Here are some questions to ask before you start your own business:

I. Would my product or service add value to the market? Let us face it: the start-up phase in starting a business is time consuming. You will find yourself questioning whether you have made the right decision, especially when the hours are long and the initial profits (if any) are lean. Starting a company from the ground up is no get rich quick thing. As the business owner, you are also the number one salesperson for your organization. Your enthusiasm for your product or service- whether it is health products or international business consulting- is often the difference that brings purchasing customers, lands deals and attracts investors. It is unwise to start down the path of entrepreneurship unless you have got a zeal that will get you through rough patches and keep you interested long after the initial enthusiasm has faded.

II. What is my IQ (I Quit) Level? Whether it is resigning from your day job or opening a store front office, nothing about starting a business is for the faint of heart. This is not for the employee minded or those looking for a steady paycheck. Business consultant Deborah Black-Francis tells aspiring entrepreneurs that you have to "Take action, and be willing to jump off the cliff and figure out how to fly on the way down." There is no guarantee of success, or even a steady paycheck. If you are risk-averse, entrepreneurship probably is not the right path for you. Stick with your day job.

III. Am I an effective decision maker? No one else is going to make decisions for you when you own your own business. You can not call mommy. Consider how you might handle these early decisions: Do I incorporate? Do I get use a Corporate Tax Id or my Social Security number? Do I use my hard earned savings or get a loan? Do I work from home or do I purchase office space? Do I hire employees? Do I pursue high-end clients or sell to the masses? Do I advertise? Keep in mind that the decision-making process only gets more complicated as time goes on, once you have employees or clients depending on you. The choices you make can lead to success or failure, so you must feel confident in your ability to make the right call.

IV. Am I willing to be The CEO, Manager & Employee? While a corporate employee focuses on a special skill or role within the larger corporation, a business owner must contribute everything to the business. Start up entrepreneurs in particular must be versatile and play a number of roles, from chief salesperson and bookkeeper to head marketer and bill collector. If juggling many roles does not suit you, entrepreneurship probably will not either. The recent economic downturn has made it more important than ever for business owners to have a good working knowledge of their companies' finances. While you will undoubtedly learn much on this topic from actually doing business, the more knowledge you have in advance, the better prepared you will be.

V. Will I go the distance? Working six days a week, not on a 9 to 5 schedule, losing touch with friends, abandoning old hobbies and interests and not making time for loved ones can quickly lead to doubts and fears, in the midst of starting up- and ultimately to business failure. "No one wants that." This is what happens to many entrepreneurs across the country. Many first time entrepreneurs says they did not know any better when they started their first company, they worked as hard as possible, for as long as possible, until their creativity, enthusiasm and energy were sapped. By sticking to better habits to maintain work/life balance, such as not working on Sundays, making time for hobbies such as reading and watching a good movie, and building close ties with other business owners through a faith-based support network life as an entrepreneur can be rewarding and most importantly fun.

Take some time to seriously answer these questions, do some soul-searching, and then if you think you have what it takes, go for it.

Loyal Leadership Inc. is designed to empower you with the skills, training and accountability you need to achieve the consistent results you demand in the most important areas of your life.

Author's Bio: 

Hasheem Francis is the Chairman and CEO, of Loyal Leadership Inc. and Co-founder of Built To Prosper University.

Hasheem Francis is an entrepreneur, best selling author, keynote speaker, recognized industry thought leader, and an expert on executive coaching and leadership development.

With two decades of entrepreneurial and leadership experience, Hasheem Francis is a leadership consultant and advisor to CEOs, business leaders, corporate executives and community leaders across the country. His vast expertise in dealing with business change, along with his strong financial investment background and leadership development skills, enables him to provide unique and unparalleled counsel to a diverse range of industry professionals. Hasheem has served as a founder, partner, CEO, CFO, and leadership consultant for a diverse range of entrepreneurial and mature companies.

Guided by a sincere desire to see the dreamer wakeup and become an achiever, he is a creative visionary with an unquenchable thirst for personal growth and development. His expression of faithfulness and determination continues to be an inspirational success for countless others who bear witness to the exemplified example that he personifies as a man of purpose.

Hasheem Francis created Loyal Leadership Inc. in New York, New York with a mission to develop leaders who have the courage to lead by example in all areas of their lives.