Someone recently described me as enthusiastic. It’s true -I am. I approach everything with gusto and determination. As a visionary I constantly have new ideas and cannot help but consider how to do things better. For example when going through a local coffee drive through I ordered my standard latte, they got my order wrong – three times, and were completely flustered. After several experiences like this I determined that this major corporation had clearly lost site of its hiring and training objectives and its employees were no longer embracing the company vision, if they even understood it. I, of course, could solve that problem by combining top HR and management consultants to overhaul their hiring practices, retool their training curriculum and teach management how to engage their employees. I could and I would because I, yes I, am Superwoman!
The problem is could and should are not the same thing. While three bad latte experiences put my mind into overdrive, creating business plans and ideas, the reality is my current companies needed 100% of my attention and redirecting my focus, all or in part, simply was not smart so the coffee situation will for now remain unchanged unless another superhero decides to save the day.
While enthusiasm is key for an entrepreneur it is also key to learn when to say yes to new opportunities, when our plate is empty enough to successfully take on new challenges, and when to wait. Timing is important and to know when to leap we must first analyze our current situation and commitments.
1) If I scaled back in my current business is there someone in the organization that can step into my place?
If the answer is no you need to wait. Identify what tasks you are currently doing that can be taught to someone else. Focus on training people within your organization to do some of the more basic tasks. As they become proficient in these things your time should begin to free up slightly. If you stepping away in part is not possible you may need to look for an entire replacement. If that person is not found within your organization speak with the rest of your leadership team and consider hiring an recruiter to assist.
2) Is this a project that I would tackle on my own or do I need a team?
If you need to build a team consider your immediate circle. Do you already have the talent around you to move forward? If not take the time to make those connections before getting started. Business acquaintances are good at making introductions as our social sites like Linkedin.
3) Is this a viable project?
To find that out you will need to take the time to create a business plan and outline the financials. If you dont have the time to do this put on the brakes immediately. Starting and running a business takes a lot more time that completing a detailed business plan, budgeting and determining the financial viability. Not having or taking the time for this crucial step means this is simply not the right time to take on this project.
4) Do I need this project/ business to pay me?
If the answer is yes then your financial obligations, personally or professionally, need to be accounted for first. Starting a business takes time, energy and money. If you are looking for the business to pay you a salary right away then you need to secure the finances, via loan or investment, prior to proceeding. Even the best ideas take time to mature and 30 days quickly turn into 90 so be prepared.
5) Does the market support my new idea?
Analyze the competition and business climate to determine if your idea will be well recieved.
Entrepreneurs, such as myself, thrive on new ideas and creating things. This drive is crucial to success but before running ahead, full steam to save the day ask yourself the questions above and determine if this is the right time to start upon your new adventure. If it is then seize the day. If not then wait, plan and proceed when ready to ensure that your new venture is a success and you enjoy life along the way.