My Framework for Figuring Out if Entrepreneurship is Right For You

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 05/21/14 •  5 min read

This started off as a post about excuses.

However, once I started writing it, I realized there was an entire blog post I needed to write before covering how to overcome your excuses.

What is that you might ask?

You need to understand why you want to start a business in the first place.

If you email me and say “I’m ready to start a business” and I ask you “why”, and you don’t have an extremely clear answer to that question, then you’re not ready.

Often the people with the most excuses are the ones who shouldn’t be building a business to begin with. So how do you figure out if entrepreneurship is the right fit for you?

Three Step Process for Figuring Out What You Want

There are a few questions I’ve learned to ask people who aren’t totally sure what they want. These 3 questions won’t be the answer to all of your problems, but I bet they can help crystalize a few things you may have been struggling with.

1) What Do You Daydream About?

When you hear the word daydream you might get visions of a sappy little 12 year old girl with her first crush. But the reality is, we all daydream from time to time, and understanding where your mind wanders during that time is key.

I could ask you “what do you want to spend your days doing” but that’s usually when people say “uh, I don’t know”.

Thinking back to your daydreams, that you may not even consciously acknowledge at the time, helps you to figure out what you really want deep down. As I’ve mentioned multiple times, I used to pretend I was running on the beach during my lunchtime runs in Portland. I’d imagine just outside my office was a beautiful ocean – it was clear to me that I wanted to travel, and that I wanted the freedom to do it on my own terms.

For others, it could be daydreaming about being able to stay at home with your kids and not having to pay for child care.

By doing this, you’re giving yourself something to work towards – a goal, a reason to make it all worth it when things get difficult (which they will).


ABOVE: This is the coconut that changed my life. I was sitting on Copacabana Beach drinking it, and that’s when I made the decision once and for all that entrepreneurship was right for me.

2) Why Do You Think You Want a Business?

If you’re thinking of starting a business because you’re struggling to make your rent every month and you need to make some fast money – then I’m sorry, but entrepreneurship may not be right for you – you have bigger, more immediate problems to address.

If you want a (lifestyle) business because you’re unhappy with your current situation, want more freedom, and are doing work that’s unfulfilling then you may just be on to something.

Also, if you’re only in it for your ego, stop now.

You might have heard the statistic that you get 90% of the satisfaction for just saying something. As an example, when I was working on my beer importing business, it made me feel really cool and accomplished to tell people I was importing craft beer into China.

Even though in the end, I never imported a single bottle of beer into the country, all I had to do was talk about it and I got a huge ego boost.

I see that all the time, and it can be difficult not to. You talk about all the things you’re going to, get the ego boost, and then never follow through. Really think hard about why you want to start a business. If it’s mostly so you can say you own a business, then you’ll get a big ego boost, but in the end you’ll be right back where you started.

3) What Type of Work Do You Like Doing?

Notice how I don’t say “what are you passionate about?” All of that follow your dreams and turn your passion into a business crap will come later. At first you need to make money.

So what do you like doing?

If you hate writing then obviously you’re not going to want to start a blogging or freelance writing business. Do you like sales and being persuasive? Are you more of a hands on tech person? You should build a business that allows you to at least do work you don’t hate. I’m not saying it’ll be the sexiest job right away, but you don’t want to dread working on your business.

Putting it All Together

Simply put, if you don’t know why, you will fail.

The goal of these questions is to help you answer that questionWhere do you want to go, understand the reason, figure out how you’ll get there –  that’s the formula, if you can do these things you’ll have a much clearer understanding of why you’re starting a business.

If you’ve gone through this exercise and decided a business is right for you, but you still haven’t pulled the trigger, stay tuned for our next post.

Still not sure? Leave a comment, and we’ll help you work through it!

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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