The last thing you'll have time for is managing your fantasy team when revenues and profits are a distant dream. The same is true for seeing what's up with your Facebook friends, tweeting your favorite inspirational quotes, or ranting on message boards.
You can forget "me" time in a startup, because you'll never have enough time to do the critical stuff.
1. You don't believe in marketing.
No matter what the economy looks like, you've got to keep marketing; it makes the business world go 'round.
"When the economy declines, it's time to double your efforts because your competitors are pulling back, too," he says. "You must be willing to continue to throw revenue at marketing - no matter what."
2. You can't stand the heat.
Before you jump into self-employment, you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
"Every day you'll need to try something new for the first time," he says. "Growth happens at edge of comfort zone. If you're unwilling to go there, you may not be cut out for being a salon or spa owner."
3. You have professional ADD.
Starting a business isn't about chasing the latest shiny thing; it's about picking a dream and staying with it even when times get tough.
"Being an entrepreneur requires unwavering laser focus,". "If you don't have patience and are unwilling to push through the tough times, launching a business might not be for you."
4. You hate emotional roller coasters.
When you're an entrepreneur, there are no flat surfaces. "One day you're tackling a steep hill and the next you're on a gut-wrenching free fall,"
"You need to be prepared to hang on and enjoy the ride."
In other words, entrepreneurship isn't for those with a weak stomach.
5. You're easily winded.
Launching a business is like running a marathon. At the start, adrenalin keeps you going, but 15 miles in, you can hit the wall. Entrepreneurs are willing to push through the portion of the journey called the "middle mile" - the place where challenge and drudgery happen.
"Your feet will hurt and your breathing will be labored,"
"Despite these inconveniences, you must place one foot in front of the other and press on. A lack of stamina is a recipe for burnout and overload."
6. You're a problem passer.
As an entrepreneur, the buck stops with you. You must be willing to upset the apple cart and make decisions
"Sometimes your customers will be unhappy with your decisions and you've got to be comfortable with that if it's in the best interest of your company,"
You must also be able to resolve problems. "Understand that if you're unwilling to handle something immediately, it will not go away," he says. "It will grow bigger."
7. You spend time personalizing your office.
I know: You dreamed of a bigger office. You're proud of your bigger office. You deserved that bigger office. It's only right that it reflects your personality and your personal brand.
Now say you plan to open a restaurant; since customers will never see your office, the only thing it should reflect is "cheap." Start-up funds should never be spent on anything that will not touch the customer.
Besides, you'll be too busy chasing customers to worry about whether your office aligns with your personal brand.
8. You feel you could be a lot more productive if you just had that new...
Think about your last laptop, smartphone, tablet, or software purchase. Did it really make you more efficient?
a) Can you quantify the gains?
b) Or was it just fun to have?
I've never heard an entrepreneur say, "Jeez, we were really struggling to make a profit until I bought the new iPad--then our revenues took off!"
In a start-up you'll be lucky to get the "must have" stuff. Even if you have the funds, money spent on "nice to have" is always money wasted.
9. You've ever said, even once, "I've paid my dues."
When you run your own business you pay your dues every day. (The same should be true if you work for someone else, because the only real measure of your value is the tangible contributions you make on a daily basis.)
No customer cares about your vast experience or years of hard work... unless the fruit of that labor benefits them. You pay your dues when customers pay you.
As a business owner, you earn the right today to stay in business tomorrow. That is your only "due."
10. You discuss work-life balance issues with passion and intelligence.
The concept of work-life balance is an artificial construct--there is no line between "work" and "life"--but let's pretend one does exist.
If you think a lot about the conflict between work and life, and you feel work is winning the battle, wait until you start a business.
"Work" will eat "life" for breakfast.
So start now. Quit your fantasy leagues, say goodbye to your Facebook friends (at least the ones who won't someday be customers), and focus on your thoughts, not those of your favorite bloggers.
Start spending all your "free" time thinking about how you'll make money. If that's too big of a sacrifice, stay where you are