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You Know You’re Ready to Start Your Own Business When…


You Know You’re Ready to Start Your Own Business When…

(Photo : Alvaro Serrano)

Maybe you're sick and tired of your boss, or maybe you have a great idea and are excited about the possibility of bringing it to the masses, or maybe you are just not the kind of person who is comfortable in the 9-5 grind. Whatever the case may be for wanting to start your own business, we are here to help you make the transition.

Don't be scared to start considering a switch. Having your own business can provide you with more security than your current corporate gig and is "an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in," according to Nicole Snow, Founder & CEO of Darn Good Yarn.

So don't let fear hold you back from what could be a very lucrative and meaningful endeavor. Check out these tips from business leaders to see if you are ready to take the next big step in your career by starting your own business.

The Passion is There

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple perhaps said it best, "Work takes on new meaning when you feel you are pointed in the right direction. Otherwise, it's just a job, and life is too short for that." It's a sentiment that echoes his processors classic "everything else is secondary" quote and one you should take into deep consideration before making the leap of faith that is starting our own business.

"If I didn't truly believe in my venture, I would have failed right out of the gate," agrees Cody Candee, Founder & CEO of Bounce. "You need that firm belief in what you are doing or you will be running on fumes before you even take off... Frustration with your current job can't be the only reason for jumping ship."

You Are No Longer Feeling Fulfilled

Or maybe you never were in the first place. This is a definite sign that it is time to jump ship. But it doesn't mean you should go and start a new business because you have a bad month. "Don't confuse frustration or boredom with lack of fulfillment," says Michel Mosse, Co-Founder & Head of Revenue at Hoist. "You are going to have boring days at your own business too. What keeps you there is the cumulative fulfillment you will get from doing the work and feeling like you are having an impact or making a change."

Lack of fulfillment can come from many things. One of the most common reasons you might feel unfulfilled is the inability to call the shots and take charge of your workday. Make sure your new endeavor will make you feel fulfilled even when things aren't going your way and will continue to for years to come. It might take that long for things to get off the ground.

You Feel Like it's Time

"You are never going to be completely ready to jump ship and that is okay. What's important is that you know that and jump when you feel like the time is right. You are your best judge," says Jason Reposa, Founder & CEO of Good Feels.

Trust your gut. You are going to need to make a lot of decisions when you are running your business; think of knowing when it's time to start as the first one.

You Are Aware of the Risks

Feeling like the time is crucial, but understand that there is a tremendous amount of risk involved in going into business for yourself. But don't let that scare you. Just make sure you know what the risks are fully before you consider making the transition.

"Do your research. Some of the risks are obvious (loss of income, legal issues, loss of investments, etc.) but there are more than you might be aware of," cautions Lisa Odenweller, CEO & Founder of Kroma Wellness. "If you know anyone else who has made a similar career move, now is the time to talk to them and learn as much as you can"

Only make the move if you are ready to accept all the risks and sacrifices that come along with starting your own business. "Don't forget the personal risks too," says Akhilesh Srivastava, Founder & CEO of Fenix Commerce. "The long hours and level of commitment can put a lot of stress on your personal relationships and your health. Make sure you are ready to take all of that on."

Lifestyle changes are sure to come, so factor those into your decision. When you work for yourself you earn a lot of freedom, but you also have to manage yourself and your time, which is harder than you might think. Be ready.

You Have Support

On the topic of personal relationships, make sure you have a support system in place to help you along the way, says Stephanie Venn-Watson, CEO of Seraphina Therapeutics. "You can't do everything on your own. You need to have someone there to help you when the going inevitably gets rough." This support might be in the form of a domestic partner, a friend, a business partner, or a parent. Anyone who is there to help guide you through your decisions and help you when things get difficult and you feel like giving up.

"A mentor is great if you can find one. They've been there before and can help you in ways someone on the outside might not be able to."

You Understand Business

Maybe this goes without saying, but if you don't know anything about business, you shouldn't try to start one on your own. "It's a learning process and you are going to figure it out as you go, but you still need to have some understanding of how business works before you start to attempt to run one," says Omid Semino, CEO & Founder of Diamond Mansion.

"All because you have a great cookie recipe doesn't mean you should go out and open a bakery. There is so much more that goes into running a business than just doing the thing you are good at." 

You need to be someone who has at least some understanding of the business side of your passion. We're not suggesting you get a master's degree and five years of experience, but you need to have a cursory knowledge of marketing, selling, and development to get things up and rolling.

There is a Market

You want to run your own business, sure, but do people actually want whatever it is you plan to sell? This is an important question to ask before deciding to start your own business. "People need to be willing to buy whatever it is you plan on selling," says Adelle Archer, CEO & Co-Founder of Eterneva. "Make sure you do sufficient research and can prove to potential investors that there is a demand for what you intend to supply.

You Know Have the Right Personality

Not everyone is going to be cut out for running their own business. It takes a certain kind of personality to be in charge. Chances are if you are reading this article you feel like you have what it takes to be in command and make the hard decisions and that is a great start. Phillip Akhzar, CEO of Arka offers some other things to consider.

"Do you really know how to manage yourself and your day? You might think you know what works best, but have you been trying that out in your free time to see if you can get what is needed to be accomplished? You need to be a veritable master of efficiency and can't procrastinate. Time is money. There is no paid leave. There is sick time. There is no vacation pay. There is just you and the open road. You aren't getting paid to be on your phone anymore. You need to work harder than you ever have before to make a profit and you need to be single-mindedly focused on your goals. Understand what projects have the most impact and how to prioritize."

You also have to be comfortable getting your hands dirty and taking charge. Unless you have enough capital to start your business with several other employees, you are going to be doing all of the dirty work, adds Cole Steverson, COO of Hybrid2Go. "It's not going to be fun all the time. You need to have a willingness to learn the business inside and out and do whatever it takes to get ahead. You are not going to get far if you think there are aspects of the business that are somehow below you and your expertise. Revel in the dirty work and do whatever it takes to get your business off the ground."

Starting your own business is scary, but as long as you don't lose sight of your dream and trust yourself completely, you will have a great shot at making it all work out.

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