Lesson 2: Channeling Your Inner Entrepreneur

What You’ll Learn: As you start thinking about a new business venture, it’s important to rediscover that inner entrepreneur that made you want to start a business in the first place.

Channeling Your Inner Entrepreneur (continued)

Don’t Be In a Rush

True, you may be feeling pressure to do something, anything. Even if you decide to take a temporary gig, do a side hustle or go to work for someone full-time, you can still use your free time to research and refine your new idea.

Most entrepreneurs and small business owners will admit that it’s hard to answer to someone else once you’ve been your own boss. That’s why so many people become serial entrepreneurs. But that doesn’t mean you should dive into a new endeavor without giving it the necessary space for it (and you) to breathe. The need to pay the bills isn’t a reason to start a business again. That’s fear at work, not entrepreneurship.

As you think about your ideas for a new adventure, do some basic research to test your ideas. Commerce’s SizeUp tool is a great resource. Here you can research the competitive landscape, see where your customers are, learn more about your competitors and run the numbers for your business concept. You don’t even have to spend a dime at this stage. Ideas are free and so is SizeUp.

As ideas form, think about the work that needs to be done to turn each idea into a business. What parts of it excite you? What do you dread? Try to craft it in a way that you do more of what you like and less of what you don’t like.

Don’t worry about mapping out your entire business at this stage. You simply want to identify the things that make you want to go to work each day. You can think about all the details later. You’re only focusing on what makes you passionate about starting and running a business at this stage.

Stay Balanced

Passion can be a double-edged sword, of course. On the one side, you find energy and fulfillment in spending every waking hour building a business you love. But passion can also wear you out and lead to burnout. Burnout is very common in people who love what they do. You can’t keep the proverbial candle burning at both ends. At some point, you will run out of gas.

Take advantage of the natural rhythms of a business. There will be highs and lows. Give yourself a break now and then, and quiet your brain again. Write some more pages if you’re feeling cluttered. It’s far easier to make critical decisions when you have a clear, well-rested mind that isn’t running at full speed night and day.

These respites from the day-to-day will also give you a chance to do course corrections. Use the time to check your inner compass to see if your business is still aligned with your purpose and passion. If it’s not, it may be time to alter the course, a little or a lot. Or it may be time to reconnect yourself and others in your company to that original purpose so you’re all moving in the same direction.