While our business focus is on a different type of client, many times at a cocktail party, or an event, or in an informal discussion somebody will ask me, “Should I start this business? Is this what I should do?” I have kind of a screening criteria to determine whether somebody should indeed go into business. Now, normally the question is largely about should I go into business for myself. Should I jump out and build something? What I think the person needs to assess is their personality. There are certain characteristics that we need to see in order to think that somebody has a better than average chance of making it.
Number one is obviously tenacity. Business does not go as planned. You’re going to have a lot of failures, so you need to be ready to deal with that. You need to be a learning individual. This doesn’t mean you have to be a book-educated person. It doesn’t mean you have to have enjoyed college, or high school, and doesn’t mean you have to always read tons of material, but you do need to be open to learning through life, and business is largely life learning. You’re going to get life lessons on your business. You need to be flexible. You need to understand that you have to change. You can’t be rigid. A business owner that’s rigid is going to quickly go out of business because they’re going to learn that their original business model is not going to work exactly as they planned. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t start the article by asking about what was your business. Lots of people have different business concepts. Their businesses go different directions. You need to be able to learn and evolve.
I think one of the best books I ever read on this was called The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Eric talks about how you have to evolve a business. You have to pivot. You have to make changes based on what you’re learning from your customers and how you evolve over time, so that’s critical in your philosophy. If you don’t have the philosophy of changing, and evolving and finding your market niche, you’re probably going to have some difficulties, because you’re probably going to find your market niche is different than you initially identified. Are you in for a long haul? I can guarantee you from all the successful business owners I know and my own experience, if you’re going to make it, you’re going to have some periods of difficulty. You’re going to have some periods where you scratch your head and you wonder whether you should be doing this. You’re going to wonder whether the market’s ever going to accept what you’re doing, and you have to have the ability to push through that.
Starting a business is no easy journey. It could be one of the best things you ever do. It can add so much value to your life, and it will change you as a person, but you have to be ready for this journey. You have to know that it’s probably different than any other journey you’ve had in your life before. You really have to believe in yourself. Are you thinking about starting a business? What would you do? How would you make your business successful? Join us in the comments below.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/photographer Josephine Eber.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.