It is probably one of the biggest questions you could ask yourself 'Should I start my own business?' because it truly can be life changing.
You start to have that type of niggiling feeling. Seeing others you know who are taking the leap to quit their jobs and start to work for themselves. From what you know and have heard it is hard work but in return you get freedom and flexibility to work when and where you want. To decide your own working hours.
But on the other side, the dark side, you have been told that it takes over your life. That to have any kind of success you have to live and breathe your business, you have to sacrifice the things you love the most such as time with your family and work double the amount of hours you would in your full time employment.
And there's the perks you leave behind - the paid holidays, sick days, guaranteed salary, stability and financial security.
Now this last part really gets me going. That as business owners we are not seen to have a secure income, yet if you work for someone else you are. That person you work for also needs to make sure they pay your wages and their own. So actually having more control over what you can potentially earn, seems to me to be more secure than working for someone else when you think about it?
But how do you know if it's the right time to start a business?
The first thing to do is to find out what you are really passionate about, because without passion it is really hard to keep your motivation high on those days when it can be really tough.
The four questions you can ask yourself are:
- "Why do I want to work for myself?". Explore your values around this and what is your key driving force? Family, flexibility, potential to earn more income, freedom to work in different places, make a difference and an impact on others..... what is your driver?
- "What am I really passionate about?". What are the things you could talk all night about and not get bored (you might bore others but who cares because you love it).
- "What are my strengths, skills and experience that I can bring to a business?". Think about what work you have done really well before. What do you love about work and how can your skills help you with a business opportunity?
- "What problem can I help to solve?". What problem can you see in the area that you are passionate about, a gap in the market, or feel you can do something way better than it's being done now - explore that further.
When you have answers to these four things then you know you are on your way to creating something amazing. This is when the "What if's" will kick in and that fear of failure. What if it all goes wrong, what if is a complete flop and I don't have what it takes.
Having confidence and self belief is the cornerstone to a successful business.
Yes it's important to get your branding, marketing and positioning right - but these things aren't to be used as excuses for not getting yourself out there and just starting. Telling people about your plans , sharing your excitement and making new connections is the best way to get your business off to a flying start - the other stuff will then fall into place so don't hide behind the fact that you don't have a webiste yet.
Don't waste a shed load of time, money and energy on all of this stuff when you are still figuring it all out. Trust me once you start you will grow and evolve and so will your business. Even business names change, so make it easy on yourself and don't feel immense pressure to get everything perfect - it doesn't exist and you will get yourself in a right tizz worrying about that!
Don't let the start stop you - you can do this and will realise that, just as soon as you decide to go for it!
**Gemma Stow works with female entrepreneurs who are introverts and are ready to take themselves and their business to the next level. To find their fierce and take that all important action. As well as private coaching, she runs a membership called Club Fierce that gives that personal touch to women who are looking for support, accountability and an environment that breeds self belief and results. More info HERE. **