Are You an Entrepreneur? When Do You Quit Your Full-Time Job?

So you had a passion and started a widget factory in your basement. With a lot of hard work and a little luck, your little widget business now has a steady clientele and is making some money. Is it time for you to leave your full-time job and become a full-time entrepreneur?

Figuring out when to leave the security of being an employee for the uncertainty that comes with being an entrepreneur is a delicate balance. Here are six signs it might be time for you to make the leap.

  1. You’re paying the bills.  Sit down and go through all your monthly expenses. Can you cover everything from your side job? If so, it’s a sign that the business can support you without the security of your full time job.
  2. Missed opportunities.  Are you turning down work in your side job because you simply don’t have the time to do it? Or worse, are you missing your window to capitalize on your idea because competitors are coming to the marketplace?
  3. Flatline.  If you have a good business idea, chances are that it has the legs to grow. As a one-person shop, there is only so much you can do and only so far that a company can grow. If you’re stagnating, it may be a sign that you need additional help to push your business to the next level.
  4. You understand it won’t be easy.  Don’t quit your job if you don’t understand that you’re giving up the safety of a paycheck, benefits like a 401K and health insurance, and the idea that you can clock out at 5 pm.
  5. You’ve become an expert.  Is the business community, media, and others coming to you for advice in the area of your business? If so, it’s a sign that you and your company have developed a solid reputation. Full-time entrepreneurs are taken more seriously than those with a “hobby job.” This may be a sign that it’s time to pull the trigger and make the leap.
  6. You’re tired of making others rich.  Look at the top wage-earners. Most of them don’t work for others. Sure you can make a decent salary as an employee, but if you want to control your destiny, the only way you do that is by taking the reins and running the show.
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