Ten questions every entrepreneur must answer before they start a new business

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Image of person with lots of questions

Whether you’re seeking world domination, freedom or simply a change, jumping out of your comfort zone to enter the wild jungle that’s entrepreneurship is tough.

Many founders have spoken out about the darker moments of launching new businesses, the strain on relationships and personal life, the sweat-inducing struggle for cash flow, and the barrage of other problems like legal battles.

Hear more on our short podcast series The Audacity to Fail 

In The Accidental Entrepreneur, Boost Juice founder and Shark Tank investor Janine Allis says the latter is almost certain.

“Even if you do everything right, you are still at risk of being sued,” she says.

So why do entrepreneurs do it? Why are you doing it?

Because the reality is, as Happy Startup School co-founder Laurence McCahill notes, entrepreneurship is not the easy way out of being another brick in the wall.

“If you think starting your own business is all daisies and rainbows, think again. You’ll be building your wings on the way down,” he writes on Medium.

Before you run down that spiral, McCahill calls on every new founder—including the crazy ones—to reflect on the following 10 questions.

  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. What can’t I do?
  3. What will I never do?
  4. Who would I love to serve?
  5. Who will be watching my back?
  6. Do I really want this?
  7. Would I do this for the next 10 years (if it wasn’t for the money)?
  8. How can I be proven wrong?
  9. What pain do I want to own?
  10. How am I going to look after myself?

And after you reflect, the most important thing to do, he says, is start.

Read more about each question and how to tackle them in McCahill’s blog post here.

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Dinushi Dias is a journalist at StartupSmart and multimedia content producer. When she’s out of the office, she works on social projects with her We Love It Productions family and buddying filmmakers.
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  • Ian K

    If I may, I would like to add another question – path to market. How would you get your product to your customers in the most effective and efficient manners. This is a great test especially when you have limited marketing budget.