“Risk something or forever sit with your dreams.”—Herb Brooks
For a lot of us, the hardest part of starting a business isn’t coming up with a great idea—it is deciding when the right time is to start. Businesses come with risks all the time. Whether you are in a financially optimal situation or you are still struggling to look for capital to get started, or whether you decide to go all-in at once or start slow, they still come with corresponding risks and rewards.
It might be your first time trying your hand at entrepreneurship, you might be a regular employee with a burning desire to pursue an idea, or you might even be an experienced professional looking to change careers. Regardless of whether you are currently at this crossroads, how do you know when the time is right?
This is an extremely difficult question to navigate, and the real answer is: it depends. It depends on you, your purpose, your current personal and financial situation, and how much you are willing and able to risk.
Whether you decide to drop everything and go all in or do it slowly on the side in the meantime until your idea gains more traction and stability, there are many things you have to consider.
Deciding to quit your current job to start your career can give you more time and freedom to focus your energy on your new endeavor. However, it might be a less risky option to choose the slow and "safe" route, turning your career into a side business for the time being. However, you must think about whether or not you are the type of person who can work full-time during the day and work on your side business until late into the night.
Maybe your current job isn’t as demanding and exhausting, and it would be possible for you to work on your business without feeling so overworked. But if you can’t get substantial work done on your business if you stay at your job, or you risk burning yourself to the ground juggling both, it is worth considering quitting, or putting your dream on hold.
Regardless, you need to invest time and energy when starting a business. Consider which option is more sustainable for you.
Money is necessary for a business startup. In most cases, you need to have a lot of it.
Financially speaking, leaving your current job is thought to be riskier than working on your side business. Having a consistent source of income can be a great financial cushion in case you experience setbacks, unless you already have enough savings for your capital as well as enough set aside to ensure you can keep the lights on in your house as well as your business.
Your business isn’t the only thing you need to back up financially. Until you start gaining profits, you also need to find resources to sustain your everyday needs. If you have obligations and people depending on you, can you put those responsibilities on hold? Is there someone who can support you while your business is still in its early stages?
Do you have a fallback plan that will get you income when you need it while you wait for your business to start earning money?
Consider your financial situation carefully and think of as many backup plans and alternative sources of income as you can before jumping in.
Starting a business is a commitment. How motivated are you to pursue this career? Are you able to motivate yourself when things get tough? Are you good at creating self-imposed deadlines and schedules and sticking to them?
Why do you want to start this business, and how far are you willing to go to make it happen?
When things get difficult, having a clear understanding of why you are doing what you are doing can help you stay grounded. It can also assist you in determining how much risk you are willing to take on for this business venture and whether it is worthwhile.
If you are going to build something, it might as well be something that you love and are passionate about. What is the happiness cost-benefit of starting this business idea versus leaving your current job? What value does it bring to your life and the people you love?
What about the setbacks that you will face if you decide to start the business or quit your job?
Ultimately, if something makes you happy, you are more motivated to succeed at it. But it is important to take an honest inventory of the happiness cost-benefit your decision will ultimately bring.
At the end of the day, you are the only person who can say that the time to start your business is ripe. And it is also you who get to decide whether you go all-in and quit now, stay and try to juggle both jobs and make it work, or push off your dream for later, when you are "ready."
However, keep in mind that you will never be fully "ready." The risks will always be there, and you will always have to make some sort of gamble on whatever decision you make. Choose the risk that you find most worth it.
Thanks for reading “A Brilliant Tribe.”