a huge survival selection bias. Those that succeed love talking about how great it was, those that fail tend to keep it a bit quieter. The problem with this is that people think being an entrepreneur is cool and easy. Oh, and that you also magically become very wealthy somehow. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is very cool. And you may become very wealthy at the end of the process. But note that the stats are stacked against you.
Instead, you should focus on the essence of being an entrepreneur and whether becoming an entrepreneur will make you happy. Will you be a happier person if you become an entrepreneur?
2) Is it the right time for me to become an entrepreneur?
Becoming an entrepreneur is going to have an impact on your personal and professional journey. This includes the obvious financial perspective but also personal relationships and everything in the between. Consider these profound changes carefully. There is never a right time, but there are definitively some wrong times.
3) What do I want to achieve?
Think carefully and be very honest to yourself: do you want to start a business that will sustain you and your family? Or are you starting a business because you want to make the world a better place and you are driven by a sense of purpose and mission?
In my case, I’m entirely driven by a sense of purpose and mission. I started my current Insurance startup Rnwl because I came across a problem and I want to make the world a better place for consumers. We’re on a mission to help our users to stop overpaying on their insurance in the simplest way possible, allowing them to save time and money. I was equally driven by a sense of purpose and mission when I started my previous company (SyndicateRoom). I wanted to help entrepreneurs attracting smart money and to allow investors to have a fair and transparent way of investing in the best startups.
4) How do I deal with uncertainty?
Becoming an entrepreneur is, almost by definition, entering a world of uncertainty. If you are the type of person that excel in a world of uncertainties and the associated opportunities, then you will love being an entrepreneur.
5) Am I naturally self-motivated?
As a founder, you’re on your own. Nobody is ever going to thank you for all the hard work. Nobody is looking over your shoulder to check you are working either. To be honest, nobody really cares about what you are doing. If you don’t work hard, ultimately it will be your problem.
6) Am I resilient?
One of the most frustrating things about being an entrepreneur is how other people ‘just don’t get it’ when you are starting. They all seem to find problems with your idea – there is no market for it, somebody else is already doing it, it will never work, etc. Ignore the nay-sayers. But learn from the concerns they raise. If they ‘just don’t get it’, then maybe the problem is on how you are explaining your value proposition. Maybe you’re not being clear enough. Just maybe…
7) Can I ‘go through walls’? Can I overcome seemingly impossible challenges?
As an entrepreneur, you will feel like you are constantly going through walls. The hurdles and challenges will be relentless. You need to be able to ‘go through walls’ and keep on going.
All in all, if after considering the questions above you keep dreaming about becoming an entrepreneur, don’t look back. Just do it. Don’t be afraid of the nay-sayers. Just roll your sleeves up and get on with it. Enjoy the journey. Have fun. Tons of it.
I show to the world what it REALLY is like to be an entrepreneur. I do that by sharing my own journey as I build Rnwl. The highs. The lows. The whole thing.
This article first appeared in Forbes Entrepreneur.