Founder Consulting: Do you have what it takes?

High demands from the boss, enormous pressure to perform, lousy working atmosphere, poor pay - all these factors can ensure that employees want to become self-employed and mutate into a founder . Finally be his own boss! Not a bad plan. However, the personal requirements should also be right. Unfortunately, self-employment is not equally suitable for every founder in the world. In fact, successful entrepreneurs regularly bring along certain traits that at least promote start-up success . If you are also currently thinking about looking for a good start in starting your own company, you should ask yourself in advance: Do I have what it takes?

Founder Consulting: Do you have what it takes?

Contents: That's what you'll find in this article

Founders are in the trend
Emergencies are rarely successful
6 characteristics of successful founders
6 excuses that founders would never use
Good reasons for the reasons
Founder Advice: Start with honest self-reflection
Founder test: Do you have what it takes to become a founder?
Support in the private environment
Planning and implementation
Motivation and personality
Evaluation of the founder test
The 3 biggest mental hurdles for founders
These articles on reasons found other readers just as helpful



Founders are in the trend
Germany has been enjoying the reputation of a founding country for some time now . And for good reason: The start-up monitor 2015 also shows that the number of start-ups in this country has increased in comparison to the previous year.

Overall, the number of start-ups increased to 915,000 compared to 2014 . That's 47,000 more founders than last year.
Responsible for this is the increased number of full-time start-up entrepreneurs - last year plus 87,000.
Sideline start-ups fell by 40,000 on the other hand.
More and more freelance work is being started , while the numbers in commercial activities are falling.
Emergencies are rarely successful
Extra tip iconAbove all, dropouts often start a business - more often than graduates. According to a study conducted by Guido Buenstorf, Kristian Nielsen and Bram Timmermans of the University of Kassel, 2.4 percent of drop-outs are self-employed, but only 1.5 percent of graduates. Often this is an emergency solution, the researchers know. But rarely a successful one: The income of the founders was on average 17 percent lower than that of the founders with a degree. Also, the former fail more frequently, as also a survey of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) and the Institute for the Future of Labor (IZA) has determined.


6 characteristics of successful founders
The starting their own business brings a number of large and small challenges. Of course, many entrepreneurs are aware of this. Nevertheless, it is seldom questioned whether one's own personality really suits self-employment .

It can help to find a successful role model and to orientate oneself towards it. Or you choose the path of classic founder consulting - for example, by a suitably trained coach . This is sometimes even promoted by the state.

While every founder always brings his or her individual personality to his or her company, there are frequent overlaps in some aspects - these typical characteristics of successful founders :

They have resilience.
Starting a business is not a children's birthday. Both professionally and privately, some obstacles and setbacks await budding entrepreneurs. Some throw it completely off track. Others but not. And these often have a high degree of so-called resilience . Resilient people are resistant, they are even after heavy fate blows purified again and can not get down, without doubting themselves.

You are ready to take a risk.
In order to implement your idea, it is necessary to take risks again and again. Of course this does not mean to act carelessly. But successful founders are also able to take the risk of making an investment to drive their business forward over the long term. Who does not bring this willingness to take risks, sooner or later gets in the way.

You have the required energy.
A business does not become successful on its own. Especially in the first phase it is up to the founder (s) alone to do everything for their success. That means hard work, long nightshifts and no weekends. Two-thirds of the founders start without employees, so every job they do will depend on them. Anyone who thinks that he or she has more free time in self-employment is mistaken. Especially the first time usually brings countless overtime with it.

You have the necessary confidence.
For founders, trust is essential - and several times over: it needs trust in one's own person, in one's own idea and also in the professional environment. After all, investors must be found, customer relationships built and, in the process, first employees found. The core, however, is self-confidence: those who do not believe in their own success will usually not achieve it.

They are adaptable.
The advantage of a small and young company is its adaptability . Many a business plan changes enormously in the first six months. After all, markets are also changing fast, especially new ones. Indeed, "survival of the fittest" means that it is not the strongest but the most adaptable companies and entrepreneurs that survive. Anyone who appears inflexible at the start may not only miss great opportunities to develop his idea, but also blocks his success.

They bring passion.
Anyone who chooses to become a founder needs passion for what he does. That does not mean that you are happy about every task. But it stands for being happy with what you do. If this passion and intrinsic motivation is lacking , then first one's own satisfaction, then the performance power, sinks. And at some point such founders will throw everything frustrated.


6 excuses that founders would never use
Founder excuses trapFor all start-up advice - there is also the other side: For some, the desire for self-employment is great - only they find just as many reasons why they should not dare the step (now). In other words, they are more concerned with excuses than with reasoning.

If you are considering venturing into self-employment and starting your own business as a founder , it's time to leave the following excuses behind. They only block you, they are often wrong and give us the impression that we are in control of the situation. But in fact you are holding it off from what you actually want.

Remember the true bon mot:

Who wants something, finds ways - who does not want something, finds reasons.

Therefore, therefore and therefore: Forget once the self-doubts , fears and worst-case scenarios (which exist in the employee's life just the same) and find ways ...

