Imagine being able to work from home, organizing your online business from the tips of your fingers dancing across your laptop, taking vacations for as long as you want to deserted islands, or living in a great city, conducting business with eager sponsors and businessmen…
It's the dream we all want! Working for ourselves, not having to answer to anyone, not having to wake up at 6 in the morning to commute to work, deciding our own hours and hiring people as we see fit. Are we all entrepreneurs inside?
Not so fast. Although I do this myself, it's actually incredibly difficult to start your own business, and to succeed with it on a liveable level. Some people I know who have tried ultimately decided that they didn't like it. It could be the high level of stress, knowing that your next paycheck relies solely on your own personal efforts, or that the freedom of self-employment is oftentimes fatal, when we are so used to adhering to schedules and appointments for most of our life.
1. Can You Handle Free Time?
Some people find the last one a bit of a paradox. Wouldn't we all love to live a life off the 9 to 5 grid, able to work at our own hours? Imagine all that you could do with all that free time! Well, what would you do?
When I travel and observe other people, I see what happens when people step off the rails for their own time in the spotlight. Here we had young, bright people with great ideas and too much free time – eventually, the freedom caught up to them, and I saw so many people whittling away their savings that they were supposed to use for their online business and marketing on lazy days at the pool, spending their time on Youtube and buying silly things.
Imagine if you quit your job tomorrow with the savings you had and a dream in mind. What happens next? The reality is, that a life off of a schedule is quite hard to get used to. We all know how we feel when we get a day off – we laze around in our pyjamas, take multiple naps and snack in between episodes of our favourite drama or a run in the park. Now imagine doing that everyday. To many people, the shock of coming off of a scheduled life is quite profound. Suddenly, with no one to respond to, your own volition is the only thing that keeps you going. You must be strong and determined in order to not fall into a slump of endless writer's block and napping days.
2. Can You Afford It?
Most business need some sort of start up capital; in the forms of savings, investments and time, just to say the least. This is strange to say, but successful businesses don't happen from people who put 100% of themselves into it, because you need to have a lot of everything. Unless you're already a millionaire, you're probably going to have to continue working your job in order to pay the bills while you carve your dreams into reality. It's a lot of work, and many people struggle to overcome this work overload.
3. Do You Have The Patience?
Some of my friends have recently achieved success by using the Amazon website to sell products that they source from developing countries. It's a popular system to start your first business, but they often worked up to 20 hours a day to get it going. After the plethora of difficult tasks that are required to get things going, including all the research, marketing, international communications, language barrier, trust, design, experimenting, finances and then finally pulling the trigger, it was almost as much work watching them do it as doing it!
However, those who persisted succeeded after a lot of hard work. After they started making sales, they continued to have to put 100% of the revenue from it back into the product in order to keep up with order demands. Despite earning up to $10,000 a month from the sales, it still took them up to a year in order to make pocket profit from it because of sales demand. Another thing to think of when it comes to working online.
Being an entrepreneur is more than just a clever job title. It takes a ton of hard work, patience, passion and perseverance to your cause. Don't let anything deter you, but it's important to face reality when deciding to do it. People come up with clever business ideas all the time – a friend of mine recently became a success dog walker through her local business, showing you that there is indeed a market for anything. With 7 billion people on the earth, any idea that you have certainly has merit for someone, somewhere!
Look for ideas anywhere you can, save your money, do the research, and when it's time to pull the trigger, expect anything. Amazon.com started with a guy selling books out of his garage. What can you do next?