By: Courtney Klein
As an entrepreneur, I am often asked “how did you know it was time to start something?” It is a common question, especially from those with stable jobs and steady income. Being an entrepreneur promises neither which is why the risk is seriously worth considering.
There are many factors to consider when leaving your day job to launch or scale a new business venture and it is a very individualized matrix of factors in most cases, but here are five things that may help in that decision making process:
#1: The Raspberry Seed: (stick with me on the metaphor) If you have ever had a raspberry seed stuck in your back molar, you know what I am talking about. It is annoying, it is frustrating, and you want it out. For some, popping in a piece of gum is the easy path to resolution. For others, you will try just about anything to get that seed unstuck on your own accord, it gnaws at you, it bothers you until you get it out on your own. The same is true when you have an idea. When you see a problem in the world that you want to solve, or have an innovation you really want to bring to life. It nags at you, you cannot easily let it go, and you wake up thinking about it. That is when you know you have an idea worth pursuing – when you have the equivalent of a raspberry seed of an idea lodged in your gut, heart, or head.
#2: Validation from Users: No matter how good your idea is, no matter how beautiful your vision may be, if no one is willing to use or buy what you have to offer – you do not have a business. Getting validation from users or customers is critical when you are thinking about the long-term financial stability that your idea may provide for your bank account so be sure to do the leg-work of customer validation to be sure you have something that is financially viable.
#3: Run the Numbers: Run the financial projections for what things may look like during a great year and what they may look like in a bad year and ask yourself if it is enough to meet your personal financial needs and goals. While there are many ways a new business venture can go, you want to be comfortable with the realities of how things may work out and have comfort in your own personal financial situation if things take longer than you anticipate or do not go as planned.
#4: Find Support: There are an immense amount of resources out there today for folks who are looking to pursue new ideas and convert side-hustles into businesses. Don’t go it alone. Learn from folks who have gone down an entrepreneurial path before. Find support in mentors and programs that can guide you on the journey to be sure you are in a good spot before leaving your day-job.
#5: Trust Your Vision: Taking that leap into a bit of the unknown can be scary. It is critical on hard days and in difficult moments to remind yourself of the vision that you set out to create. Stay the course, ask for help, be real with yourself when things go wrong, re-group, anchor back to the raspberry seed and remind yourself of the dream you set out to build – that will pull you through hard moments.