Qns to answer before taking the entrepreneurial plunge

What makes a successful entrepreneur? Are there specific qualities that one needs to have? Most importantly, are there specific questions that one needs to answer, in order to understand what lies ahead?

Here are some questions (courtesy WallStreetJoural) that might help you in deciding whether to take ‘that’ plunge or not:

1. Are you willing and able to bear great financial risk?
Entrepreneurs should be sure that "if they lose this capital, it either won’t destroy their financial situation”, or they can accept the concept of bankruptcy.

2. Are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle for potentially many years?

3. Is your significant other on board?
Failed ventures frequently break up marriages, and even successful ones can cause lots of stress, because entrepreneurs devote so much time and money to the business.

4. Do you like all aspects of running a business?

5. Are you comfortable making decisions on the fly with no playbook?

With a new business, you’re calling all the shots — and there are a lot of decisions to be made without any guidance. You might not be used to that if you’ve spent years working in corporate world.

6. What’s your track record of executing your ideas?

Examine your past objectively to see whether you have assumed leadership roles or initiated solo projects — anything that might suggest you’re good at executing ideas. "Were you senior class president? Did you play varsity sports?"

7. How persuasive and well-spoken are you?

Nearly every step of the way, entrepreneurship relies on selling. You’ll have to sell your idea to lenders or investors. You must sell your mission and vision to your employees. And you’ll ultimately have to sell your product or service to your customers.

8. Do you have a concept you’re passionate about?

9. Are you a self-starter?
You don’t have to be as driven as, say, Steve Jobs to succeed. But somebody who gets deterred easily, or too upset when things go wrong, won’t last.

10. Do you have a business partner?

What’s your opinion on these questions? If you are an entrepreneur, do share your perspective as well.

Also see: Factors to consider before you take that plunge

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