Because true founders would never use these excuses:

I'll better wait until ...
It's an endless postponement tactic that has nothing to do with true founder mentality. You can always find a reason why just now is not the right time and you better still waiting for other industry conditions, a new business partner, a better idea or even just nicer weather. Reasoning means taking advantage of the opportunities that now arise and not waiting for the utopian perfect scenario that will never come.

I do not have the necessary seed capital ...
Founders do not swim in the money, but that works for everyone. So the only question is how to make the most of the resources available. How can existing capital be used, where can one obtain or borrow additional seed capital, and what needs to be done to generate new capital? A start-up does not depend on a high start-up capital, but on a suitable idea and great motivation.

I'm too old for that ...
Who sets such an age limit for founders? Exactly - nobody. You can not be too old to put your ideas into action and thereby pursue your dreams. Instead of using age as an excuse, real founders prefer to focus on the many benefits that come with it. Thus older founders have much more experience, both professionally and in dealing with customers and business partners. In addition, older people already know what it means to work really hard on their goals through their work experience.

I do not have the right contacts ...
The only answer that spontaneously comes up with this excuse is a simple na and? At the beginning, nobody has all the necessary contacts . Talking about it shows only that the seriousness of the project is missing. True founders recognize the problem and tackle it: they set off, attend events, actively use social media and attend lectures or seminars. Meaning, if the right contacts are missing, this can be changed by initiative.

I'm missing the time anyway ...
A popular excuse for people who do not even want to start. If you want to become a founder, you need the right time management . But everyone has access to the same 24 hours a day. How it is handled makes the difference. It does not lack the time, but the will to use one's own time for the implementation of his idea.

What happens if I fail ...
The short answer: Then you try something else. The slightly longer answer: becoming a founder always has something to do with the willingness to fail. It is not in the nature of the GrĂ¼ndens to stay in its comfort zone throughout . Mistakes are there to learn from them . Fear of failure is a comprehensible reaction before a big step is taken, but it must not paralyze.

Good reasons for the reasons
Extra tip iconWhenever the boss stands roaring in front of the desk again, a colleague without interruption annoying and a customer comes with the seventeenth special request around the corner, the desire grows to turn the back on the store and to make themselves independent. These escape motives are rarely good reasons to start .

As with job changes, startup consultants never advocate a "go-away" motivation, but always a "back-to" motive . Meaning: not the frustration may drive you to founding, but your vision. Accordingly, there can be good reasons for the reasons ...

market niche
You have an idea for a product or service that satisfies a great need of people. It's a solution that does not exist that way. But do not just think about some great technology innovations on the internet. This can also be an original bar concept at your place of residence.

self-realization
Your previous job will not get you anywhere: you are not reaching your limits - you are being limited. And therefore stay below your options. Self-employment can therefore help you to optimally use and develop your (many) talents. And last but not least there is this idea for which you have been burning for a long time and which should finally become reality.

partner
Speaking of idea: For a long time, you and your friends have been carrying out this special business idea. The business plan stands - and together they form the perfect team. In short: you need it. That too is a good reason to start. Assuming that you are all really in agreement about the roles and complement each other.

Founder Advice: Start with honest self-reflection
There are people who can work best in an environment with colleagues, clear guidelines and a - good - boss. That's neither good nor bad, it's just plain type thing . So before embarking on self-employment, you should reflect your motivation and goals self-critically and honestly.

Therefore, we have 15 questions for you to help you with your reflection and preparation:

Why do you want to become self-employed?
One of the most important questions ever. As we mentioned earlier, frustration is clearly the wrong motivation. However, if you want to follow your passion and realize a long-cherished desire, then that can be the right drive.
Are you ready to work more than 40 hours a week?
Self-employment means - especially in the first few months and years - a much higher workload than the salaried job. You work yourself and constantly , it really means. That's not necessarily negative, you just have to be aware of it.
Do you know your value?
As a self-employed person, you must be able to answer convincingly the question of the price of your work. This is only possible if you are aware of your value.
Do you easily make new contacts?
Of course, in order to gain new customers, you must make the appropriate contacts. It should be easy for you to approach people and build relationships.
Do you have a stable network?
One of the basic requirements for acquiring customers is your network. It is not about the sheer number of your contacts, but rather the quality and influence of the individual contacts play an important role.
Are you coming to an understanding with bookkeeping?
Even if one or the other hears the reluctant: As a self-employed person you have to do your own bookkeeping. You do not have to love it, but you should have the basic knowledge you need.
Can you comply with deadlines?
In the self-employment, there is no boss who stands behind you and points you to approaching deadlines . You have to take care of them yourself.
Do you have your finances under control?
This question is not so much about bookkeeping as it is about lifestyle: Can you limit yourself and stay afloat for months on low order intake? Do you find it difficult to save or misjudge or do you accept it for your independence?
Do you have equity?
This not only means start-up capital for starting your business, but also a financial buffer for bad times. You should also be able to get along with little or no revenue for two to three months. Some customers will also take their time to settle the bill.
Do you set limits?
Admittedly, this question is a bit generalized, but setting limits is enormously important for the self-employed in many areas. This begins with payment terms and ends with the agreed services in the context of a project.
Are you 110 percent confident in your work?
That may sound exaggerated, but if you have the slightest doubt about your performance, your customer will notice it and either push you in the price - or go straight to the competition.
Are you in control of your time management?
Especially when you enjoy the work, the risk of losing yourself in too many working hours and exploiting and overburdening yourself is great. The self-employed should be a celebration evening treat and defend this consistently opposed requests and appointments.
Do you have the support of your environment?
Self-employment becomes an enormously difficult project without the support of your friends and family. Not only do you lose important network partners and multipliers, you also lack the necessary understanding for long working days and unusual working hours.
Do you have a vision?
Concrete plans for the development of your independent work and your offers are necessary. At least as important is a vision that you are working towards as a long-term goal.
Are you willing to learn and flexible?
The saying "No plan survives the first contact with reality" you know? It also applies to self-employment: Only if you learn to develop your skills and react flexibly to change, you can be successful in the long term.

