I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost 15 years now…my wife Blake, for 5. We have gone through all sorts of ups and downs over the years. One of the biggest questions people face when thinking of going off on their own is…when? How do you know when the time is right? This is exactly what my wife Blake and I talk about in the latest episode of the Be Your Own Boss Podcast (you can play the episode right below).
Before my wife and I became entrepreneurs we had experiences letting us know we were ready and it was time. For me, it was simply having bad jobs working for other people. The pivotal moment was when an executive at a company I was working for made me go get him coffee. I built my side hustle while I had a full-time job and as soon as I started making enough money to cover my expenses…I quit. For my wife, it was getting laid off from a Fortune 100 company and realizing that people kept asking her to speak and write about customer experience which she now turned into her business. My mom spent many years working for an insurance company and she would come home most nights crying from stress and being treated poorly. Finally, my dad told her to quit because it just wasn’t worth the negative impact it was having on her life. She want back to school and became a marriage and family therapist.
Each person has their own journey and experiences that give them the nudge that it’s time to take the plunge. I’m a big believer in paying attention to the signs which will guide you down the right path.
But before you jump into the world of being your own boss, here are seven things you should know how to do:
Self-motivate. When you’re your own boss, no one is watching to make sure you hit deadlines and get things done. You must be motivated to build something for yourself and be accountable to yourself.
Be self-aware. Entrepreneurs are cautious but bold. They know what they don’t know and are aware of their own brand. They can self-edit and control what they put into the world. They are also aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.
Manage highs and lows. Creating your own business comes with uncertainty and ups and downs. You must be able to manage your emotions when things slow down and stay motivated and engaged as you wait for the next big thing. Conversely when things are going very well you need to be able to properly manage your expectations.
Draw boundaries. When you set your own schedule, you are in complete control. You have to set boundaries and learn to say no without overextending yourself. This is something that took me several years to figure out!
Run a business. You may be a great marketer or developer, but that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be a great business owner. There are lots of other responsibilities, including building a team, managing finances and finding clients. To be successful, you have to have a growth mindset to step outside your comfort zone and constantly learn.
Take risks. Setting out on your own comes with risks, no matter your stage of life. You have to be confident in yourself and your idea to go all in.
Be a people person. Even when you are your own boss, you still have to work with other people. To be successful, people have to want to be around you. They need to believe you and want to follow you.
If you don’t have all of these skills, take time to develop them while you’re still in the security of a full-time job. There is never a perfect time to go out on your own. Our experiences were each different, and each person will have their own path and journey. Entrepreneurship is all about mentality. If you are in the right mindset and have the right skills, you can be ready to take the plunge whenever it’s right for you.
As I always say, the only job security that exists is the one that you can create for yourself!
If you enjoyed the article and want more content like this here’s what you can do:
1. Subscribe to The BYOB Podcast Newsletter to get notified when a new episode comes out (one a week).
2. Listen to the third episode of the podcast where we talk about these 7 things in much more detail including sharing our personal stories.