Successful founding and financing of nanotechnology companies

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2) Am I an entrepreneur? Do I have what it takes?

Don't underestimate the personal challenges involved in starting a company! Before you go any further, you should be asking yourself the following questions.
  • Are you sure that you'll be able to sleep at night and that you won't be haunted by the uncertainties and stress of being an entrepreneur?
  • Are you a good decision-maker? Are you the sort of person who only makes decisions after exhaustively analyzing the facts, or do you tend to make decisions based just on your gut feel?
  • Do you have management experience, not only in supervising but also in leading? Do you know how to manage people and delegate? Do you know how to motivate?
  • Do you have self-discipline and drive? Are you the sort of person who can set ambitious goals for yourself? Do you personally have the focus and determination to meet them?
  • Do you have at least a basic knowledge of business?
  • Are you able to live without a regular or stable source of income for a time?
  • How is your physical fitness? Do you have any health issues which may interfere with your plans?
  • Are you able to cope with ongoing stress?
  • Are you prepared to work, at least in the initial years, 60 or more hours per week?
  • Can you count on your family to give you their full support?
  • Are you the sort of person who, rather than avoiding problems, meets them head on and looks for creative solutions?
  • There are various personality self-tests which you can find on the internet – some better than others - to help answer these questions. Give them a try! At the very least they'll give you something to think about.
    Practical tip
    Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. However, even if you see some weaknesses in yourself - and we all have weaknesses - your plans may still work out so long as you recognize and understand these. Talk to friends and colleagues openly about your character traits. Their feedback won't cost you a penny but could be extremely valuable for your future entrepreneurial success.