I have long cherished the dream of becoming an entrepreneur, moving into a business that allows me to do what I truly what to do. For me, one of the most appealing things about being an entrepreneur is that one can truly choose to work in an ethical manner, consistent with personal goals and ideas about how people should be treated. I understand this may be easier said than done. When there are bills to pay and perhaps employees waiting for pay cheques, even entrepreneurs may be faced with tough decisions that challenge their own principles. Still, it definitely seems more appealing than working in a large corporate set up, where the cog often has little control over which direction the wheel moves in.
Having said all that, as I near my thirties, I realise that I still don’t have my dream ready, not even a good idea of what it is really going to be. Part of it is that while I have a number of ideas brewing at any time, I haven’t really put in the time and effort to really, really think through any of them. But more than that, its the feeling, that I am not yet ready. Which brings me to the question, When is one really ready to become an entrepreneur?
I think some of the things that could help one to take the step are –
– (If you are married/committed), when one partner has a steady source of income, allowing the other to leave a regular job and take that risk. If you are single, is there a back-up in the event of any serious issues, like an accident/unexpected illness etc?
– When you are not simultaneously going through other phenomenal life changes ? (I am unsure about this one. Lot of women, for example, have started businesses after having children, starting as a way to work from home)
– When you know that you have a good idea, its implementable, it serves a definite need for which people will pay money, and you are capable of implementing it. I think all four of these are important. If its a fantastic idea which people like but think should be part of a free service, then it would just fall through.
– When you have a first/potential client to start you off ? I wouldn’t put this as a must, but especially in the service industry, if your existing clients, colleagues, other contacts etc can be a base to tap, it makes branching out so much easier.
– When you know that you are going to crib about every job you take up, and essentially don’t fit into the corporate hoopla !!
These are just some of the things that occur to me. I think it would be a good idea for every aspiring entrepreneur to make a list for themselves. When you think through it, it may surprise you as to what is really essential to you. Perhaps for some, financial security at a particular stage of life is critical, for some, not – they are willing to take larger risks and live on very little for some time if needed. Whatever works for you. As for me, I plan to make a larger list and figure out when I really want to move, though all the planning in the world won’t work unless ultimately one steps off that cliff !