7 Signs You’re Not Ready to Start a Business (Ignore #6 at Your Own Risk)

Starting a business is exhilarating. It’s one of the most rewarding things you can possibly do. For starters, you’ll get to call yourself a “job creator” with a straight face. Sounds fun to me! Being your own boss is great, but it includes challenges some people can’t handle. Beware these seven signs you’re not ready to start a business.

1. You think you know it all.

You haven’t read a book in years. People who engage you in debates do so in vain. Your mind is already made-up. Nothing you do is “wrong.” Anyone who questions your decisions is a “hater.” You’re not open to new information. Don’t start a business, because your arrogance will put you in the poor-house.

To succeed at business, you must perceive yourself as a constant student. It doesn’t matter if you’re an “expert” or “authority figure.” Being skilled in a specific area doesn’t mean you know how to sell it. Embrace the novice mindset. Abandon the notion that you have it all figured out. Whether you realize it or not, you don’t.

2. You live in a comfort zone.

You have become complacent. Outside of work, you don’t do anything productive. Your days are filled with Netflix, video games, and mindless Facebook scrolling. You make lame excuses about how “tired” or “distracted” you are. Don’t build a business, because it requires more time and effort than you’re willing to dedicate.

To crush it in business, you must do difficult things that scare you. There’s absolutely nothing “comfortable” about it. You have to learn how to be productive at home (note: I’m assuming you’re a business newbie sans an office space). You’ll also have to put yourself out there in many ways: networking, pitching clients, contacting the press, and etc.

3. You stress out about everything.

You get upset about trivial stuff. It doesn’t take much. One day, your DVR stops recording, and you lose your mind. You’re constantly overreacting to traffic jams, Internet outages, and other first world problems. You have no “chill.” Don’t create a business, because you’re clearly unable to handle the amount of stress that’s involved.

To excel at business, you must control your emotional reactions. You can expect trials and turbulence. It will make other forms of stress look like a day in paradise. If you overreact to these situations, you’ll lose the trust of your staff. The best leaders aren’t fazed by life’s obstacles. They perceive them as an opportunity for growth and development.

4. You want to make a “quick buck.”

You follow the mantra of “quick and easy.” The idea of devoting a few hours to a task without an immediate pay-off disturbs you. You’re not interested in creating a legacy that will outlast you. You just want to make money… and fast! Don’t establish a business, because you’ll only end up disappointed when you discover it’s far from “easy.”

To build a sustainable business, you must focus on the Big Picture. “Get rich quick” schemes tend to involve a sucker. If that’s how you perceive the people you serve, good luck turning them into loyal customers. Realistically, you might not become profitable for a year or more. As long as you’ve established an emergency fund, that’s okay. Be patient.

5. You are the provider for your family.

You have a spouse and kids at home. They depend on you. If you quit your job without replacing that income stream, it’d put their livelihoods at risk. Your family wants you to be happy at work (but they don’t want to get hurt either). Don’t launch a business (unless you do it on the side), because it’s important to be considerate of your loved ones.

To integrate a new business into your life, you must consider how it will impact your family. I’d discourage anyone from starting a new business without a safety net. That’s especially true for parents. They have to provide for their children no matter what. Don’t quit your day job until you’re 100% sure it won’t interfere with your parenting duties.

6. You don’t have a clue about marketing.

You hate advertising. If you see a television commercial, you flee the room. When a sponsored ad plays on the radio, you change the station. There’s ad-blocking software on you browser. “No commercial interruptions” is your mantra. Don’t open a business, because marketing is the most important part of the equation (and you obviously don’t get it).

To start a profitable business, you must embrace the necessary evil of marketing. Honestly, marketing isn’t so bad. Boiled down to simplicity, it’s the art and science of influencing people. You need to understand the minds of your clients or customers. Only then can you prepare a message that might convince them to trust you with their business.

7. You can’t stomach constructive criticism.

You have a huge ego. As soon as someone questions your stance, you become defensive. The other person becomes a sworn enemy. Your mission is to destroy them. How dare they question your knowledge and expertise? What a fool! Don’t start a business, because your long-term survival and success will depend on your ability to consciously evolve.

To sustain business growth, you must be able to admit it when you’re wrong. You don’t receive a reward for being “right” all the time. You’ll only alienate people with your refusal to consider outside perspectives. And you’ll develop blind-spots that could cripple your business later. Do not risk it. Here’s your new life motto: “Be wrong more often.”

Do you think your friends are ready to start a business? Let’s find out. Share this article on Facebook. Ask them to “score” themselves (based on how many of these signs are non-issues for them) in the comments. What a fun game!

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