Is Entrepreneurship For You?

by Jo Macdonald

There are more female entrepreneurs in the world now than at any other time in history, and it's a trend that's set to stay and keep rising which is pretty exciting.  And a growing number of these women are over 40.

But is it for you?

The simple truth is that more businesses fail than succeed, and whilst many women set up a business for lifestyle reasons they can quickly find that the lifestyle they dreamt of quickly gets buried under paperwork, an overflowing inbox and longer hours than they had in their previous day job.  

Okay, this isn't a doom and gloom article - we don't do those here, but it is a reality check, so here are a few quick questions to ask yourself before you dive into the adventure of entrepreneurship.  

  1. Do I need a steady income? - If you answered no then welcome to the start up world, most people take a while to build up a steady income and, no matter how successful you eventually get, your income will never be the same each month so you'll need to manage your finances well to keep things balanced over the year.  If you have things that must be paid for and need a steady income plus sick pay, holdiay pay etc. then it doesn't necessarily mean that running your own business isn't for you, but you might need to keep that day job going for a little longer. 
  2. Am I motivated? - With no-one there to keep you accountable or give you praise when you do well, you have to keep motivating yourself to show up day after day.  Business success requires a whole lot of consistency so, whilst passion is good, it's being able to motivate yourself daily that really counts in the end. Motivation is also what gets you to solve problems when they inevitably arise and not give up at the first hurdle - if you want to be an entrepreneur this is a must.
  3.  Can I handle negativity? - Every entrepreneur at some point has to deal with criticism and negative comments.  Knowing what to take on board as constructive feedback and what to let go of is important, as is not letting any of it get you down.  If harsh comments or criticism have you hiding under the duvet sobbing then you've got some work to do.  Remembering who's opinions matter to you is a key part of this - if it's from a respected person in your industry then probably take it on board, but if it's a random troll or someone who has no real knowledge of what you do, then don't even give it a second thought. 
  4. Do I really believe in my idea? - And I mean really believe in it, because before anyone else will back you, you have to back yourself.  It's that belief in yourself and your business that will help you get out of bed when you don't feel like it, keep going when you get a run of knock backs, and help you turn down an invite because you know you have to finish your website/blog post/packaging etc.  That belief is at the heart of your business and it needs to be strong.
  5. Can I delegate? - You might start out as a one-woman show but if you're serious about growing a successful business then, unless you want to hit major burnout, you'll have to learn to delegate to others at some point.  If you're a major control freak then you've got some skills to learn and some power to let go of if you want to keep going.

So, is Entrepreneurship for you?  If it is then welcome to the biggest adventure of your life.  You'll learn more, grow more and have more of your buttons pushed than at any other time in your life.  It isn't easy.  It's hard work.  But it's also one hell of a ride!