Dreams of pitching on Dragons’ Den or shedding that 9-5 routine and becoming your own boss?
A few reasons you should think twice before ditching your day job for your entrepreneurial dream.
Being an entrepreneur (a successful one, at that) is a whole lot harder than it sounds, and gaining the title of Founder – with a capital F – certainly not a glamorous as one would think. Rarely a day goes by without a well-respected worldly entrepreneur touting self-help books, survival guides and meditation (read: sanity) apps as the most helpful tools of their trade. The startup grind is not for the faint of heart, so before you hand in your corporate resignation papers, a few things to consider:
1. Tired of the 40-hour work week?
Entrepreneurs work 63% more hours than the average employee. So if you are launching a business under the guise that you’ll be working less, there is a very good chance that will not be your reality.
2. Unlike The Hunger Games, the odds are not forever in your favour
50% of all startups fail within the first five years. Being an entrepreneur is hard work and few succeed. We tend to focus on the success stories of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs to justify our need to start our own ventures, however…
“The truth is that neither Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates dropped out of school to loaf around and play League of Legends all day. Steve Jobs continued to audit classes for over a year after officially dropping out and Gates had been planning his future software company for some time before leaving Harvard. They were rare exceptions , and chances are you’ll be much better off finishing school before embarking on your entrepreneurial adventure.”
– The Ugly Truth About Being an Entrepreneur
3. Are you actually offering people something they need?
If you are trying to talk to too many people, chances are you’ll be talking to no one. If you’re defining your target demographic as “everyone,” you are not ready to launch your business. Know your offering and your audience inside and out, and dedicate significant time and energy into market testing before you make a large cash investment into your business. Need more guidance in the pre-launch arena? Pick up the book Originals. It examines how to know what ideas are worth pursuing. Give it a read and allow yourself to ask the hard questions.
So why do we do it? Why are we entrepreneurs ourselves and why do we choose to work so deeply with entrepreneurs and startups in our day-to-day?
Well, much of the game is about knowing when the time is right to take your side business, passion project or lifelong entrepreneurial dream full-time. We are constantly reading about ‘leaning in,’ ‘building our own dreams instead of our boss’,’ ‘giving up the good for the great’ and more, but do not often stop to consider that most great ideas happen gradually. Timing is everything and being an entrepreneur is not about being bold and brave so much as it is about taking calculated risks.
So before your quit your day job and go ‘all in,’ ask yourself if your business – and you – are 100% ready for it.
Ask yourself: are you truly ready to take your startup full time? Do you have the right pieces in place to warrant it gaining all of your time, energy, attention and sanity? Before you join the ranks of the coffee-shop-working-class, map it out in weeks, months and years, know what you’re in for financially and beyond, and remember – go slow to go fast, and the long game always wins.