Seth Kravitz recently was a guest writer for the Harvard Business Review website. In his article he identified twenty reality-check statements one might want to test himself or herself against when deciding whether to become an entrepreneur (think consultant) Warning: As this was in response to another blog about consulting by someone wearing rosy-colored glasses, these are relatively negative statements. However, they point to the other side of consulting - it isn't always easy to be a consultant. As one friend noted, "It's the best 80 hours a week you'll ever work", and those 80 hours may be tedious, frustrating, non-paying, and yet necessary. For me, consulting has been very rewarding personally and professionally and I hope to continue as a consultant for a long time. But consulting is also scary at times and I appreciate someone willing to bring conversations about consulting / being an entrepreneur back to reality.
Here are Seth's statements. To read more, please see his article: 20 (More) Reality-Checking Questions for Would-Be Entrepreneurs
1. I am willing to lose everything.
2. I embrace failure.
3. I am always willing to do tedious work.
4. I can handle watching my dreams fall apart.
5. Even if I am puking my guts out with the flu and my mother passed away last week, there is nothing that will keep me from being ready to work.
6. My relationship/marriage is so strong, nothing work-related could ever damage it.
7. My family doesn't need an income.
8. This is a connected world and I don't need alone time. I want to be reachable 24/7 by my employees, customers, and business partners.
9. I like instability and I live for uncertainty.
10. I don't need a vacation for years at a time.
11. I accept that not everyone likes my ideas and that it's quite likely that many of my ideas are garbage.
12. If I go into business with friends or family, I am okay with losing that relationship forever if things end badly.
13. I don't have existing anxiety issues and I handle stress with ease.
14. I am willing to fire or lay off anyone no matter what — how good of a friend they are, if they are my own sibling, if they just had a baby, if they have worked with me for 20 years, if their spouse also just lost their job, if I know they might end up homeless, if they have cancer but no outside medical insurance, or any other horrible scenario millions of bosses and HR people have faced countless times.
15. I am okay with being socially cut–off and walking away from my friends when work beckons.
16. I love naysayers and I won't explode or give up when a family member, friend, customer, business associate, partner, or anyone for that matter tells me my idea, product, or service is a terrible idea, a waste of time, will never work, or that I must be a moron.
17. I accept the fact that I can do everything right, can work 70 hours a week for years, can hire all the right people, can arrange amazing business deals, and still lose everything in a flash because of something out of my control.
18. I accept that I may hire people that are much better at my job than I am and I will get out of their way.
19. I realize and accept that I am wrong ten times more than I am right.
20. I am willing to walk away if it doesn't work out.
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