Why is starting your own business even on your radar?
What has led you to think of this as an option? Do you see this as an opportunity to develop incredible skills, be challenged, grow and feel purposeful or is it a knee jerk reaction as you have exhausted alternatives? Often when you are exhausted, overwhelmed and tired – I am tired of working for a boss, I am not interested in being told what to do … I can do this by myself… the default is to go at it on your own. How much is your current situation driving you towards this and how much is a passion/ interest/ drive and desire pulling you towards it?
Research!! Research!! Research!!
Launching your own venture is a huge commitment from a cost and time perspective, even if you are thinking small scale, want to do something to stay busy and have a purpose or something that you want to do and just have fun with. The emotional investment is big and because you own this –walking away from it and letting it be at the end of a day is challenging. It can become all-consuming as you could find yourself constantly thinking about it, looking for ideas, writing down brain sparks etc – that is what passion does and it is enjoyable if you are ready to take it on. Consider aspects such as the viability of your idea, the practical application, competition, risks, threats, start-up time to financial return, what can go wrong, financial investment and investment of your time, etc.
I was taught many years ago a decision is the exclusion of alternatives. I like that, as I feel I have choice and comparisons make my decision more measured. If this is one alternative, and you have a few other ideas and options, consider the big picture of each opportunity by objectively drafting a pros and cons list of each option.
Avoid huge pressure where you can
Ideally have a period of overlap – I felt enormous pressure as I stopped my career then started a business. From existing income to zero is quite an uncomfortable feeling and the pressure to earn and earn quickly could be stressful. Again if you are prepared for this and can buffer it – it is ideal.
The reality is that a start-up with probably take between 12– 24 months to become profitable.
Get everyone onside and have a sounding board.
Now more than ever you need the support and encouragement from your nearest and dearest. Make them excited about your decision and ask for gentle yet honest feedback. See if you have a sounding board in a friend or someone who is also running a small business you can talk to, celebrate with and run ideas past. Actively create a network as a platform to share positive experiences and learnings with like minded people.
Probably one of the best pieces of advice given to me was to “stay in your lane and do what makes you happy” – a great goal to have.You’ve got this!