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If you’re like most ambitious young professionals, you’ve probably imagined at least once in your life what it would be like to be your own boss.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind if you are trying to decide if self-employment is a viable option for you:

1. Boredom in your day job is not a good reason to launch a business. Starting a new business is much like deciding to have children. If you decide to have a baby because you’re bored with your spouse, chances are not very good that you’ll have a successful family. On the other hand, if you believe you have the passion and commitment to share your gifts with a baby boy or girl, then chances are more likely that you will stick with it when the going gets tough as it surely will.

2. Don’t quit your day job, just yet. Like all big endeavors, it takes time to build a business. You don’t have to spend 50 hours a week right out of the gate trying to get your business off the ground. With as little as 8 – 10 hours a week, you can make considerable progress in determining your readiness for self-employment while still bringing home a paycheck. Here are some of the important steps you can take even while you are employed:

  • determine if you have a feasible business model
  • research your niche and target market
  • learn about possible ways to fund your business
  • develop a powerful marketing plan
  • network with other entrepreneurs
  • enroll in a class for entrepreneurs or start working with a professional coach

3. Be entrepreneurial now! You don’t have to take on financial risk to be an entrepreneur. If you are currently employed, leverage your employer’s organizational infrastructure that is already in place. Tune in next month for specific tips on how you can be entrepreneurial NOW!

4. Have a transition plan. Feeling like you have one foot in and one foot out is a tough place to be. Having a roadmap for your future will help make it more palatable for you while performing in your current job. Knowing things like your estimated departure time (6 more months or 2 more years?) and immediate opportunities for incoming revenue once you leave will give you a greater sense of confidence and direction. Plus, you can focus your energy on building up financial reserves now so that you have some cushion once the bi-weekly paychecks cease.

5. Schedule appointments to be held accountable. The American Society for Training and Development released this study on goal completion:

  • Of people who consciously decide to set a goal, 25% achieve their goal.
  • Of people who decide when they will do it, 40% achieve their goal.
  • Of people who plan how they will do it, 50% achieve their goal.
  • Of people who commit to someone else they will do it, 65% achieve their goal.
  • Of people who have a specific accountability appointment with the person they committed to, 95% achieve their goal!

Whether or not you decide to step into entrepreneurship, you can capitalize on your entrepreneurial spirit and reap the personal satisfaction and even financial rewards of thinking and being big.

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
–Les Brown

This Young Entrepreneurship article was written by Leigh Goldberg on 5/12/2005

Leigh Goldberg is a Career & Business Coach helping young professionals break into self-employment across the United States and beyond. Visit Vast Lane Coaching on the web at Contact or 303.444.5812 to discuss your dream.