Knowing When To Take The Entrepreneurial Leap
You could be sitting at your office desk on the job daydreaming of a business idea, imagining what it would be like to confidently walk up to the bosses office with a resignation letter. A few days later you could see yourself in your own company with the big CEO sign on your desk. On most days like this you’ll hear the printer start or some disruptive sound and pop!… the daydream bubble bursts bringing you back to reality.
Another day comes along and you’re back thinking about ideas, plans, what could be and painting a startup in your mind. So when exactly do you act on these ideas, dreams and plans and take the entrepreneurial leap? Is there a sign that it’s time?
It’s unlikely that you’ll see a bolt of lightning above your desk, your laptop screen turn off and come on with large bold text saying “it’s time” or even an angel investor walking through the door to tell you comfortingly “do not be afraid, I am here to grant your wish of a startup” (pun intended). However, here are some more realistic signs that will help you know when it’s the right time to go ahead and take that entrepreneurial leap:
A Sense Of Unshakable Passion & Belief In Your Idea
One of the best aspects of having a job is having a sense of security. That’s something one lets go of while taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and to let go you need to have unshakable confidence, belief and passion for what you are about to do. If you’re going to make a transition and give up security you need to feel that you’re moving towards doing something you would rather do and have than what you’re doing currently.
Patience, Time & Cookies In The Cookie Jar
When you make the transition into an entrepreneurial role, you need to be well prepared to stand strong through some tough times emotionally, mentally and even financially. If you have expectations of everything to instantly fall into place so you’ll never miss your timely pay checks, then think twice before handing in that resignation. Financially, it’s good to have some cash stashed away in a savings account. At least enough to fall back on for some time to come in case revenue flow is delayed. It will give you room to fail, fall, stand up again and rebuild a number of times before you do get it right. Patience is a virtue and if you’re taking the plunge into business, you’ll need lots of it.
A Well Thought Out Plan & Bulletproof Business Model
If you could count the times aspiring entrepreneurs have been obsessed with an idea and building it only to find there was no good way to monetize their idea and develop a growing revenue stream you’d be a little more cautious. While the idea and passion is important, when you are putting everything into a startup giving up a stable career, you want to think things through and have a bulletproof business plan to pursue once your time as an entrepreneur begins. Look for loopholes in the idea, identify the revenue stream, markets with unlimited growth potential, set a timeline, estimate your costs and build a practical approach towards achieving a dreamy result. If you know the cards you plan to play, you’re good to go ahead.
Willingness To Tear Up Your Job Description & Jump Into A Role Of Limitless Responsibility
Once you quit your job don’t assume now that you are your own boss you’re accountable to no one. Misconception! Sure you can tear up your job description, but as an entrepreneur you need to prepare yourself to take on a limitless role and be accountable to everyone who in some way or the other becomes a part of your startup. Customers, your team , employees, partners, the government, investors and more…you will be accountable to them. Be prepared to be flexible in your role. In my first startup I’ve played not just CEO but accountant, salesman, administrator, tech support, human resources, recruiter, communications, cleaner and even driver at times as the situation demanded all towards doing what it takes to make the vision turn reality.
If you can see these signs in place the time has come to take that leap. Once you do, full throttle ahead and don’t look back!