The Five Essential Questions Every Entrepreneur Needs To Answer

The Five Essential Questions Every Entrepreneur Needs To Answer

The Five Essential Questions Every Entrepreneur Needs To Answer

By Mark Wager

"Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers" - Tony Robbins

I love being an entrepreneur, I really do. I own my own business and I travel to different countries and show businesses how to be more profitable by improving their leadership skills. For me it's living the dream but for many people the dream of being an entrepreneur can easily become a nightmare. Approximately 90% of entrepreneurs fail within five years and 95% within ten years. It's not a lifestyle that is to be entered into lightly and you need to ask yourself several questions before you consider becoming an entrepreneur. Based on my personal experience of building a business from scratch here are the five most important questions an entrepreneur needs to ask themselves.

What would I be happy to do even if I failed?

Most entrepreneurs fail even before they start because they chose a business that they are not passionate about. The harsh truth about having your own business is that the odds of failure are far greater than the odds of success. In order to achieve success you need to be fully committed and be willing to work harder than you have ever worked before. This is only going to be possible if you are doing something that you are passionate about because passion energises, no matter how tired or drained you may feel. If you are following your passion then you will find a way to overcome.

What does success look like?

One of the first questions I ask when I'm coaching someone is, what does success look like for them. This gives me a clear idea of how prepared the person is for success. Most people have a vague idea of what they want to achieve, I hear goals like new house, money, happiness but few people know exactly what they want. If you can articulate precisely what you want then you can introduce metrics. A metric is a measurable unit from which you can plan and measure progress. If you have a goal then you are a dreamer but if you have clear metrics then you are an entrepreneur.

What is my USP?

If you have a business idea there's a high chance that someone has thought of it already and you are currently doing it or they have thought about it and it didn't work. Having an idea isn't enough you need a business plan. This business plan should contain details of the market you are about to enter, its size and growth and most importantly how do you fit in this market and what makes you different from the rest, what makes you unique? You need to know your USP, your unique selling point. This is the reason why customers will choose you ahead of your competitors, your market edge.

What skills do I require & do I possess them?

To be successful in a job you need to have a specific set of skills, to be successful as an entrepreneur you will need a completely different set of skills, especially at the beginning of your business. It's not enough to be a good salesperson if you are poor at finance, it's not enough to be a good product designer if you don't have the skills to market those products. Do a skills analysis of what you need in order to be successful and then be honest about what skills you currently possess, consider getting other people's opinion because they will see things in you that you don't.

Am I willing to learn?

The Greek philosopher Socrates once wrote "Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured for". You are not the first entrepreneur and you won't be the last, there's been many people who have already been down the same path that you are about to undertake, some have failed and some have succeeded. Success leaves clues , these people have left a record of their success in interviews, articles, books, podcasts and videos. They have discussed what worked and what mistakes they made on the way. It would be foolish not to take advantage of those lessons so learn what you can and be prepared to live and breathe your chosen field.

The life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone so use these five questions to discover if you are truly ready for the challenge. While your answers won't guarantee you success in the future the right answers will greatly improve the chances of having the future you want.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it" - Peter Drucker

About the Author:
Mark Wager in an Entrepreneur who designs and facilitates leadership development programmes across the Asia-Pacific region. Published in magazines around the world Mark shares his expertise in showing individuals and companies how leadership is the new currency of success.

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Posted: Monday 13 June 2016

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