Challenging the Norm: Top Ten Signs It’s Time to Start Your Own Business

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Venturing on your own professionally can be a daunting, but at the same time, rewarding experience. There are few people who decide to take the plunge and leave the comfort of a 9 to 5 job in order to pursue their own ambitions and even less those who actually succeed at creating a thriving, lucrative business.

While there are many advantages that go along with starting your own company, such as flexible working hours, financial freedom and a higher social status, there are also a great deal of risks and sacrifices you need to consider before making such a move and often times it is those uncertainties that deter people from doing it in the first place.

Here are the top ten signs that will tell you if you have what it takes to go down this path or if you are better off with someone else calling the shots.

1.    You’re a leader first and a team player second

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If you often find yourself taking charge of all group tasks and coming up with a unified vision for the projects you are working on, then you are most definitely a natural-born leader and you probably don’t belong in your current setting.

This, however, translates into a lot more than just flexing your muscles and showing who’s in charge. You need to be an excellent communicator in order to get your ideas across and have a unique skill for bringing the best out of people.

A true leader is able to identify the core strengths of his/her employees and position them in the right department, making it easy for them to reach their full potential.

You have to give them room to grow, be open to their suggestions and let them know that they can turn to you when they are facing a difficult situation at work.

2.    You’re not afraid to take risks

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According to recent statistics, about half of all the new small businesses manage to go past the five-year life span and only 1/3 of them actually survive past ten years.

In face of such negative figures, it’s no wonder so many people feel safer staying in a regular job and take comfort in the idea that every month they have a steady paycheck coming their way.

However, if you are one of those people who care more about independence than financial security and have a nagging desire to bring your idea to fruition even if that means you won’t have as many financial resources for a while, then that qualifies you as a risk-taker and you might just have the right material to be venturing on your own.

3.    You know the best way to achieve anything is through trial and error

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Often times when we’re in a corporate environment, we’re taught that things must be done in a certain way, with very little room for changing or trying out a different approach. This leaves many people feeling stuck in a repetitive type of job, with no space to set out creative goals for themselves or try unique methods.

If you are one of those unique people who enjoy experimenting and believe that in order to be successful, you have to try out as many different approaches as possible, than perhaps starting your own business might be the right call for you, as it will give you plenty of testing ground in order to expand upon your ideas.

4.    You no longer see yourself in someone else’s organizational culture

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As an employee working in a private company or even a national institute, you have to adhere to a certain organizational culture. In order to fit in, you have to be in tune with all the values, beliefs and regulations inside that organization. Sometimes this can turn you into a different person altogether and make you lose your sense of identity.

If you find yourself in a total state of disconnect from your current company, no longer relating to their environment, but you envision what it would mean to create your own organizational culture down to the very last detail, then it might be time to start packing your bags and putting your own flag somewhere.

5.    The idea of having a boss completely and utterly frustrates you

If you hate answering in front of a supervisor and having someone else decide your schedule and what your daily tasks should be, then being an employee probably isn’t for you.

Have you been working in a company for five straight years and hating every breathing minute of it? Then it might be time for a drastic change. Be very careful, though, when it comes to distinguishing between “hating the boss” and “hating the idea of a boss.”  You might not be so fond of your supervisor’s personality or managerial style, but be perfectly content with working for someone else.

If this is the case, then you might want to find a new job and not necessarily start your own company. You need to consider the fact that there are situations where you might be perfectly qualified for a certain industry, but find it nearly impossible to create your own business in that niche.

The banking industry is the perfect example for this. If you are currently working in a banking institution and you’re completely unhappy with your supervisor, but still want to work in that domain, then the next best thing is to try and find another job in that field and make sure it will be the right fit for you.

However, if you do decide to go for a different bank, you will need to do your homework well and find out everything there is to know about their job application process, their working environment and the values they try to instill in their employees.

Make sure to accurately assess your preferences in this regard before you start going on your own and decide that you’re really not cut out for it and that you don’t particularly enjoy calling all the shots and having all the responsibility on your shoulders.

6.    You want to leave your mark in the world through something that is truly yours.

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Do you find your current job unrewarding and feel you are not given the chance to show your full potential? Perhaps you’ve obtained some great results for your employer and managed to increase their profit by 20%, but then you went home and started wondering where you fit into that equation.

Knowing you’ve set out an objective and then going out and achieving it is an incredibly satisfying feeling, but it’s always more satisfying when you do it for yourself rather than for somebody else. If you identify yourself with this scenario, then launching your own start-up might be the right solution for you.

Make sure to do it for the right reasons, though. If you are not truly invested in the idea and you are simply doing it for the money or the status, then you will reach neither of those. Passion is the key to obtaining any kind of success and if your heart and mind are not fully committed to this process, then you might as well stay in your current job.

7.    You have a marketable idea that you can’t stop thinking about.

Most entrepreneurs have this burning desire to solve a problem. Sometimes it’s an unconventional approach, other times it’s something extremely simple that no one has ever thought of before. Once they’ve identified a solution, they spend every waking minute figuring out how to bring it in front of people and how to turn it into a profitable, win-win solution for both parties.

Being a business owner means you’ve identified a niche where you can contribute and do it successfully, without having to worry that your company will go under the next day. If your business idea pursues you throughout your day, from the moment you wake up to the minute you fall asleep, that means you’re truly passionate about your project and are one step closer to venturing on your own.

8.    You’ve developed a solid business plan.

Even though you have a promising idea, that doesn’t mean you are ready to launch your start-up tomorrow morning. In order to maximize your chances of becoming successful, you need to develop a solid business plan, detailing all the major elements you will need to incorporate in order for your company to become operational.

This means identifying a physical or virtual location, figuring out the resources and equipment you’re going to need along the way, the licenses and permits required by law, the financial costs associated with all of this, along with a clear image of how you are going to make your business profitable.

9.    You’re not afraid to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you

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All of this may sound incredibly overwhelming and in reality there are very few people who can figure out all of these things on their own. A true entrepreneur does not think he holds all the answers and isn’t afraid to partner up with smart people in order to get his/her idea across.

10.    You’re not reluctant to put in the extra hours.

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Last but certainly not least, you have to be prepared to work harder than anyone else. The first few years of your business are vital for determining if it’s going to survive or not. This requires making an awful lot of decisions, researching and planning until the wee hours of the morning and then repeating this process 24/7/365.

If you are not ready to bun the midnight oil in order to achieve this kind of professional acclaim, that means you need to take a minute and reassess your decision to quit your job until you are mentally prepared to take this kind of initiative.

Overall, becoming an entrepreneur can be a challenging and thrilling experience and one that needs to be given a serious amount of consideration before attempting anything in this direction. Nevertheless, if you completely identify yourself with all the points mentioned above and you’ve got an undying passion for your project, then it’s safe to say you possess all the right material to venture on this journey and all that’s left to say is: good luck and shoot for the stars!

Image source: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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