6 Ways to Know If You Are Ready to Make the Jump from Employee to Entrepreneur

Take an honest assessment to see if this life is for you.

learn more about Kim Perell

By Kim Perell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I'm someone that thought they would spend years climbing the corporate ladder...

When I first graduated from college, I started working at a tech startup, where I was able to climb multiple rungs at a time. Sadly, my dreams were shattered when the company I worked for went bankrupt and I found myself broke, unemployed and jobless.

That's when I decided to make the jump into entrepreneurship. I didn't want anyone else to decide my fate again. I wanted to be my own boss, control my future and have financial freedom. I was terrified because I didn't have the experience but I took the leap anyway. And looking back, it was the best decision I ever made… and it might be the same for you.

Here are 6 ways to know whether you're ready to make the jump from employee to entrepreneur:

1. Pay attention to what you say

If you're constantly thinking or saying things like:

  • "I'm so exhausted from working."
  • "There must be more to life."
  • "I need a change."
  • "I'm so sick of my job."
  • "I wish I was doing something I was passionate about."
  • "I feel stuck, but I see no way out."

Don't just dismiss those feelings – give them space, and pay attention. If you feel stagnated, bored, unfulfilled, unchallenged, those are all signs that it might be time to do something different.

2. There's something (else!) you're passionate about

Sure, your 9-5 doesn't exactly light your fire – but there's something else that does, and whenever you get a taste of it, it's all you can think about.

We often talk about "passion" as a synonym for love, but it goes much deeper than that. The word "passion" comes from the Latin root word for "pain" or "suffering." Passion is about wanting something so much, you would suffer for it – meaning you'd sacrifice your time, your energy, weekly brunches, extra spending money, and more to make it a reality. If you have a business idea or a dream job, you'd be willing to sacrifice for, that's a sign you could have what it takes to make your dream a reality.

3. You have a clear vision of what you want to create

You have an idea you just can't get out of your head – and it goes far beyond an elevator pitch or a clever name. When you close your eyes, you can see exactly how your donut shop would look on the corner of 8th, how your handmade candles would look on aisle 12 of Target, how happy you could make your customers, how fulfilled you'd feel providing jobs to your community. Vision is key to entrepreneurial success.

4. You see problems as opportunities

The best entrepreneurs aren't just go-getters, they're problem-solvers. In times of change and uncertainty, they're looking around trying to think of how they could make the situation better. They experience fear and self-doubt just like anyone else, but they don't let fear stop them from taking bold action. If you're proactive about solving problems, that's a sign that you may have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

5. You could live with the worst-case scenario

Don't get me wrong, optimism is a powerful thing. It's good to keep your mind on the best possible outcomes and focus on your dreams. But let's focus on the NEGATIVE for a moment. Because when we let the negative possibilities go unchecked, they tend to get all blown out of proportion in the shadows.

Go ahead and ask yourself: what's the worst that could happen?

No one knows your personal situation better than you do – be sure to gauge exactly how long you could live without a regular paycheck before quitting your job and who will be impacted by your decision.

6. Your heart beats faster when you think about it

You know the feeling. Your heart races, your face feels warm, and you feel giddy with possibility. That's a sign that this change really excites you. That a part of you, however big or small, yearns for this. Figuring out whether choosing entrepreneurship is right for you is about trusting yourself – listening to your heart and your body.

Ready to make the JUMP into Entrepreneurship?

Join my new program created for entrepreneurs, by Entrepreneurs 6 Weeks to Start Your Business

I don't want anyone to feel alone or lost in the way I was when I made the jump into entrepreneurship. Because if there's something that is key to success as an entrepreneur, it is support. It's talking to others who have been there. It's having a mentor to avoid the pitfalls that could cost time and money. This program will both show you how to pick and finalize your business idea AND discover HOW to make it happen. Let me be your business coach. Join now and get over $997 in bonuses for FREE!

Kim Perell

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

CEO of Perell Ventures

Kim Perell is an award-winning entrepreneur, bestselling author, CEO, and angel investor, who has made headlines for her transformative story of a startup entrepreneur to a leading tech CEO and prominent angel investor. Laid off from her dream job out of college, Kim started her first company from her kitchen table; going from broke to a multi-millionaire by the time she was 30, and selling her last company for $235 million.  Kim has been named one of AdAge’s Marketing Technology Trailblazers, Business Insider's Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising, Adweek’s Women Trailblazers, a John Maxwell Transformational Leader, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and an Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Association of Female Executives.  Kim’s passion is to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage angel investor in over 90 startups, 18 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies. Kim’s first book, The Execution Factor, The One Skill That Drives Success, is a national bestseller, designed to help others achieve success in business and life by mastering execution.

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