Are you dreaming of a new year as your own boss? Some executives I work with in Fortune 500 companies view life as an entrepreneur as the perfect path to escape their big company frustrations. Watching episodes of Shark Tank, or with Inc Magazine on their desks as inspiration as they imagine the possibilities of being their own boss.
Before you quit, here are six reasons it may be the worst decision you ever make:
1. You are a cautious risk taker
Writing checks from your own check book rather than the company's is very different. Entrepreneurs don't just have to take bold risks, they have to do it with their own money. Being cautious isn't an option.
2. You enjoy the camaraderie of your peers
The number one complaint I hear from executives when they move companies is they miss the connections and camaraderie with their peers. This is exacerbated when you become your own boss, you need to find ways to make new connections with other entrepreneurs with organizations like Entrepreneurs' Organization.
3. You secretly love the promotions and pay rises
Imagine a world where no one gives you a score, a promotion, a pay rise or a bonus. You have to award that to yourself. I often hear entrepreneurs secretly whisper to me they didn't realize how important that board review or feedback from their manager was to reinforce that they were successful. Instead, you now need the utmost personal confidence of your remarkable ability and impact.
4. You are not brilliant at demonstrating your brilliance
As an entrepreneur you cannot be humble about your past achievements, you need to appropriately shine a spotlight on your results and your business. I know many entrepreneurs and consultants who are absolutely brilliant, but they are not brilliant about talking about their results, neither are they good at telling stories of how they have helped their clients. If you don't tell those stories who will?
5. You can't immediately name your inner-circle
Imagine your new entrepreneurial life, who would be your advisors? If you can't immediately name five people who have expertise where you need it, then it isn't yet time to quit. Find people who are at least a year ahead of where you are and ask them to be part of your inner circle of advisors.
6. You have less than 12months cash reserves
You are used to paychecks, bonuses and stock awards like clockwork. Make sure you have at least a year of cash reserves to tide you over so you can launch your business and invest in the right support for growing your new venture.
I quit my corporate life from Amazon and Microsoft five years ago to become a leadership and innovation expert, now I am an advisor to global executives with clients including Starbucks, Gartner, and DreamWorks Animation, and I speak at conferences and events. If you are considering making the move from corporate life to your own business, contact me to explore how I can help you. You can also subscribe to my new Thoughtfully Ruthless® Consultant publication full of tips and tools for rapidly growing your own business.
Now is the entrepreneurial life really for you?
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