By: Founder Neil F. Anderson

Starting a business is back in America, fueled in part by the coronavirus pandemic. Getting the U.S. out of a decades-long slump.

According to the 2020 Kauffman National Report on Early-Stage Entrepreneur Index, the rate of new U.S. entrepreneurs increased sharply from 2019 to 2020. With an average 0.38 percent (380 people) of adults becoming entrepreneurs in a given month.

The rate of entrepreneurs was highest among Americans ages 45-54. (0.36 percent) And lowest among Americans ages 20-34. (0.24 percent)

The reality? Starting a business is scary for most people. And your odds of new business survival are slim. With 70% of all new start-ups not seeing to years in business.

Still determined to launch and want stay out the start-up graveyard? Here are some gut-check items to consider first, actions you may want to take now, before starting-up:

1. UNDERSTAND THAT STARTING A BUSINESS IS REALLY HARD

Your mind needs to know right away that starting a business is really, really hard. You can’t go into business for yourself with false notions. As an entrepreneur, you need to realize and accept this right at day one. This will be one of the hardest things you will do in your life. Said Elon Musk; “No one should put these many hours into work. This is not good. It is very painful.”

2. REMEMBER THE ALTERNATIVE

Keep reminding yourself, especially when times get tough, (and they will) why you are doing this in the first place. Remember, your long-term plan is to control your own time, income, and destiny. Just thinking about having to go back and work for someone else again full-time is a bummer. Just visualizing yourself at the mercy of others controlling your life, playing corporate politics, and reporting to incompetent bosses, should be sufficient motivation to keep your mind right.

3. STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVE PEOPLE

Time is precious for new entrepreneurs. You can’t hang around negative people, that may try to discourage you, bring you down. Your mind needs to remain positive and upbeat all the time. People can sometimes get negative because, deep down, they may be jealous that you had the courage to start your own business, vs. talking about it.

 4. SACRIFICES ARE INEVITABLE

To succeed, accept the fact that sacrifices will need to be made along the way. The day is just not long enough for you to do all the things you want to do. You need to keep focused on actions that will keep the “train on the tracks.” Remember, you’re the chief, cook, and bottle-washer. If you don’t do it, it’s not going to get done. Entrepreneurs who have sacrificed and have prospered, realized early on that starting and building a business comes with a price. Said Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

 5. ACCEPT RISK TAKING

Understand, accept right away that starting a business will be a quantum level of risk.  If you are a risk aversive person, chances of new business survival will probably be slim. Success comes to those who recognize risk, are unafraid of it, and will execute on their ideas. Said Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook; “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.”

6. VISUALIZE SUCCESS

Entrepreneurs need to visualize success at all times, not failure.  By visualizing success, your actions will become more confident. And increased confidence breeds success. Remember, customers or clients prefer to do business with people who are confident. Knowing that buying their services or products will help them. Remember, your new business will be a marathon, not a sprint. Said Steve Jobs, Founder Apple; ” If you look closely, most overnight successes took a very long time.”

7. KNOW THE KEY BUSINESS RULE

Understanding a key business rule can help keep failure thinking from creeping into your mind.  When times get tough financially, (and they will) do one of these, (preferably both) decrease your expenses, or increase your revenues. Entrepreneurs with a “failure will not be an option” mindset will make the necessary, tough, and smart decisions to stay in business. Helpful advice from Mark Cuban, American billionaire entrepreneur, television personality, media proprietor, and investor; “Sales cures everything.” Plus, save thousands of dollars in healthcare costs for you and your family.  How? By working part-time for companies like FedEx, UPS, or Starbucks. Generate important income and get full-time healthcare benefits for part-time work. While continuing to build your new business.

 8. HOMEWORK FIRST/WRITE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

Before deciding to start-up, write a business plan. Why do this? First,  this is your first start-up. Second, you don’t want to lose your shirt. A business plan is simply a written description of what you are going to do. And how you are going to do it. This will be your roadmap for thinking about and understanding all the critical aspects of the new business. Don’t think of this as a root canal experience. Look at this as more of an opportunity. An opportunity to survive, grow, and prosper. Planning can lower the big bumps.

 9. A HUNGRY DOG HUNTS BETTER

My father was right about this one. When clients or customers get few and far between, (and they will) and the money gets tight or non-existent, the “failure will not be an option” really kicks into high gear. Successful entrepreneurs seem to find a way to drum another sale. And keep the “train on the tracks. This one really helped me as my business was able to survive 9/11, a recession, and now the COVID pandemic.

10. SEE # 2 AGAIN!

So, friend, if you want to keep your savings intact, your existing paycheck intact, your existing lifestyle intact, your existing career intact, your friends/family relationships intact, and possibly your sanity intact, entrepreneurship may not be for you. (at least not now). Otherwise, jump in. The waters fine.