The New Year brings new hope and possibilities. For those with a startup idea that they’ve been tinkering with on weekends and evenings, it is tempting this time of the year to consider taking it to the next level.
If you think 2015 is the year to quit your job to work on your startup full-time, there are a multitude of factors worth considering before taking the leap. We’ve listed three fundamental questions any aspiring entrepreneur must ask herself before sending in the two weeks’ notice.
Are You Ready Financially?
If your side gig is already generating revenue, use that number to help predict revenue based on giving the business your full attention. Be conservative. Don’t forget to factor in current living expenses and potential expenses like hiring employees, marketing, incremental development costs, legal fees, etc. Consider these cost estimates in relation to your current salary and what’s in your bank account to help determine if you are financially ready for the reduced income.
If your startup is revenue negative, take into account all of the above cost estimates in relation to what’s in your bank account to help determine if you are financially ready to forgo zero revenue while getting your startup off the ground.
Are You Ready Professionally?
Depending on where you are in your career path, leaving a corporate job will come with different kinds of risks and benefits. More seasoned professionals, for example, can take advantage of a well-developed network to seek guidance, support, and even funding, but their tenure means they have more to lose when it comes to job security.
On the other hand, recent college grads while faced with a smaller network and less experience to draw from, have the luxury of time and a longer career trajectory. Regardless of where you may fall on the spectrum, make sure you understand the risks and benefits associated with your particular situation.
Are You Ready Emotionally?
The life of a startup entrepreneur is fast-paced and exciting, but it’s exactly these qualities that can add unexpected levels of stress to one’s personal life and family. While many people struggle with balancing professional success and quality time with loved ones, startup founders must be especially diligent: when you’re responsible for a company’s success, it can be increasingly difficult to unplug and unwind.
Unless you’re single, have no financial obligations and with energy to spare, make sure to speak candidly and thoroughly with your family in order to manage expectations for the road ahead.
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