During my talks, wanna-be entrepreneurs would routinely ask me how to determine if one ready enough to start their business. Most of us would have started our income-generating lives by taking a job somewhere. Some might never have thought of going the entrepreneurial way until they’ve had enough of the rat-race routine.
Employment offers stability and security. A constant and reliable source of income and a great career opportunity. The many advantages of employment are enough for people to stay, spend their entire productive life working for the company, and then, eventually, retire quietly and comfortably.
However straightforward and secure, that lifestyle, of course, is not just enough for us born entrepreneurs. We’ll take day jobs for many reasons – pay the bills, get the experience, learn the trades, but never to build a career around it. As much as we appreciate the benefits of holding a job and making a career out of it, we also know and crave the excitement, the challenge, the freedom, and the limitless opportunities from running our own business.
So, how does one know one’s ready to quit the job and launch the business?
Born entrepreneurs, like myself, have always known we’d eventually have our own business. It is not a question of if, it’s just a matter of when. We spend most of our younger years preparing for the launch of our first business. We learn the economics, the financial aspects, the relevant skills and build the business network early on. However, being in business will not going to happen unless we overcome the most difficult challenge we are going to face, taking the leap the faith.
Are you ready to transition from the secure and comfortable bubble of employment to the wild rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship? Do you have the resources, the determination and the courage to let go of the familiar and reliable for the excitement of the unknown?
There is no definite answer to this. Cases are different from one person to another. You might be in the same position, have the same opportunities and resources as the next person, but he could be ready, and you’re not. There are a lot of factors to consider, but the area where we all differ – motivation, viewpoint, determination, and goals, is the most defining ones.
Before you take the hard look into your inner self and assess your readiness, it is best to satisfy some tangible requirements first. These are the signs that will indicate your readiness, and also ease your transition to entrepreneurship. Here are clear indicators that show your readiness to take the plunge;
You have a complete business plan – You know the product you’re going to create, the customers you’re going to serve, you have a great marketing plan, substantial funding, and even the packaging design! You’ve studied the distribution lines, the pricing strategies, and the production costs. You either start your business now or sell the business plan to somebody else. Otherwise, it’ll only go to waste.
You’ve studied business finance – You’ve schooled yourself on the rigors of business finance. You are aware of how different it is from the personal finance mode you’re currently on. Business money is so different in nuances, movements, and characteristics to that of personal money. Business finance adroitness separates successful entrepreneurs from the struggling ones.
You have enough savings – You will be losing your steady source of income when you leave your job to start a business. Have at least six months’ worth of expense money saved up to tide you over the next few months while your business is starting up. This way, you won’t have to worry about food and shelter and focus on building your business.
You already hate your job – You hate the idea of going to work from the moment you wake in the morning. Working on your tasks has become torture. Your co-workers have become annoying, irritating, and superfluous. You come to work dreaming of your own business. Thus, your productivity declines, your social relationships go sour, and your emotional health suffers.
You’re no longer happy – You’re constantly in your alternate world, dreaming of running your business. And you hate the real one you’re in – the dreary job, the limited income, the boring routine that has become your life. If thinking of your job stresses you out, it is time to quit.
These requirements are signs that you ought to leave your job and start your own business. However, they are not assurances that you are ready to make the transition. I cannot tell you when and if you’re ready or not. The answer will have to come from you. Only you can determine if you’re already into the entrepreneurial zone or not. Try to answer these questions;
Are you ready for more work?
Are you self-disciplined?
Are you emotionally ready to fail?
Can you overcome a setback?
Can you accept your mistakes?
Can you lead and manage people?
Are you ready to learn real-life business lessons?
Do you have a clear goal for your business and your future?
If your answer to all of the questions is YES, then I will encourage you to start gathering up the courage to take the plunge. You’re ready for the entrepreneurial world!