Think before you Start
Some people call it being a deal junkie, shiny object chasing and a lot of other things but the truth is, entrepreneur addiction is a real thing. I should know, I suffer from it like most people suffer from drugs, alcohol or social media. I am on business number
16 and I have to liberate myself by saying I think I've had enough. However, that's a lie because I still want to jump on a good idea more often than most people shower, and I still get that jump in my heart when I hear that good idea. Fortunately, as I've collected what feels like three lifetimes of experience, I've become considerably more choosy, but the addiction is still there.
Part of the problem is that it has become so easy to have entrepreneur addiction because it's so easy to start a business. That ease has a lot to do with the available technology for starting a business, but once you've started two or three the risk and pain associated with a go/no go decision has been dulled. So, besides all of the standard due diligence questions you would consider such as strategic advantage/differentiator, overhead, cash flow, blah blah blah, I now ask myself three simple grounding questions :
- Is the juice worth the squeeze? - Meaning, is the time I'm going to need to put in going to be worth it. I can't tell you how many entrepreneurs don't ask this question before they start because all they want to do is, start... Does that sounds like an addict to you?
- Residual or Pop - What am I in this for? A residual income to increase cash flow, or a big exit at the end. Also, if it is a big exit, at what multiples and how big is the field for potential buyers. If I can't find either of those, well, no grazie.
- How much leverage can I get from me? - Meaning, if I bring my skill set, network and experience to the business, how much leverage is there to gain from that. So, if I was going to start a local plumbing business, my leverage may be a bit low but for a business with more global reach, my leverage may be much higher.
- Strategic Love - Do I love the business, love the idea of it, love the product or service. If so, I know that I will be able to get myself into a place that can create, push and evolve the business.
Three simple questions to cure a whole world of pain, money loss and wasted time while also curbing my overwhelming entrepreneur addiction.