Dominik Loncar, Futurpreneur Canada Entrepreneur-in-Residence, dloncar@futurpreneur.ca

At some point you will need to take the leap in starting your business. Here are three key questions that deal with habit, behaviour and attitude that lets you know you’re ready to start working for yourself.

1. Habit – are you setting goals continually?

Let’s be clear on what a goal isn’t. Wanting customers, having greater market share, etc. without a deadline is wishful thinking. However, deciding to talk to three organizations by December 7 is a goal (because it can be measured). Entrepreneurs are first and foremost, action oriented. Treat what you do as having many projects on the go – completing your business plan by a certain date, talking to two suppliers by end of the week, getting your prototype done by the end of the month, etc. Set deadlines and keep them, but don’t beat yourself up if it takes longer than you think. It’s a skill set you will be exercising a lot of if you want to be successful.

2. Behaviour – are you breaking your comfort zone?

Deciding to make the leap from employed, underemployed or unemployed to being self- employed requires you to be brave. Start by breaking your comfort zone. Cut living expenses, get up early, and/or watch your time. If you can get used to the fact that you will need to make some different choices that won’t be easy but necessary, than you’re headed in the right direction. Don’t like sales? Do it anyway. Hate networking? Try it. Not good with money? Work on your personal budget. Then work your business budget (cash flow).

3. Attitude – can you get some of your needs met elsewhere?

There are many reasons why people start businesses; to be their own boss, greater control, creative fulfillment, a sense of purpose, etc.  As a result, many build this unrealistic expectation that all their emotional, spiritual, mental and financial needs will be met through their business. Yikes, talk about putting pressure on yourself. See if you can get some of these emotional needs met elsewhere. I’m not talking about having balance – if you’re honest with yourself, when you start a business, there won’t be any balance in your life. I’m talking about harmony. No matter how hectic things get, can you plan for some moments away from your business to get your needs met? Explore creativity elsewhere, take time to connect with a good friend or family member, or plan for a getaway to recharge.

Making the leap can seem scary. As any fit athlete will tell you, when you plan to run the marathon, you prepare for it ahead of time. You train frequently, almost daily. In this case you’re training your entrepreneurial muscles. When you decide to make the leap you’ll have a solid run.

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