Starting a new business is exhilarating. A world of possibility awaits, including the possibilities of incredible success or catastrophic failure. The dichotomy between those two extremes leads many to a purgatory of indecision, making them apprehensive in making the final push to become an entrepreneur.
Unfortunately, there is never a perfect time to start a business. No matter how long you wait, you’ll never be experienced enough, you’ll never have enough capital, and you’ll never have zero risk. There’s always a chance that your business will fail, but there’s also always a chance that it will succeed.
Related: The True Meaning of 'Entrepreneur'
That being said, while there are no perfect times to start a business, there are good times to start a business. And if you’ve experienced one of these five signs, it could be time for you to finally begin your entrepreneurial journey:
1. Your job is no longer fulfilling.
In every job, you’re going to have good days and bad days. Just because you have a few bad days in a row, that doesn’t necessarily mean the only way out is to start your own business. But if, through both good days and bad days, you feel like your job truly isn’t fulfilling, it may be time to consider owning your own business.
Typically, people stop feeling fulfilled when they aren’t able to do the work they want to do. Often, this is because someone else is calling all the shots. If you’re thrilled at the idea of setting your own schedule, delegating your own tasks, and tackling the work you want to tackle, it may be time to pursue entrepreneurship.
2. You understand the risks of business ownership.
Of course, it’s not a good idea to simply jump into business ownership. There are serious risks involved, and only when you understand those risks fully should you consider yourself ready to take the next step.
Before you make any major decisions, do some research. You may already be aware of some of the more obvious risks (such as losing your capital investment, losing your current job, running into legal problems, etc.), but you may find more than you thought existed. It’s also helpful to talk to other entrepreneurs in your area -- especially the ones who have started a business and failed.
3. You have an idea you’re passionate about.
If you’re thinking about entrepreneurship, you probably already have an idea for a business. Is it one that you aren’t very interested in, but you think it could make a lot of money? Is it one that you’re passionate about, but you aren’t sure of all the details?
Believe it or not, the second option is a better sign that you’re ready to start a business. Even if you have a great idea on paper, if you aren’t passionate about it, you aren’t going to be driven to make that idea successful. The most successful entrepreneurs are ones who begin with passion in their hearts, and if you’ve already found yours, you could be ready to begin.
4. You have a support system.
Very few entrepreneurs are able to go it alone. While you might be the only person making decisions at the top, you’re going to need friends, family members, resources and mentors who can guide you through the toughest decisions and be there to pick you up when you inevitably fall.
Your spouse, children and friends need to know your desire for entrepreneurship, and even if they’re not sure about it, they need to support you through the process. In some cases, that may mean being ready to pick up additional income should the business not turn out as you expected. In others, that simply means being someone to run decisions by. In any case, having a support system is an important step before you officially pursue the startup life.
5. You know what’s important to you.
Some people go their whole lives without realizing what’s actually important to them. They may think that being their own boss is what matters to them, but feel unfulfilled when they actually attain that position. Take a critical look at your motivations for becoming an entrepreneur. Are they rooted in perceptions you have about how great entrepreneurship is? Or are they more focused on what you truly want out of life? Only you can make this distinction.
Don’t be discouraged if the first few phases of starting your own business don’t turn out to be what you expected. Entrepreneurship is a volatile world, but as long as you stay committed to improving your ideas and continue to work hard, you’ll always have a chance to succeed.
Trust yourself. Otherwise, you run the risk of failing before your business even gets off the ground.