This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com
If you’re reading Entrepreneur and you’re still working for someone else, there’s a strong chance that you are sick of your current job. And that’s OK. Your reason for being sick of it may be that you know you can be performing at a higher level doing what you’re passionate about, but you’re stuck in a rut in an unfilling position, and you’re not sure how to branch out on your own.
If you want to go out on your own, there are a few things you must do before you dive in head first:
1. Realize that hating your job does not automatically mean you should be an entrepreneur.
Putting your own stake in the ground as an entrepreneur is one of the most freeing things you can do for yourself and takes you down a special path of personal development that nothing else could.
That said, one issue I have noticed occurring in the workforce is employees think that if they hate working for someone else that means they’re an entrepreneur at heart. While this may be true in many cases, a lot of times it’s not. Maybe you just don’t like your boss or the company you work for. Maybe you are in a field that doesn’t fulfill you like you thought it would. Maybe you are sick of all of the politics of the corporate world. The bottom line is that you need to assess a few more things before you confirm that starting your own business is the route for you.
2. Identify your skillsets and expertise.
After you’ve assessed your situation and realized that you’re ready to become an, it’s time to get things started for you. Everyone has a million ideas, but they are worthless when they are only sitting idle in someone’s brain. They must be brought to fruition and that takes lots of consistent action. Remember, execution trumps all. Many times, the strength and persistence of the entrepreneur is much more powerful than the actual strength of the idea.
You need to quickly do a self-assessment and find out all of the things that you’re good at and that you like to do.
One thing that I notice when talking with other entrepreneurs is that they take their skills for granted and assume it’s common knowledge. In many instances, that is far from the case.
You have skills from your life experiences that you can start to build a business off of. And there is practically an infinite amount of people online that could be in the market to appreciate your skills and expertise — and willing to pay something for them.
If you start a business that’s incongruent with your skillset but you want to get into because it sounds cool or sexy, you’re going to end up in a mess and probably have to eventually go back to the drawing board. Avoid this by realizing what gaps you can help people fill: This is where people will give you money in exchange for your value.
If you think that you’re drawn to a specific type of business but don’t have much knowledge or skill in that area, get a mentor or coach who can guide you through it. Devour as much education material as you can, so you can get your business going soon. Again, the key here is to make sure you take as much action as possible instead of staying in the permanent “learning phase.”
3. Start working on your business on the side.
I’m a huge fan of minimizing risk. So I always suggest people to start working on their business on nights and weekends before you go and quit your job.
I’m a real estate entrepreneur and house flipper, and I started doing this in my time outside of work hours in the beginning until the income replaced my job. Then I made the safe decision to quit and pursue the business full time. Once I was able to do that my business grew exponentially, because I had 40 more hours per week to dedicate to it.
Also by starting your business on the side, you’ll make smart business decisions that make sense and not based on “fight or flight” psychology that occurs when you have no source of income.
That said, I will say there’s something to having your back against the wall with no way out. I was in that position during bankruptcy and it instilled a sense of urgency inside of me that made me take insane amounts of massive action in a short amount of time. I became financially independent very quickly after that, because I had no other choice.
So proceed with caution and think very carefully before you quit your job.