KayakSo you’ve tested the waters with your passion by practicing part-time and decide that it isn’t just a hobby…and could be something legit. You want to start a business, but do you have what it takes? No one says building a business is easy but after all the business research is said and done, you must prepare YOU by asking yourself these three questions (and answering yourself honestly!):

  1. Are you mentally prepared? You’ve conducted extensive research into your profession, studied the competition and met with like-minded individuals. Now it’s time to execute your business plan. Are you ready mentally? You have to be okay with failure. You are going to screw up from time to time and will feel far from your CEO position but you can learn what you need to know and will grow given time—and trial and error.
  2. Are you physically prepared? You’ll be tempted to work to the point of exhaustion but don’t run yourself into the ground. Long days are impressive but are counterproductive if they make you sick, and you likely won’t have health insurance if you jump ship to start your own thing. Ask yourself if you have the energy to conduct your business and take care of yourself.
  3. Are you emotionally prepared? You need to be a self-starter and prepared to earn precarious income. You will have bad months; those are inevitable so it’s vital to have an emergency financial fund of 6-9 month’s worth of expenses saved. When you’re first starting out, budgeting can cause more anxiety than the actual job. The best way is to save enough money before starting your new endeavor and to set a timeline for positive cash flow.

Answered YES to all of these questions? Congrats—you’re prepared to make that hobby a jobby and I wish you every success in the world. Have a few—or all—NOs on your list? Take the time to get your finances and values in order before starting out—and be honest with yourself if you really, truly want to do this. Just preparing to get out the door takes time; make sure it’s time well spent.