Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular with more people looking to start their own business. Many see entrepreneurship as acquiring professional freedom, having the ability to choose their own salaries, work on their own projects and run a business the way they want to. However, entrepreneurship is about more than just having spare money and time.
In the not-so-distant past, it came to my attention that not all of today’s successful entrepreneurs believe that people should be quitting their day jobs to start their own businesses. In fact, I discussed the topic at length with author and entrepreneur Daniel DiPiazza and found that despite his published pieces being against current educational and corporate structures, he does not encourage people he meets to quit in order to start their own business.
Related: Why You Shouldn't Be an Entrepreneur
Below are highlights from our conversations, as well as ways for you to establish whether or not entrepreneurship is the right path for you, and if so, how to take the plunge.
Is entrepreneurship right for you?
Finding out whether or not entrepreneurship is the right path for you can be challenging. Of course, as I mentioned above, the concept of entrepreneurship has its advantages, but it’s worth noting that becoming the boss does not mean that you can sit around and do nothing. In reality, it’s quite the contrary.
As an entrepreneur, you will have to oversee and organize everything, especially during your startup’s beginnings. Some reality checks you need to be aware of from the start include:
- You will not be working fewer hours; in fact, you will most likely be working more
- The risks that come with running your own business are considerably higher than when you work for someone else
- You will have to juggle multiple aspects of your business on a daily basis
- You will have to adapt and learn new skills quickly to achieve your goals
If you are thinking of starting your own business, you need to make sure that you are doing so for the right reasons. “Many people start their business for the wrong reason," DiPiazza said, "hoping that the business itself will give them some clarity or focus. Be careful of this trap and just be aware that in many cases, opening a new business is a 24/7 operation. If that’s a problem for you, it’s going to be hard to put in the necessary time to get your business off the ground.”
Choosing the right time to quit your job.
If you’ve thought it through and have decided that you want to pursue your dream of starting your own business, you need to find the right time to quit your job. Many find it difficult to decide whether they should take the plunge and quit, or wait and work on their new project while they are still employed in order to maintain what I like to call a "safety net."
Before taking the plunge, you need to establish how much income you will generate from your new venture. During our conversations, DiPiazza highlighted the fact that if you can generate up to 60 to 70 percent of your income from your startup, you should consider quitting your day job to focus the entirety of your efforts to making it a success, thus growing your income accordingly.
On the other hand, taking a leap of faith without any tangible evidence that you will be able to make at least that amount of money from your new business would be too risky. No matter how accurate you believe your financial predictions to be, you cannot put all your eggs in one basket and assume that your new business will generate revenue from the get-go.
Starting a business requires a high level of skill.
Many believe that successful entrepreneurs are driven primarily by passion. Unfortunately, if that were the case, there would be many more of us starting our own businesses today. Entrepreneurship is, above all, a skill, or should I say, a set of skills. DiPiazza put it perfectly. “It’s easy to be enthusiastic about the idea of starting a business, but the reality is that it takes a lot of skill to successfully navigate one. Most people don’t realize new skills are required to run a real business.”
Outsourcing skills is not only recommended, but often necessary. Thus, it’s important that you always know what is going on behind the scenes. Here’s the bottom line -- you’re running your own business, so you can’t assume everything is running smoothly. Aspects of your startup you need to take into consideration include, but are not limited to:
- Human resources
- Operations management
In addition to the above, you need to be able to balance your personal and professional life in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even with all the support in the world from family and friends, many considering starting their own business don’t realize how much work is required of them and the amount of pressure to which they may be exposed.
Choosing the right path.
If you’ve taken the above into consideration and still want to start your own business venture, it is important you seek guidance. DiPiazza believes in learning through reading about various creators, inventors and entrepreneurial types from all eras on a global scale, which is partly how he created his book, Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start an Epic Business and Score The Life You Want.
“I taken more notes from the greats than I do from anybody on TV or YouTube now," DiPiazza said. "I’m after proven results. If I’d like to know how to become more productive with my time, who better than to study Picasso, who created over 43,000 works of art in his life?”
Entrepreneurship is challenging, and it is definitely not for everyone. If you have a business idea that you have refined, tried and tested, and that you are passionate about, you should consider following your dream. Remember to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship before taking the plunge and always look for influencers who can guide you on your path to success.