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Are You Cut Out for Entrepreneurship?

Okay, I get the hint. A few people have already emailed me this WSJ article today so I thought I should mention it. Kelly Spors, staff reporter for WSJ, asked 10 poignant questions that effectively challenges one of my recent blog posts where I argued that now is a good time to be an entrepreneur. First, I think her argument is right on the money. Entrepreneurs should definitely ask themselves the following questions before taking the plunge:

1. Are you willing and able to bear great financial risk?
2. Are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle for potentially many years?
3. Is your significant other on board?
4. Do you like all aspects of running a business?
5. Are you comfortable making decisions on the fly with no playbook?
6. What’s your track record of executing your ideas?
7. How persuasive and well-spoken are you?
8. Do you have a concept you’re passionate about?
9. Are you a self-starter?
10. Do you have a business partner?

Yes, Kelly’s questions relate to the personality and perseverance of an entrepreneur, but I think she overlooked an important question: Do you have a viable exit strategy and the skills to execute it? Too often, entrepreneurs dive into the proverbial swimming pool not knowing how they’re going to get out. They may know what dive to use. They may know how to execute it. They may even know how to avoid landing on other swimmers. But how long should they stay in the pool? Why and what strategy should be used to get out? Okay, that’s enough metaphor talk. You get the point.

Despite the obvious challenges with being an entrepreneur in today’s economy I’m still convinced they represent advantages entrepreneurs can take advantage of, such as cheaper resources or less competition. Still, Kelly makes a good point. It doesn’t matter if resources are cheap or there is less competition because you’ll still struggle or fail when [gasp!] you aren’t cut out for entrepreneurship.

Check it out: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123498006564714189.html

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