Making the Leap from Executive to Entrepreneur
Are you thinking about making the leap from executive to entrepreneur?
Many female executives are working in jobs to build someone else’s dream. It may mitigate the risks you face, but does it feel like the reward you long for?
We’ve just ‘leapt’ forward in time as of this writing, losing that all-precious hour of sleep, and it’s a reminder that the road for women especially to start a business is not without its potholes. They are maneuverable, and many of us have gone before you. There are steps you can take now that will save you time, money, and heartache on your journey, no matter where you end up.
Fears and Concerns
It is not easy to start a successful business, and some concerns are understandable but manageable. Then there are excuses that may be holding you back. Let’s take a closer look at some common fears.
- The illusion of losing a steady paycheck [first, check out my blog post, ‘Your Job Security is an Oxymoron‘]. If stability is your top priority and you dislike change and uncertainty, becoming an entrepreneur may not be your path. Of course we each have responsibilities, and no one should voluntarily quit without a plan. There are steps to take before you leap that will make the journey smoother and minimize unwanted problems. However, as long as ‘fear’ rules you, you cannot succeed. Know yourself well enough to know if you have the optimism and risk-tolerance necessary to be a successful business owner.
- Concern about your skills and abilities to try something you’ve never tried before. It’s a natural fear to wonder if you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur – address that head on! You may need to consult an expert to help clarify your strengths, skills and abilities, and what kind of work and environment are your highest and best good. [Check out my online ‘Discover Your Passions‘ assessment, designed specifically for women.]
- Worry about having a support system to help you through the process. One of the truisms about business owners is that we are the loneliest people in the world. Women owners are triply challenged by family and community responsibilities that rarely impact our male counterparts. So a support system is critical! It’s one of the reasons I started our ‘Corporate Fugees Wise Women’s Circle’ Private Facebook group. [For an invitation to this Facebook group of women entrepreneurs and aspiring owners, click here.] It’s also a reason that our CEO School program for current women business owners is so warmly received. It offers learning and collaboration opportunities for women without leaving their homes or offices.
Each aspiring entrepreneur needs a plan of attack to stage your transition. It may be a 5-year plan, or it may be shorter. The longer the plan, the more options you will give yourself to shift your work life. Your staging plan is as individual as you are. A key objective is to maintain momentum to realize your dream. Determination, tenacity, and endurance are essential in building a business.
There are many starting places to build your dream business. If you have an idea of the business you want to start that you are certain of, you may start with defining your Vision and Mission. [Grab our 5-Step Practically Painless Business Plan Kit for a template to get you started.] If you’re still unsure of your trajectory and want more insights into your strengths and skills, our Discover Your Passions is a great place to begin; it will give you insights that you can use in your personal and professional lives forever.
Curiosity is another common characteristic of entrepreneurs. Feed your curiosity with the vast information that is out there! You’ll learn things you never knew existed and that can help confirm or define what kind of work and business is the best fit for you. Ask questions of other women business owners (it’s one of the great things about our Facebook group mentioned above!) about how they got started and managed the problems that most concern you. Take some webinars that offer tools and guidance on getting started. Check out the Small Business Administration website (SBA.gov) and use some the the tools your tax dollars have paid for. And I invite you to subscribe to our VIP eNews to get my occasional briefs to help you Build a Business You LOVE…with Wine!