It’s always tough to tell when the time is right to strike out on your own and start a business, but it’s even harder in an uncertain economy. That’s why some new business-owners choose to pursue their businesses as side projects and keep their day jobs until it gets off the ground. However, with most businesses, there comes a time when it’s necessary to take that leap and devote more time and energy to growing the business. Here are some signs that the time has arrived.
1. Your job doesn’t match your personal values. Whether you value eco-consciousness, social responsibility, or family, working in an environment that runs contrary to those values can take a toll on your emotional health. The good news is that creating your own business gives you the chance to build on those values and follow them daily.
2. You wake up on Monday mornings with a deep sense of dread. If the thought of spending another day in a windowless office makes you break into a cold sweat, then why stay in a job you don’t enjoy? Starting a business allows you to choose your work environment, your hours, even your colleagues.
3. You find yourself turning away clients or customers you’d love to work with because you’re too busy to take on more. Many business-owners would love to have this problem! But unless you find a way to handle these prospects, then you’re in serious danger of losing their business. Having more business than you can manage is an excellent sign if you’re thinking of leaving your job to start your own business.
4. You find yourself scribbling down business ideas in between meetings, conference calls, even on your commute. Face it: your heart just isn’t in your job anymore, and that’s no reason to feel guilty. If your mind keeps wandering back to that day spa or speaking business you’ve always wanted, then you owe it yourself to explore those ideas further.
5. You’ve saved up several months of startup costs and living expenses. You’re smart enough to know that it could be a few months (or much longer) before you start to turn a profit, and you’ve already planned for that.
6. You’re juggling so much work that you can’t remember the last time you had a night to yourself. While it’s true that being an entrepreneur can be all-consuming, being your own boss offers more flexibility than most jobs. And if your job is running you ragged, then it’s time to take control of your life and find a better work/life balance.
7. You’ve identified a gap in the marketplace and figured out how to fill it. Many successful businesses were created to solve a specific problem or fill a need. If you’ve done your research and created a product or service that people want, then you’re well on your way.
8. You’ve created a support network. Having supportive people in your life, especially people who know what it takes to run a successful business, will prove invaluable. Make sure you’ve built these connections before you make the leap.
Making the leap from a corporate job to CEO of your own business can be scary. But with the right attitude and preparation, it’s very possible to land on your feet.
© 2009-2010 Ali International, LLC
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Self-made entrepreneur and Inc. 500-ranked CEO Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE weekly articles and advice at www.AliBrown.com