Hello everybody, welcome to episode 98 of Optimal Living Advice, the podcast where we take any questions you might have about the many struggles of life and get them answered for you here on the show. I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino. Very happy to be here with you today folks, and we have a question today that’s very much with the times. There’s a lot of emphasis today on entrepreneurship and being our own bosses, and amidst that emphasis is a lot of sacrifice that tends to get glazed over. Today we’ll be talking about impulse control as it pertains to entrepreneurship and how to know if entrepreneurship is really the right move. Here’s the question…
QUESTION: “One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is starting my own business. I’ve put a lot of thought into the risks that are involved but what I can’t figure out is if this idea is too impulsive. I know a lot of people start their own businesses, but a lot of people also fail at it. I always think of the failures as the people that were the least prepared and the most impulsive. I don’t want to be one of those people and start a business out of impulse, but how do I know if my own idea is for real?”
Entrepreneurship: What is Worth Trying?
All righty, what a unique question – good question, too. This one’s tricky because I’m not sure there’s a clearly identifiable point where something crosses over from impulse into legitimacy. And sometimes impulses just happen to really pay off and we then look back at them as being much more thought out than they initially were.
On the flip side, everyone knows that very well thought out ideas can still end up resulting in complete trash. So it’s not so easy to know the difference before or after pulling the trigger on an idea.
What I do think would be better to focus on however, and what’s easier to find certainty in, is not the difference between impulsive action and legitimate action, but instead impulses worth trying versus impulses not worth trying.
Because sometimes the damage done by trying the worst of ideas is nothing compared to the damage done by having an idea we wanted to try but never did.
So for you, sir, let’s look at some questions relative to starting a business that can help you determine whether or not it’s worth giving a shot.
1. How Long Has This Thought Been With You?
First of all, how long have you had this thought? That would be one of the obvious ones.
You said “lately.” How lately? If lately is a week, I would say you might want to wait a while longer and see if this thought sticks around.
Doesn’t mean you have to just wait, however. Your time won’t be wasted if you use this time to research the necessities of starting a business, define your mission statement, consider who else you may want to get involved, and so on. You can also check out business vloggers or podcasts like Optimal StartUp Daily.
Mind you, all of this and more can be done while still working in your current position. It blows my mind how many people forget that this is a transitory process, and that you can work on starting a new business for quite some time before having to leave the security of your current line of work. There’s no need to rid yourself of a safety net. But I digress.
Taking part in those types of things will only further inform you of whether or not this idea goes beyond impulse. If you’ve had this thought for a year, looked into all this stuff, then maybe it’s worth trying. If you’re still not sure, keep listening. Well, do me a solid and keep listening either way.
2. Where Is This Thought Coming From?
The second thing to ask yourself is where this thought is bred from. Does it come from a place of passion, raw enthusiasm and serve as an accurate reflection of your values?
Or is it bred from somewhere less desirable like frustrations at your current job or hunger for money?
Answering this question requires an honest look at yourself, but it’s a look worth taking. All honest looks are worth taking, but this one will have particularly tangible benefits…such as not finding yourself in a debilitating amount of debt.
It should go without saying impulses are more worth acting on if they’re sourced from the right places. Regrets tends to show up a lot less surrounding situations that had unfavorable outcomes, yet were done for the right reasons.
3. How Long Has This Thought Been With You?
The third question to ask yourself is probably the most important yet simultaneously, the most overlooked.
You say you’ve thought about the risks (which is good), but have you thought about the unpleasant parts of the work even if your new business does turn out to be a big hit? It’s easy to dream big, but are you willing to tolerate the uncertainty of entrepreneurship? Are you willing to wait God knows how many months or even years you may go before you can pay yourself?
Are you willing to not have the same benefits you have right now? And most of all, if you happen to be a father, husband, or both, are you willing to thrust all of these questions onto your family, who will also be affected significantly by your new business venture?
This is the stuff that tends to fall between the cracks with any big pursuit when we get blinded by the bright lights of our dreams. I’d proceed with caution if you didn’t answer each of these questions with a firm “yes.”
Entrepreneurship: Failure and Success
Now, perhaps in spite of everything I’ve just said, there is one last piece of advice I’ll leave you with. I encourage you to put a spin on your view of people who have failed at putting a business together. You’re right in that a lot of people start businesses unprepared or with bad intentions and that they end up failing.
There are also many well-prepared and well-intentioned people who start businesses that tank. These things are enough to scare some away, especially the latter group.
But many of the people from both groups, particularly the latter group, are one in the same as those who start successful businesses. If the will to start a business is there, a failed first attempt may serve as the learning experience necessary for coming back with a new business that ends up taking off.
So while I strongly emphasize that you only start a business if you answered the questions I mentioned accordingly, should it still fail, you can always use those lessons to come back stronger with another startup.
Thank you sir, for sending this question in. It was a good one and I thought was a nice blend of pressing topics facing a lot of people particularly in this day and age, and likely more and more people going forward. I hope this episode helped you, and I hope it helped them.
Friends, if you’ve got a question of your own you’d like our help with, you know we’d love to have you. Join the club and submit your question by email to advice AT oldpodcast DOT com
Don’t be shy. That wraps us up for today, folks. I appreciate you being here and I look forward to the next one.