Entrepreneurship. Why are people drawn to the world of start-ups? The answer is simple. It represents a human being’s deepest desires: freedom and a chance to change the world in a meaningful way. No longer must we grovel before our superiors. No longer do we have to deal with the unpleasant coworker in the next cubicle on a daily basis. It celebrates the strength of the individual over that of conformity. It represents a chance for greatness.
But it is a dangerous lure and comes with a price. When Juliana asked me for my opinion on the single most important thing to an entrepreneur, my reaction was immediate and brutal in its simplicity: Money.
Much as we like to deceive ourselves today through the comfort of job security, the start-up world affords no such luxuries. It is a direct translation of nature’s most basic rule – survival of the fittest. Through this process evolution is accelerated, and thus I believe that entrepreneurship is the fastest to advance humanity.
In this world of truths, there is one above all others: cash is king. You need to be able to directly inject cash into the project or have access to someone who has both the ability and willingness to provide seed capital. From this point, it becomes a race to become cash flow positive.
Ironically, most of the planning must occur before you even start a company. You need to first evaluate whether the market can support a new product. Secondly, you need to determine whether you have a unique product. Is it easy to copy your advantage? Do you have Intellectual Property Rights? Once you have determined that you can generate enough revenue and sustain that cash flow, it is time to fulfill your passion.
While there is significant risk in choosing to be an entrepreneur, I don’t mean to discourage anyone. The choice becomes much simpler when you understand a simple truth. Anything could happen at any time. Everything is transient. With this understanding, what do you have to lose?
It is neither right nor wrong to become an entrepreneur. It is a choice, and this choice isn’t for everyone. The best we can do is make sure we live with no regrets.
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