We’ve all had the thought at least once in our careers. “What if I started my own thing?” How do you know if it’s time to get really serious about starting your own business?
Here are some things to think about if you’re having these thoughts.
Your Pay Isn’t Commensurate with Your Experience or Your Position
This is a classic reason a lot of people start their own business. They have been fortunate enough to learn from great mentors and build a career and knowledge within an industry. But so many people hit a wall at some point. When you start to feel like this isn’t a temporary situation but more of a real wall, maybe it’s time to go out on your own.
You’re Working Too Hard
Most great entrepreneurs will tell you they work crazy hours. And it’s true. When you have your own business, you can’t stop till you get the work done when the buck stops with you. But. When you are working crazy hours for someone else’s company, it can start to feel like you’re on the never-ending treadmill, that no matter how long you go or how fast you go, you won’t get a different outcome. At one of my previous jobs, my husband would find me burning the candle at both ends, and say, “Go to bed. You’re on a salary and you’re not going to make any more money today.” It used to really piss me off – I had so much to do and my work ethic wouldn’t let me stop until it was done. Now that I have my own business (and a little perspective), I realize he wasn’t being condescending – he was gently trying to help me understand that maybe I needed to seek out something where I would really see the rewards of my hard work.
You’re Not Feeling Challenged
The best days at work are those days where you feel challenged and see yourself overcome a challenge. On those days, you learn something new, and you also gain confidence in your own skills and ability. But what happens when you get to that plateau in your job and don’t see any opportunities for future challenges and growth? If you’re the kind of person who needs this kind of challenge to be fulfilled in your career, then you might want to consider going out on your own.
You Don’t Want Your Boss’ Job
Growing up in my career at advertising agencies, the best supervisors and mentors I had always told me they looked for someone who wanted their jobs. They were good enough that ambitious, smart employees didn’t intimidate them. As I started to mentor and supervise others, I felt the same way. But there came a day when I started to wonder: what if I don’t want the next level up? What if I get too far away from the creative part of the job? What if I don’t want that promotion and the politics that go with it? If you’re asking yourself these questions, you might want to think about starting your own thing.
Your Ideas Aren’t Getting Anywhere
Have you ever been excited to share a new process or product idea for your company, only to get it shot down immediately, or worse, you were given the “we’ll discuss it at our next leadership meeting” and you never hear about it again? If you have your own business, you have to innovate constantly. You have the freedom to take risks and try those new ideas. If this appeals to you, think about starting your own business.
Does this article have your wheels turning? We’d love to discuss and can share more about our experiences starting Catalyst. It’s been quite the journey and we are constantly learning—and we love to connect with other entrepreneurs.