5 questions you need to ask yourself before leaving the comfort of your job
So, you fancy being an entrepreneur? Drawn by the thrill and excitement of working for yourself, the freedom to live or die by your own decisions, to do something different and more meaningful with your career.
As we find ourselves at the start of the year, I am sure there are many people thinking these exact thoughts, but the question is are you ready, will you ever be ready? The next 5 questions may help you find the answer:
How important is job status and recognition to you?
One thing Abigail and I quickly realised when we started our company was that we were no longer important to anyone else apart from each other. This may sound obvious but when you work for yourself there is no-one whose role it is to tell you that you are doing a great job, to make you feel valued or to publicly recognise your accomplishments. For us it was actually quite freeing, but if you are the sort of person that enjoys the seniority and status that being in a large company brings, then going it alone may not be for you.
Do you enjoy being out of your comfort zone?
Being in a young business means you have to think on your feet. It means stepping up to the plate no matter how out of your depth you feel and tackling all challenges with gusto and enthusiasm. For us this has meant learning everything from understanding accounting software to creating original marketing content and everything in-between. If you are the sort of person that thrives on constant change and regularly says, ‘yes, why the hell not’, then you definitely are on the right tracks.
Do you seek a good work / life balance?
If the answer to this is yes, then you probably should give up your dreams of being an entrepreneur right now. Boot strapping from a standing start is not for the faint hearted, you have to be ‘all in’ for it to work. This means that wherever you go, your work goes with you. But if you love what you do, and you get a buzz off the feeling of success, then this won’t matter. For us, knowing we are building something great has made it all worthwhile.
Do you really know what you are doing?
In the initial phases of start-up life (unless you are really lucky) there is no one to make up for your lack of core skills, so you really had better know what you are doing. This means doing everything from sales, execution, project management and whatever else is involved in running your business and making money. Thankfully for us we have 20 years of experience in our sector and have always been very hands on. However, if you have been away from the shop floor for too long, then you may want to revisit it and dust off your skills!
How prepared are you to change your lifestyle?
Yes, it is true – more often than not there is short term financial pain for long term gain as you reinvest profits to help grow your business. If you are OK with giving up certain parts of your current lifestyle (my penchant for nice holidays and online shopping had to be reined in somewhat), don’t care what others think and can see your business as a long-term investment, then you are probably well prepared for life as an entrepreneur.
So, there you go. Abigail and I set up our company Day One early last year, so I genuinely speak from the heart and from first-hand experience. To anyone setting up in 2020 I sincerely hope you have as much fun, excitement and success as we have. Just make sure you enjoy the ride and don’t forget to occasionally pause and take in the view.