Starting a brand new business is full of big risks and—if you’re successful—even bigger rewards. It’s an amazing learning experience and a unique opportunity to oversee the management of a company from top to bottom. But even if you’ve dreamed of starting your own business ever since you opened your first lemonade stand as a kid, there are plenty of considerations to make before you take the plunge and become your own boss.
1. YOU’VE LEARNED ALL YOU CAN FROM YOUR CURRENT JOB.
A lot of people start dreaming of running their own company when they’re dissatisfied at work. But hating your job isn’t a great reason to start a business. In fact, running your own business is likely to have its fair share of frustrations and challenges—and when you act as your own boss, there’s no one to blame for your problems but yourself. But if your job dissatisfaction comes not from frustrating coworkers, boring paperwork, and burnt office coffee, but from the sense that you’ve progressed as far as you can and learned all there is to learn, that’s a good sign it’s time to start a business of your own.
2. YOU HAVE A GREAT IDEA.
Every great business starts with a great idea. Your business idea should be one you’re passionate about, and that consumers will be passionate about, too. Make sure your idea isn’t just one you think is practical, but one you’re truly excited about and ready to dedicate your life to—because that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.
3. YOU’RE EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT.
The movies might portray great business leaders as ruthless and aggressive, but in reality, it takes emotional intelligence to manage a team of employees and run a successful business. People with emotional intelligence are self-aware and empathetic; they have great social skills and are capable of keeping their emotions in check—far from Hollywood’s aggressive, thousand-dollar-suit-wearing business people.
4. YOU’RE READY TO LEARN.
Even if you have decades of work experience under your belt, starting your first business comes with a whole host of brand new challenges that can only be overcome if you’re ready to abandon some of your old ideas and learn new ones. Successful new business owners know how to keep an open mind, stay flexible, and always seek out new learning experiences.
5. YOU HAVE PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT YOU.
Starting a business without some kind of social support is difficult. Knowing you have friends, family, or a team of passionate employees who are there to help can make all the difference. After all, networking and publicity are crucial to a new business—and you can’t achieve those things without a little help from others.
6. YOU HAVE SOME MONEY SAVED UP.
Starting a new business takes moxie—but it also takes money. Even if you have an amazing business idea, you won’t get far if you don’t have some money saved up, or at least an extremely detailed fundraising plan.
7. YOU’RE NOT AFRAID OF FAILURE.
No matter how hard you work, or how meticulously you plan things, you’ll encounter failures, both large and small, when you start your new business. But one of the keys to success is learning to embrace failure. It’s important to recognize the risks of starting a business, and learn from your failures, in order to reap the corresponding rewards.