Confidence is key when it comes to launching a successful business venture.
Not only does an entrepreneur have to be market-savvy, but he or she must have a certain level of faith in themselves in order to make their business succeed.
Confidence can’t be learned, but rather, it’s a trait that’s acquired through experience. An entrepreneur needs to be sure of themselves — but they also have to be honest with themselves, too.
Being confident in your approach to business is incredibly important, however, part of confidence lies within acknowledging one’s shortcomings, too. Here are five key questions hopeful entrepreneurs should ask themselves to evaluate their confidence and to see if they’ve got what it takes to be a success.
1. How much of my time am I willing to devote to my business?
While the prospect of being your own boss is an attractive one, launching your own business — and running it — can often be tougher than working for someone else.
Successful entrepreneurs should be able to honestly answer how much of their day or week they are willing to devote to getting their business off the ground and making it a viable contender in its marketplace.
Until your business has established itself, the amount of time needed to kickstart your company may exceed a standard 40-hour work week. Ask yourself what short-term and long-term trade-offs you are willing to make in order to see your business prosper.
2. How adaptable am I?
Does change bother you? Not just big changes, but little changes — like having a meeting re-scheduled several times in a row or having to meet a crucial deadline with little more than a college intern and one cup of coffee at your side to help get it done?
Do you consider yourself a “go-with-the-flow” type of person who is unfazed by (minor or major) setbacks, or do you find yourself reaching for your ulcer medication at the slightest deviation from a carefully-laid plan?
Ask yourself whether you are confident in your abilities to work with what you have or flip the script at a moment’s notice.
3. Are you a do-er or a dreamer?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, however, individuals entertaining the notion of launching their own business should know which side of the do-er / dreamer spectrum they fall. Are you the type of person who generates “big ideas” but needs a little bit of help fleshing out the finer points to create a more cohesive strategy? Or are you the first to charge into the fray with a full-fledged battle plan? Or are you a little bit of both?
Honestly answering this question will allow entrepreneurs to decide whether they need to find a partner to complement their strengths and counteract their weaknesses.
4. Are you comfortable talking to people and networking?
Social interaction and networking skills require executive-level confidence from an entrepreneur. Like it or not, selling your product, your company, and yourself is a major component of business ownership. As the head of your enterprise, you will need to feel comfortable speaking with others and making meaningful business connections. It takes a deft approach to communications to be both personable and professional. (No one likes a hard sell!)
If this is one area where you feel you lack, consider speaking with a business or sales coach to help you brush up on your social skills. Networking will play a key role in finding making the right business connections, clients, and personnel to staff your company as it grows.
5. Can you delegate effectively?
As your company grows, so will your staff and your executive responsibilities. If you are currently a sole proprietor but have visions of expansion in your distant or not-so-distant future, you must be able to assess whether you have the confidence to delegate tasks to individuals.
As a business owner, sizable demands will be made of your time — at both the early stages of your business’s existence and possibly more so as your company builds its base. It’s impossible to be in two places at once. Do you have a tendency to micro-manage simple tasks? Or can you feel you can explain a task or problem thoroughly and enlist the aid of your staff to help provide the best solutions?
A great entrepreneur should know which tasks he or she should handle solo and which tasks can be capably and confidently handled by staff. Not only does this free up your time to tend to executive duties, but it also helps build experience, confidence, and positive qualities among your company’s personnel.
Asking and honestly answering these questions as to your confidence quotient will help you decide whether now is the right time to launch your entrepreneurial venture, or if you need more time to build your confidence before building your company. Being able to honestly assess how confident you are now will help your business thrive in the future.