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Entrepreneurs -- Are You Personally Ready to Start a New Venture?

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

A new venture can be starting an organization or buying one, as well as significantly expanding the current organization. Far too often, people are so eager to start a venture that they end up skipping some very important personal considerations. This topic will help you ensure that you are really personally ready to start your new venture. Near the end of this topic, there are links to topics with instructions and resources for starting a new business, buying a business, buying a franchise or significantly expanding one.


Sections of This Topic Include

What is an Entrepreneur? Are You One? Really?
What Are Your Passions? Can You Build On Them?
What is Your Stress Level Now?
What Are Your Strengths? Your Weaknesses?
Have You Considered Alternatives?
Are Your Personal Finances in Shape?
How to Stay Sane During Planning
If You Are Still Going to Start a New Venture ...

General Resources

Sources of Additional Assistance for Entrepreneurs

Also consider
Related Library Topics


What is an Entrepreneur? Are You One? Really?

Everyone who thinks about starting a new venture believes that they are truly entrepreneurs -- but many of them actually aren't. So before you start your new venture, start taking a close look at yourself. Read these articles about the traits of a successful entrepreneur and then decide how well you have those traits.
Are you an Innovator, an Entrepreneur, or a Manager?
Entrepreneur Characteristics: Personal Qualities of an Entrepreneur
9 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs You Should Develop
5 Personality Traits of an Entrepreneur
14 Surprising Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

The following short self-assessments ask you a range of questions to help you to further decide for yourself if you are indeed an entrepreneur and, if so, what kind? Answer the questions as honestly as you can. You are the only one who will see the answers.
Are You An Entrepreneur Or Not?
Entrepreneur: Are You Or Aren't You?
How Entrepreneurial Are You?
What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

What Are Your Passions? Can You Build On Them?

A passion for starting a new venture should be one of your primary motivators when doing it. Different people are passionate about different things. It's important for you to know what your true passions are, so you can ensure that they somehow remain in your activities of planning, building and operating your new venture. Your passions could be different than your primary reason for starting a business. For example, your primary reason might be to make money, but you might want that money primarily to pay for your passion of doing photography. Take any of these short self-assessments to determine what your true passions are.
What's Your True Passion?
Find Your Passion Quiz
How to Find Your Passion in Life

What is Your Stress Level Now?

Before you undertake the challenges and stresses of starting a new venture, you should recognize the level of your stress now. Take one or two of the following self-assessments to identify how stressed you are now.

Test Your Stress
How Vulnerable Are You (because of your stress)

Also consider
How to Manage Your Time and Stress Even Better
Self Awareness

What Are Your Strengths? Your Weaknesses?

The planning to start a new venture involves skills in reviewing documentation, observing and interviewing others, organizing and analyzing information, prioritizing, making decisions, communicating with others and writing reports. It can also require patience, self-confidence, setting goals, and time and stress management. What skills do you have that you can benefit from during your planning? What weaknesses, or areas to improve, might you get help with during your planning?

One of the best ways to make a significant decision about yourself is to do what's called a personal SWOT analysis. The acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The analysis asks you to use your strengths to build up or compensate for your weaknesses, and to ward off threats in order to take advantage of opportunities.
Free Aptitude Test for Strengths and Weaknesses
How to Complete a Personal SWOT Analysis

Also consider
How to Stay Motivated
Improving Your Core Skills
Self-Assessments

Have You Considered Alternatives?

Sometimes people try start or buy an organization (for-profit or nonprofit) because they're frustrated with their lives or current jobs. These are valid reasons. But starting or buying an organization can cause even more frustration! There are alternatives that should be considered before you start a new organization.

  • How about working to improve your attitude toward your life or work? The frustrations of starting a new venture might make your attitude even worse for you -- and those around you.
  • How about working to get promoted in your current job? This option lets you work from current strengths to shore up areas where you might need growth, and you can usually keep your current benefits and level of income, as well.
  • How about finding a new job? This can be much easier than starting a new organization. You might even consider getting a part-time job to phase yourself into the full-time role of running your new organization. Sometimes just the activity of interviewing with other companies can remind you of your value, and improve your attitude in your current job.

Here are some other resources to help you think about alternatives to starting a new venture.

  • Employee Performance Management - Materials in this topic can help you identify performance goals and get help from your supervisor to reach those goals.
  • Personal Development -- This topics includes assessments to help you identify areas where you might want to grow. The topic also has materials to help you set goals and reach them, as well, including by going back to school.
  • Personal Productivity -- This topic includes materials to help you become more effective in your life and work.
  • Personal Wellness -- Materials in this topic can help you to focus more attention on your attitude, personal motivation and overall sense of well being.

Are Your Personal Finances in Shape?

It's likely that your personal income will be affected if you start a new venture, particularly if you have to invest any of your personal finances. You should consider where your money will come from while you're getting your new venture off the ground. Where will you get benefits, such as health insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, etc?

Also, potential investors and funders may want to understand your personal financial situation -- and will be impressed if you've done thorough planning and documentation. You should take stock of your finances now.
Introduction to Personal Financial Planning

How Will You Manage the Stresses Involved?

Most people assume that there are many stresses involved in getting a new venture off the ground. Few people really prepare for them. They're too eager to get the new organization going. You very likely won't be able successfully to manage the new organization for the long term if you can't successfully manage yourself as well.

What Are Your Stress Levels Now?

Take the following tests to discern how stressed you might be now.
Stress Self-Evaluation
Stress Test

Resources to Help You Manage Your Stress Level

How to Stay Sane During Planning

The planning involved in starts a new venture is an extremely important element in the success of your new venture. It forces you to slow down and think about what's truly most important to do and by when. It helps you to avoid the sudden crises that are so prevalent in the new ventures that fail. Here are some guidelines to keep you in the kind of patient and thoughtful mindset to do your best kind of planning.

  • Realize that you've already done a lot of planning in your life. Think about what worked before? What didn't? What can you improve this time?
  • Do the planning one step at a time. It's better to do high-quality planning than to rush to get a plan done. Your planning will take as long as it takes.
  • Start simple, but start. Don't wait for the perfect time.
  • The planning does not have to be perfect the first time. You can change it as needed.
  • It's your business you are planning. Start with your own ideas first, then polish them with someone else's.
  • Do the first 20% of planning that produces the first 80% of results. First plan the big chunks. Add details in the next round.
  • Give yourself credit as you keep adding to your plan.
  • Remember that planning the start-up is different than operating it -- but it's just as important.

If You're Still Going to Start a New Venture

You Don't Have to Do This Alone

If, at this point, you have carefully answered the above critical questions, then congratulations! You are indeed very serious about starting a new venture -- and you're that much more likely to succeed! There is a vast range of free resources to help you. Find some help now.
Getting and Using Banker
Getting and Using a Consultant
Getting and Using a Lawyer
Getting and Using an Accountant
Free Useful Resources

Resources to Start Your New Venture

Starting a for-profit business
Buying a Business
Buying a Franchise
Starting a nonprofit organization
Product and Service Development


Sources of Additional Assistance for Startups

Resources for For-Profits
Resources for Nonprofits


For the Category of Entrepreneurship (For-Profit):

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

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