The Road to Entrepreneurship: Why Mental Preparation Is Critical

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Where do I start? I want to leave paid employment for an adventure into entrepreneurship but I have this niggling feeling that my idea will not work. I’m at a crossroads.

The road isn’t always that foggy if you have the right guide. However, before making this transition, you must ask and honestly answer some questions that will likely determine the success of your new venture.

One of such questions is, are you truly ready to run your new venture? Managing a business is far from rosy, it has demanding challenges requiring you to wear many hats. One day you are the accountant, the next day you are the salesperson and the human resource manager all at once. You need to have a dynamic mindset to handle this. Not everyone is a natural at this so you might need time to build this competence.

You also need to be honest about your intentions, why are you leaving paid employment. Whilst there is a long list including the desire to be your own boss, the feeling that you can do more on your own or just to satisfy personal pride, you need to be sure that these reasons are compelling enough to motivate you when the going gets tough.

A career in entrepreneurship may also lead to some disruptions in your personal and family finances. This should be considered seriously because it not only affects the entrepreneur, it could also affect his immediate and extended family. The cycle to cash flow might be longer than initially planned and if your spouse isn’t able to cope with this, it could lead to infractions in the home and in extreme cases, the possibility of longer lasting problems between the entrepreneur and their spouse.

These are some of the most important considerations, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Aspiring entrepreneurs should think about these things. It is not necessarily the case that all these considerations have to be taken care off before starting the venture, however they could prove fatal for the business if they hit the entrepreneurs on the blind side.

This article is part of a series of conversations around helping professionals in Nigeria make a seamless transition from paid employment to entrepreneurship. This subject will be discussed more extensively at the May 2017 Startit Academy, themed, Plot your Exit Strategy from Paid Employment. For more information about the event and registration, please click here.


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