If you stumbled upon this post, you’re either curious about entrepreneurship or are brimming with business ideas on how and you should get started with a business. Maybe you’ve already laid the groundwork for your business endeavor. At any rate, welcome. You’re an individual with drive, passion, relationship-building skills, and integrity. You’re enthusiastic. You’re creative. You’re a go-getter. Best of all, your intuition is telling you there’s something more—something beyond the confines of a lackluster job. That was me, five years ago, ready for a change. I wanted to take my passions and purpose and turn them into a career. Unbeknownst to me, I wanted to become an entrepreneur. And you can, too.
mindset is everything
Whether you’re itching to create an innovative product, start a bakery, or open a zero waste grocery store, remember that any successful business starts as a small thought—a crazy idea. The more you share your idea with supportive people, and the more you work on it every day, the wheels will stay in motion. Most importantly, know that a strong mindset and unwavering dedication will take you far. And of course, remember that failure is inevitable. But failure isn’t synonymous with giving up. Failure is an opportunity to learn, grow, and turn an obstacle into an opportunity.
How To become an entrepeneur
Spoiler alert: knowing when to begin a business—or when to become an entrepreneur—isn’t clear cut. After all, circumstances will never be perfect. Accepting that is key. On one end of the spectrum, it’s easy to feel ready much earlier than you actually are. Vice versa, it’s equally common to let fear hold you back. With this in mind, you want to look for signs that you’re ready to take the leap. Think of them as conditions. While these aren’t universal, they will give you an idea of an approximate time to begin a business.
1. In your free time (or when you should be working), you’re researching what you’re passionate about and / or have started piecing together a business plan. In my case, for example, I started blogging long before I left my tech job. I began following other nutritionists and recipe developers. At the time, it was a hobby fueled by passion. Passion—and more importantly, purpose—is vital if you want to become an entrepreneur.
2. You’ve done your market research and know there’s a need for what you can offer. Any great business exists where your passion meets demand. In other words, you know that people will pay for your product or service. Maybe, you’ve tested this theory and are already making a small income.
3. Along those lines, you know who your competition is. In putting together your business plan, you know who you’re up against and what you can bring to the table.
4. You have money saved (enough to cover all basic expenses for 6-12 months). You can absolutely start a business with very little capital. I did this. I started my health coaching business in the comfort of my kitchen. However, it takes time to be successful. Therefore, having cash saved will give you some wiggle room as your company grows. One of the best decisions I made was to do my business banking with Canvas Credit Union. They offer a variety of business planning and saving programs for entrepreneurs.
5. Ideally, you’re not the midst of a major life change. For example, I didn’t decide to leave my full-time job to pursue Wellness with Edie until my son was 16 months old, we didn’t have any immediate plans to buy a house, etc.
6. You’ve weighed the pros and cons and understand you’re taking a risk. But with any risk, comes the opportunity for reward. Having the ability to understand and manage those risks is key.
turning my side hustle into a full time job
After graduating as a health coach, I began seeing clients. Meanwhile, I had been saving money and was cognizant of my financial wellness. I ramped up my business via word-of-mouth, my monthly newsletter, and social media. A few months in, I was making enough money to inspire a leap of faith. In turn, I left my tech job. While I would love to say that I dove head first into Wellness with Edie, quickly turning my side-hustle into a full-time hustle, that wasn’t the case. I experienced imposter syndrome. I let fear get the best of me. For the next three years, I worked a part-time job at a marketing agency while I slowly grew the health coaching side of my business. It wasn’t until June 2021 that Wellness with Edie took off. I left the marketing agency and became a full-time entrepreneur, writer, creator, and coach. If you want to hear more of my story, you can listen to my podcast episode with Canvas Credit Union.
why a side hustle is a great start
A side hustle takes off the pressures of starting a full-time company, including lower financial risk and less investment (time, resources, etc.). In my case, I began Wellness with Edie as a side hustle. At the time, I was working in tech while studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I was passionate about writing, recipe development, and sharing wellness tips, and et voila, Wellness with Edie—as a website—was born. My blog was a creative outlet; a hobby. This required very little money, making it low risk. Essentially, I just needed to pay for my monthly Squarespace account, along with buying specialty ingredients, here and there, if I was making a recipe for the blog. For many reasons, starting a full-time business isn’t feasible. If that’s the case, begin with a side hustle.
Should I Quit My Job And Become An Entrepreneur?
Assuming you checked aforementioned boxes, it might be time to consider quitting your job to become an entrepreneur. The pros, of course, include being your own boss, pursuing creative expression, enjoying a flexible schedule, buckling up for an unforgettable learning experience, and reaping the rewards of limitless financial opportunities. However, the downsides often include a demanding workload (although this book will make you re-think that), financial pressure, and having full responsibility of your business. The mental strain of making tough decisions can weight heavy as well. That said, it’s always helpful to make your own list of pros and cons before quitting your job to become an entrepreneur.
While there are a myriad of resources about entrepreneurship, here are a few books and podcasts that have inspired my journey. I hope they provide insight and encouragement as you create the career of your dreams:
Best Entrepreneurship Books
101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think: As you dive into entrepreneurship, it’s profoundly important to take care of your mental health. This book is will help (tremendously). It will be one of those books you want to read and re-read, gift to others, etc. These essays are a compilation of universal truths, realizations, and tools for any type of transformation. Best of all, I’ve found that this book does what it promises in the title—if you are willing to do the work, your life (and career) will blossom.
Company of One: The number of times I’ve told my husband, “this book is changing the way I view my work!” is countless. Whether you’re running your own brand, are considering starting a side hustle, or work within a large corporation, this book is applicable. Overview: it’s a refreshing business strategy that’s focused on a commitment to being better instead of bigger. It’s currently on major sale.
Expert Secrets: This book was recently suggested to me, and it’s a game-changer. You’ll learn how to transform your business through story-telling, character, and charisma. Ready to turn your online visitors into lifelong customers? This book is for you.
The Power of Broke: Daymond John writes about how starting a business on a limited budget can be an entrepreneur’s greatest competitive advantage.
Behold The Dreamers: This debut novel is about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream. It follows the unforgettable story of a Cameroonian couple as they make new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy.
Big Magic: Whether you’re looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges at work, embark on a life-long dream, etc. Big Magic is gold.
Female Innovators At Work: This book describes the experiences and successes of female innovators and entrepreneurs in the still largely male-dominated tech-world in twenty candid interviews. It highlights the varied life and career stories that lead these women to the top positions in the technology industry that they are in now.
Year of Yes: A mix of humor and real talk, Shonda Rhimes writes about the power of saying yes, the value of our personal journeys, and recognizing your own power.
Best Entrepreneurship Podcasts
You can read summaries of these incredible podcasts here. And with that, I hope your entrepreneurial journey is one of success, challenge, and ambition. Be patient, work hard, and know that you can make a living doing something you love. You can become an entrepreneur. Last but not least, for more entrepreneurship tips, wellness resources, and inspirational messages, join my community! My weekly newsletter is like a breath of fresh air for your inbox.