Q1: Time, Energy & Money

Morehead Planetarium Sundial by yeungb, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  yeungb 

Hey guys/gals!

I know we spend a lot of time on this blog talking specifics about the App Reskinning process, but there are some fundamental questions you may have to answer to yourself before you are ready to commit to entrepreneurship.  I’m sure there are a lot of you out there reading this blog who haven’t decided to pull the trigger yet.  Hopefully, the following question will help to check your readiness and give you a push in one direction or the other.  Be honest!

1) Have you decided how much time, energy, and money you are willing to commit?

In my opinion this is without a doubt the most difficult and important question to answer before you try any type of entrepreneurial activity.  I’ve had many entrepreneurial projects fail because I was not honest or realistic with myself while answering this question prior to starting.

Most people will tell you that a true entrepreneur will answer “I will spend every minute of every day and give 100% of my energy and fund it with everything I can.”  I disagree with this assessment because it’s similar to saying “I’m going to get in the best shape of my life” instead of a direct, measurable goal such as “I’m going to lose 5 lbs. of body fat in the next 60 days.”  Do you see how much easier that type of focused goal tracking can be?

So what is realistic?  Well, the answer is certainly not going to be the same for all of you.  For example, will a working, single mother have the same amount of time and energy to dedicate to an entrepreneurial project as a college student?  Regardless of your situation it is extremely important that you decide on these 3 areas prior to starting, while understanding that in most cases the amount of time, energy, and money will have a direct impact on the success or growth of your business.

For time, really think about your average week and the amount of time you can realistically dedicate to your business in a sustainable fashion for a long period of time.  This isn’t a get-rich quick scheme–you have to plan as though you are in it for the long haul and understand the time commitment you are willing to make.  Maybe it’s one hour a day and you are just looking to build a nice part-time income on the side, or maybe you have the free time (looking at you college students!) to commit much more.  If you are unsure at this time, track where your time is spent in an average week between work/school, social commitments, relaxation, etc.  Then, make a decision and commitment on how much time you are willing to spend.

Often people confuse time with energy and use the words interchangeably.  DO NOT DO THIS!  Different entrepreneurial projects and activities will carry with them their own energy requirements.  For example, when coding/reskinning apps there are often times where Justin will lock himself in a room for 10-12+ hours straight to ensure complete focus while completing the work.  This can be extremely physically (too much sitting!) and mentally exhausting and requires a lot of energy dedication.  On the other hand, if you are looking to outsource some of the development/reskinning work, you may have to serve more as a project manager which may require less physical and mental energy.  What type of energy are you willing to commit to your entrepreneurial projects?

Ah, the final and often times most difficult question: “How much money am I willing to spend?”  You absolutely have to be honest and realistic with yourself when you are answering this question because there is no coming back from poor financial calculations.  How much money can you afford to risk with the potential of losing it all?  $1k? $10k? $100k?  You have to be ready to make the financial commitment of a certain amount and ensure that you can afford it!  Justin and I discuss each project that we invest in at the outset and discuss how much we are comfortable spending for each project.  We run a best-case, average-case and worst-case scenario so we understand the risk/reward going in.  If you are comfortable investing $1k and your scenarios for return are $2.5k/$1.1k/$0, is this something you’d like to pursue?  This is the type of honest feedback you have to give yourself prior to spending that first dollar.

We’d like to continue the conversation around entrepreneurship as a whole on our blog, so feel free to leave any comments, questions or ideas that you use around time, energy and money in the comments below. Also, be sure to sign up for our mailing list on the right side of the page for coupons to our courses, special announcements (some coming soon!), and more.

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