Entrepreneurship is all the rage right now and for good reason as the price of living continues to skyrocket. With an increased focus on self-care and mental health, leaving the regular workforce and entering into a life where you decide when and where you work can be very seductive. The glamorization of full-time side hustles has really picked up with social media and the emphasis on creating a life that requires us to answer to no one but ourselves. Though having multiple streams of income is more and more necessary, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Not to mention, those who decide to go into business for themselves often spend way more time working than people who have a structured 9 to 5. The pandemic seemed to accelerate the great flight from traditional employment and thrust many people into lanes that they simply cannot keep up in. Going after our biggest goals is something we all should aim for but we have to make sure that our dreams are not being influenced by what everyone else is doing or by what we’re being told we should do.
So, before you put in your two weeks, here are a few things to consider.
How much money do you have saved?
The costs of starting a business can balloon quite quickly and if you’re no longer bringing in a steady paycheck, it may cause your quality of life to drastically change. Financial advisors say that a good emergency fund has at least six months worth of money to cover not only your living expenses but the other activities you usually enjoy. Add in anything you may find yourself paying for to get things off the ground and things become a bit clearer on what stepping out into the deep end may look like. Consider the time it may take to actually start to see a return on your investment before stepping away from your day job.
Are you a self-starter?
Having an idea is only the first step to starting and maintaining a successful business of your own. The one thing we can, sometimes, take for granted is the built-in structure that comes with having a traditional job. We often lament the fact that we have someone else dictating our days but don’t realize how accustomed we’ve become to it. When branching out on your own, you need to be very honest with yourself about how you’re motivated on a day to day basis. Are you a person who can create a schedule for yourself and stick to it? Are you disciplined enough to cut back on unnecessary spending in order to move your business forward? Do you know how to plan and execute properly in the real world? Leveling with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses is necessary before you take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
How will you afford your healthcare?
If you’re lucky enough to be working a job that also takes care of your healthcare, you may not pay a lot of attention to the cost of it. When you decide to venture out on your own, you’re going to absorb that cost all on your own and this can be another expense that makes things a bit tight for a while. Taking care of ourselves mind, body and soul, is something we all need to prioritize but for those who are focusing on turning over a new leaf in their lives, this can be more crucial than ever. Factoring in the cost of maintaining your overall health is definitely important before taking the plunge.
Can you do it alone?
Entrepreneurship can be a very isolating journey for some people. If you’re used to working with people and being able to divide tasks amongst a group, starting your own business can be a tough pill to swallow. The truth of the matter is, no one will work as hard for your dreams as you. You have to be willing to walk alone in your journey, if it comes to that, and be able to stay steadfast come what may. Answering this question for yourself may help you to create a better plan for success that includes bringing someone else along for the ride until you find your footing.
Is it a paycheck or your purpose?
Either answer is just fine. Not everything has to be the thing you are most passionate about in your life in order to be successful; however, it will help you to keep moving forward when things get tough. Passion driven work isn’t any less laborious but it can be much more rewarding. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, so having something that you truly feel connected to is paramount for being able to roll with the punches as they come.
How long will you commit to it?
This is another moment where complete and utter honesty is important. Often times we are excited at the beginning of a journey and as things stall or take longer than expected, we can lose interest. The problem with that happening in the midst of building a business, without a guaranteed stream of income coming in, is that all of your eggs are in that basket. Making a plan for how long you'll wait things out should things start to go awry can be a great way to refocus when the time comes without feeling like you've failed.