Inquiries to ask earlier than taking the leap to entrepreneurship


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With COVID-19 causing layoffs and increasing employment uncertainty in 2021, many people are considering new options, reinventing themselves, or trying to decide whether it is more desirable to work for themselves than another 9-to-5 -Find a job that may not last.

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Entrepreneurship brings a lot of freedom, responsibility, and risk, and before people commit to this big leap, they should ask themselves a few key questions, says Tim Mercer, ForbesBooks author of Bootstrapped Millionaire: Defying the Odds of Business.

Mohnish PabraiMohnish Pabrai’s flagship hedge fund, Pabrai Investment Fund II, returned 29.6% in the second half of 2020. After that performance, the fund returned 10.1% for the year, trailing the S&P 500 but outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which only returned 9.7%. According to a copy of the Investment Manager’s year-end letter to Read More

“Entrepreneurship is a career that offers a kind of freedom and personal satisfaction that you just can’t get from a traditional 9-for-5 job,” says Mercer. “You will never know if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur if you don’t take the leap of faith and see it for yourself.

“It is a big decision, however, that involves many factors and inherent risks. There is much to navigate and endure on the way to your dream goal of professional and financial freedom, and many fail because they simply weren’t up to the challenge. “

Questions to ask before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship

Mercer believes that when thinking about entrepreneurship, they should first ask themselves these five questions:

Why do you want to do this

Let’s be honest, ”says Mercer. “If it’s all about us, we want to give up on ourselves when things get difficult. Your why, what your purpose is, has to be much bigger than you are. You have to believe in a vision of why you want to be an entrepreneur and develop a plan for how to involve others in your vision. Sustainable entrepreneurship requires other people’s efforts. “Mercer believes it is imperative to write down your“ why ”and keep it in front of you to remind you when difficult times come.

Are you realistic

One can delve into the emotions of starting a business, but Mercer says it is vital for any potential entrepreneur to be able to make realistic business projections during the first two years of startup. “Answering this question before you open it can prevent some nasty surprises as you try to build your business,” says Mercer.

Do you have daily discipline?

“You are the boss and only you can hold yourself accountable,” says Mercer. “If staying at work or staying motivated is difficult for you and you think being an entrepreneur is a quick ticket to the easy road, then entrepreneurship is definitely not for you.”

Can your relationships survive the victims?

Mercer finds that the time it takes to start your own business and get it up and running efficiently is way beyond a typical 9-to-5 job. Relationships can suffer. “All entrepreneurs need to understand that they will be forced to make sacrifices on a personal level with their family and friends,” says Mercer. “You need to stay focused without your commitment to your entrepreneurship affecting your relationships with those you are closest to. Communicate with them and set mutually aligned expectations as you build the business. “

Can you stand the fights

Rejection and failure, says Mercer, are realities that new entrepreneurs must get used to and overcome. “You have to understand how many times you will fail before you succeed,” he says. “You are constantly being rejected by potential customers and your self-worth is checked daily. Is your why strong enough to keep you going? “

“Overall, whether you are an entrepreneur or not depends on how comfortably you feel uncomfortable,” says Mercer. “Only time will tell if you have the employees and company skills to be a successful entrepreneur. Rest assured, however, that you will face periods of real discomfort.”

About Tim Mercer

Tim Mercer is the founder of IBOXG, a company providing technology services and solutions to government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. He is also the ForbesBooks author of Bootstrapped Millionaire: Defying the Odds of Business. Mercer was inspired to pursue a career in IT as a consultant after joining the U.S. Army as a telecommunications operator. After growing up in the rural south under difficult economic conditions, Mercer was successful as an entrepreneur and recovered from the 2007-2008 financial crisis after starting IBOXG. The company has had sales of over $ 60 million since its inception in 2008.