Founder test: Do you have what it takes to become a founder?
Self Test iconShould you still be unsure if you really have the makings of the Founder, our Founder's Test may be able to help you.

This course has no scientific claim and also gives no guarantee for the subsequent success. But it can help you better assess yourself and your suitability as a founder. Please answer each question with either I agree or I disagree . At the end of the test, simply add up the number of questions you've agreed to and get your result ...

Support in the private environment
My family is enthusiastic about the idea of ​​self-employment and supports me.
My partner can provide for the common livelihood through his income and is also ready for it.
My partner is ready to support me in the initial phase and to take over tasks in the new company in addition to my own job.
My family is ready to accept cuts in our current standard of living.
My family accepts that in the initial phase I will have less time for family life.
Planning and implementation
I already have a concrete idea.
I have enough liquid funds or collateral that I can contribute to my new company as equity.
I already have a broad professional network and could use these contacts as potential customers or business partners.
I have many years of experience in the market.
I know the industry and know that there is a need for my idea.
I have commercial knowledge or have people in my area who have this knowledge.
I have already gained leadership experience.
I can prepare for entry into self-employment parallel to my current profession.
I have already dealt with funding opportunities.
I take the time to prepare well and do not rush.
Motivation and personality
I am convinced of the success of my idea.
I'm not afraid of failure.
Difficulties are there to be overcome.
I am ready to take risks.
I have no problem approaching people and convincing them of my idea.
After setbacks, I rappel again and continue.
If I'm a bit fussy, I'll go through my plans.
I believe in my goals, even if my friends think they are crazy.
I can clearly represent my interests and communicate with customers.
I am able to make decisions quickly.
Evaluation of the founder test
Have you reached between 0 and 17 points ? Then come here for your evaluation!
Have you achieved more than 18 points ? Then come here for your evaluation!

The 3 biggest mental hurdles for founders
Founder-mental-hurdles-fearsIf you want to start your own business, you have to tackle a whole range of difficulties and take on various hurdles : developing business models, solving financing, acquiring customers, hiring employees, setting up offices, generating revenue ... A lot to do.

Less attention is given in advance to the mental hurdles , although many founders have to struggle with them most of the time. That's why, in the end, we'll show you the biggest mental hurdles that you, as a founder, have to deal with and how to overcome them ...

The feeling of insecurity
The idea of ​​self-employment is enough for some people to evoke a sense of insecurity . The bad news: There are several reasons to be unsure. The positive side: The uncertainty is not fundamentally bad and can also be controlled.

Will I succeed? Does the work pay? Am I getting financially clear? How do I manage to attract customers? There are many points that can cause uncertainty in founders, but at the same time they also draw attention. Potential risks are identified early and bugs fixed before they can have a worse impact. Take insecurity as an early warning system without being burdened with it.

If the feeling is already in advance and become too strong, above all, a good preparation helps . Research which market you will move to, what the competition looks like and where you can position yourself most effectively.

The balance to privacy
Once in the Founder mode, everything else quickly disappears into triviality . You are fully committed to your goal, focused on it from morning to night, and hide everything else.

Although such an attitude shows your motivation and passion , but the problems are usually not long in coming. If you want too much at once, pushing endless overtime and only know the word break from the lexicon, it damages your health and your social contacts .

Even if you are successful from the start and want to prove to any doubters that you can do it, you should still have time for balance and recoverycreate. You may not be aware of it, but your family and friends will notice very quickly if you do not have the balance. In spite of many tasks, take time off and think to yourself.

The responsibility for everything
Founder or not - everyone bears responsibility in specific areas. However, self-employment takes this to another level again. Every decision contributes to the success or failure of your own company , and the further you move forward, the greater the responsibility.

At the beginning, you are responsible for yourself and your family, but at some point you will have employees whose salary you want to pay on time or business partners with whom you work.

The fear of so much responsibility can literally paralyze, so always be aware: mistakes can happen, but there is always a way back .

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