The First Step in Ditching the 9-5 and Starting Your Own Business
By Karen Steele on October 30, 2012
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I was posed the question over the weekend “so what is the first step in starting your own business.” As I sat there and thought about it a number of things immediately popped into my mind. Develop your business idea, write a business plan, decide on a business name, find a mentor, work out the finances, and so on. All those details you think about that go along with starting your own business.
But then I really thought about it. When I started my first business what was the very first thing I did to make it a reality.
And I realized it wasn’t any of these things.
The very first step in my entrepreneurial journey was simply making the decision to do it.
I had no business plan or even a well-formed idea at that point.
I just decided that I wanted to do it and I was going to do whatever it took to make it happen. And I did.
Then came the next steps I mentioned above for starting a business.
Making the decision is such an important first step. It is what will provide the energy and momentum that is needed to move forward and start taking action to turn your business dream into a reality. Until you make that decision it will simply remain just a dream. Once we commit and make a decision it is amazing what can start to happen.
"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once I shared this answer the next question that came up was “so how did you decide?”
I had to really think hard about that one. For me there was no particular path to my decision.
I didn’t take any of those personality tests to find out if I have “what it takes” to be a successful entrepreneur. At that point I imagine the results would have been a big no. I’m generally not a big fan of having a test decide for me what my future should be anyway.
We can always find a reason why our personality isn’t suitable to do something. I also believe there is no one type of person that starts their own business. The one thing that will set your business apart from everyone else’s is that you are you and the individual skills, talents and gifts that go along with that.
I did not sit down and do any extensive financial analysis before making the decision. I think because I knew at the time it wouldn’t have looked favorable. Not that I’m recommending you avoid doing this. I realize paying more attention to this would have relieved some stress.
For me the driving force behind my decision was so compelling at the time I refused to look at reasons why I shouldn’t do it.
I certainly did not dwell on is this the “right time” to start my own business. Having just had a baby, bought a house and lost our primary source of income at the time it would once again not have been a favorable answer.
I have come to realize now that if I had waited for the “right time” to start my business I would still be working for someone else in a job I don’t love.
I compare it in some ways to making the decision of having a baby. if I had waited for the “right time” where I had the “right” amount of money and the perfect situation I would not have my beautiful daughter. I am so glad I never waited for the “right time” in either of these decisions.
Everyone’s process of making the decision to take the entrepreneurial leap is different and very personal to them.
For me it simply came from a feeling of desperation of wanting to change my family’s situation. Neither my husband nor I where ecstatic about our jobs at the time. I certainly was dreading leaving my daughter to go back to fulltime work.
What it really came down to was a deep sense of wanting and knowing that my life could be different.
I wanted to feel more in control of my family’s life both financially and personally. I wanted more freedom and flexibility to decide the time I spent with my daughter. I realized I wanted this so much that I was willing to take the risk to try and achieve this vision.
So far it has turned out well. It’s not to say it has been a walk in the park. There have certainly been challenges along the way. But even with this I feel much more fulfilled and excited with my life than I did 4 years ago.
I am achieving the things I hoped for. More freedom, flexibility and financially security. There is something very empowering about realizing you can make your own money.
I have to say I have become addicted to the entrepreneurial lifestyle with all its ups and downs. And boy have I learned some things about myself along the way. That’s a whole story in of itself, which I’ll leave for another time.
So if you have been dreaming about starting your own business there has to be a moment that you decide. It’s not deciding whether it’s the right time or not. It’s deciding whether you are ready to do what it takes to finally turn your dream into a reality. Until then your business will remain just a dream.
Credit Image: Hiking Boots via Shutterstock
So ask yourself, is it time to stop dreaming about your business. Is it time to finally take that leap and make the decision to turn it into a reality. Only you can decide.
"It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped." Tony Robbins
Karen Steele is Founder of The Entrepreneurial Working Mom where she teaches overwhelmed working moms the confidence, courage and skills to ditch the 9-5 and leap into their own thriving business so they can create the life they want for their family. Karen is a Certified Professional Life Coach, mom and entrepreneur. Download her FREE 5-part audio series “Top 5 Mindset Secrets of Savvy & Successful Entrepreneurial Working Moms: So You Can Ditch the 9-5 and Create the Life You Want for Your Family.”
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