You have a business idea that you have been mulling around for a while. While there may be tactical reasons (e.g. finances, skills, risk, feasibility etc.) preventing you from starting a business (many of which can be overcome), you need to be personally ready to pursue the journey. Here are several reasons why you might want to consider quitting your job and starting a business.
- Follow Your Passion & Dreams
“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love.” ~ Ray BradburyThe problem with working for someone is that they tell you what to do and that may not be what you love. While starting is a business (or a non-profit) is not without constraints – money and time are two big ones – it will be your agenda steering the ship, your decision in where to go and what to do, and your own personal yardstick for determining success.
- Find & Pursue Your Purpose
Entrepreneurs often journey down a path paved with doubt and uncertainty and encounter agony every time a fork in the road appears. But it is only through this relentless introspection – and some wrong turns along the way – does one begin to really discover their purpose or calling in life and, this is important, be in a position to pursue it.
- Pursue YOUR Lifestyle
I know a business owner that loved two cities so much that he spent half the year living and running his business in one city and the other half in another. By being the owner, he was able to build his business around his desired lifestyle and while that is not without sacrifices (shutting down and ramping up a business twice a year is terribly inefficient), pursuing this lifestyle would have been next to impossible if he was employee. As an entrepreneur, you have the latitude to adopt your business to your lifestyle, though understand that it may not happen overnight and may not always result in success.
- Marching to Your Own Beat (aka “Being your own boss”, “Calling the Shots”)
When you work for an employer, it is you that must adopt and fit into their “ecosystem”. There’s nothing wrong with this, millions of people happily do this for their entire career, and if there is a high degree of compatibility, this can be a very enjoyable experience. However, if you have a little bit of an independence streak in you or have a different set of priorities – and this may come later in life – you will find that working for someone else can be very restricting and confining – much like a teenage child ready to leave home. As an entrepreneur, you get to call the shots, set the agenda and define your ecosystem. Though, understand, that you will also need to be accountable for those actions.
- Experience Life To the Max
I hate zoos. The last time I went, I took pity on an elephant. This majestic creature had it’s head down and was lethargically pacing the same path over and over again. While it had shelter, food, water and no predators, it was clear that this creature had no purpose or desire – it was just going through the motions. If you feel this same way about your job, then entrepreneurship might be right for you. As an entrepreneur, you will have a reason to live every hour of every day. There will be scary moments when you may feel you are being chased by a pack of hyenas, but there will be euphoric ones as well – like landing your first customer – that will make it worth all the while.
- Make YOUR Difference
Make no mistake about it: when you work for someone, you’re there to make help them achieve success (however they choose to measure it), fulfill their mission, and make their impact. If what’s important to you aligns with those of your employer, you’re among the very fortunate. But if they are not, you’re relegated to making your difference as a moonlighter. Whether it’s making great coffee and helping adults with disabilities, offering environmentally and socially responsible fast food or whatever your cause may be, as an entrepreneur, you have full reign in choosing how you can make your difference.
- Pursue Multiple Life Goals / Interests
As humans, we are complex creatures and have multiple interests and desires. Yet most of us choose a profession that focuses on just one of those interests because, well, that’s what a job is. Your other interests, in the meantime, are back-burnered as a hobby or stuffed in a mental closet and forgotten or saved for a later date. But how cool, fun and fulfilling would it be if you could to pursue several interests simultaneously either in one pursuit or separately as multiple pursuits? While it is not without it’s challenges, entrepreneurship can offer the independence and flexibility to do this. An accountant who loves to sing and climb mountains could offer a yodeling tax return service, or more likely, start three businesses and structure her year doing taxes in the months leading up to April 15, and in the summer, lead climbing expeditions on weekdays and sing at weddings on weekends.
If one or more of these reasons resonates with you, then you are likely to have the right temperament to find entrepreneurship rewarding and satisfying. But that doesn’t mean that you should or are ready to quit your job and start a business right away. Take some time to craft a well-thought plan, assess and brush up your skills, and do as much prep work as possible to reduce the risks when you eventually take that leap.