By Ramon Ray
Are you “that guy?” You know: the one who at every social gathering talks about how one day you’ll start your own business. Then you never do. Sound familiar?
Sure, there’s always a reason why it’s not a good time to start a business. You just took out a mortgage on a new house. Had a baby. Your dodgeball team has weekly practices. But you know what? There is never the perfect time to start a business. So enough with the excuses.
Of course, there’s the pleasant but numbing security of having a paycheck and health benefits. Those by themselves prevent a lot of people from ever stepping out of that safety zone and jumping into the risk of entrepreneurship. But if you’ve grown increasingly disenfranchised with your current 9-to-5, it might be time to take that chance and leave your full-time job. Here are warning signs that your time as an employee is limited.
1. You doodle ideas for your would-be business at work.
That TPS report? You’ll get around to it. You just had a brainstorm of an idea for your future bike-shop-and-wine-bar, and you’ve just got to get it on paper.
The Red Flag: If doing something other than what you get paid to do doesn’t get you fired, you still need to make an exit plan. Your passion for your job is dwindling, and you’ve got energy to spare. Energy that would be better served launching a new business.
2. You’ve been planning and saving for years.
Maybe you’re the diligent type who has spent time taking small business workshops. Reading blogs like this one. Socking away your nest egg so that one day you could start a business. My question to you is: what are you waiting for?
The Red Flag: I’m willing to bet you fear the risk that entrepreneurship brings. Consider this sobering fact: your job isn’t much more secure than launching a business would be. Take a look around at the layoffs happening, and understand that safety is just an illusion.
3. You know you could do a better job than your boss.
While this isn’t a great motivator for starting a business, we all have that moment where we say, “I could do things so much better. I’d do X, and Y, and Z.”
The Red Flag: It’s certainly not conducive for your job security to second guess your boss and spend time on the “if I were king” scenario. Just cut the cord and make those ideas a reality.
4. Your job is looking less secure.
Maybe a firing consultant who’s not half as handsome as George Clooney has roosted in the breakroom, and there’s buzz about staffing cuts. Maybe your company merged with another, and you fear your role will be found redundant. Whatever the reason your job situation is looking shaky, it’s time to consider alternatives.
The Red Flag: It’s best not to wait until you get the axe to have a plan on how you’ll transition to entrepreneurship, or you’ll be more likely to hop to another employment situation. Start planning how you’ll launch and budgeting for it so if what you fear happens, you’re prepared.
When you do quit your job, do so respectfully and with warning. None of those quitting your job memes! You don’t want to burn bridges, because you never know: your former employer could end up being a client down the road.