Starting a business can seem as simple as registering a domain name and setting up social media profiles and selling something.

And while it’s never been easier to start a business, having a successful business still takes a lot of hard work.

If you want to grow something that can actually pay your bills or be salable, you would be well served to do an honest personal inventory to determine if now is the right time.

(If you missed my interview with Carol Roth on this topic, you can find it here.)

Your personal situation

Where are you in your life? Do you have a partner? Young kids? Aging parents?

All of these will affect your mental and physical energy, which will affect how much and the quality of the time you can spend on your business.

And then there are the competing commitments. Will you be able to carve out enough time to focus on your business?

Your finances

Often, you will need to invest some – if not all – of the cash it will take to start your business.

I thought I was in great shape when I started my business. I had saved up what I thought would be more than enough money, and I was oh so wrong. I plowed through it quickly and while I had clients from the beginning, I didn’t have enough clients to pay my bills.

Carol always says it will take three times as long, cost three times as much, and be three times more difficult than you thought. She’s usually right, in my experience.

Some people get lucky, but if you’re in the planning stage, I strongly recommend budgeting much more than you think you’ll need.

Your energy level

How is your health? Do you have any issues that might affect your ability to work?

Starting a business when you are working through health issues or chronic fatigue can make a tough thing even tougher.

Your enthusiasm

How excited are you? Do you spend your time planning and dreaming and thinking about your future business? That’s a pretty good sign.

Conversely, if you are lukewarm on the idea, that’s not such a great sign.

Potholes and sinkholes are guaranteed. If you can’t tap into enthusiasm, excitement, and passion, you may have a rough time moving forward after the inevitable setbacks.

In my experience, these are the most critical things to consider. You can acquire skills, hire help, or do a search online for the answer to pretty much any question, but if you want to be successful, I strongly recommend that you make sure you’re mentally and physically ready for entrepreneurship.