Most entrepreneurs I’ve worked with have the challenge of always wanting to build the next thing and sometimes neglecting the current business. But are there hints for when it’s time to build a new idea into a new venture?
Here are some ways to think about when it’s time to launch a new dream, even if the old one is doing pretty good (or the old one is someone else’s dream)…
1. You've realized your dream is worth more than your 401k.
There are numerous reasons people choose to go down the corporate road: They enjoy working toward a common goal, love their position, have an amazing salary, perks galore and benefits. People like knowing where their next paycheck is coming from, making security a huge attraction to this lifestyle.
But, if you’re like me, there is something else driving you, you have an inner need to help, to grow, to move. For those of us who are less risk averse and willing to take a chance on your dream, it may be time to think about the world of entrepreneurship.
2. You can't stop thinking about your potential startup.
If you can't stop thinking about your dream entrepreneurial endeavor enough to focus on the daily demands of your current one, you may be ready to move on. You aren't doing anyone a favor staying put, as an employer doesn't usually want less than 100 percent of your energy.
3. Your support system is in place.
You're ready for entrepreneurship if you have a strong support system. Let's not romanticize starting a business. It is one of the most stressful things that a person can do. Make sure your friends and family know you’re jumping into something that will take up the vast majority of your time. Also, have a set of mentors and advisers on your side, so you can reach out to them when times get rough. Entrepreneurship is a lonely road and you will need those people that know what you are going through because they have been there, also.
4. You see the problems that no one else can spot.
You pay attention to details and are able to see opportunities when others don't. If you’re constantly coming up with innovative ways to change your employer's business but no one is listening, it may be time to take what you learned and see if you can do it better.
Keep in mind that your idea may already be out there, so do adequate research. Also, talk to others to see if they are feeling your same pain points, and make sure there is a need for your startup concept. If so, take steps to turn your idea into a reality.
5. You're willing to live below your means for a while.
One bonus about working at an established business is you have a paycheck. That may not be the case when you venture out on your own. Entrepreneurship is about playing the long game. This means if your business hits a wall, then you’re going to have to be willing to take the biggest financial hit. This can be scary, so plan for it in advance. After years of ups and downs, I adopted the “Profit First” method of cash accounting to help the cash flow of my business ensure that I can take a paycheck and support my family through the good and not so good days.
No matter what your current situation is – corporate or simply successful small business owner – there comes a time for many of us when we have to think about moving forward into uncharted territory. Not to worry, if you’re thinking about building out a new idea, my team and I can help you figure it all out based on your current economic strategy and your future one!
To ensure we don't make the folks at the IRS ornery, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.