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Stay in Corporate or Start a Biz? Here’s How to Decide

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Do you want to be employed or do you want to be the employer? Starting a business is not the right path for everyone. Deciding whether to remain in a job or build a business should be done with less emotion and a lot of thinking. Giving up the security of a full-time job to start your own business is a very risky move. But whatever decision you make, you’ve got to do what you’re passionate about.
Many women I speak with have dreams of building a business but just see no way it could happen because they have bills to pay and a family to support. I was in the same boat a few years back. I knew I had what it takes to build a business but didn’t want to leave the comforts of my mediocre, well-paying job. But where’s the challenge and fun in that?
To be honest though, I would never have thought after college I would end up starting my own business.  All through college and even in business school, starting my own business never even crossed my mind. But then I started realizing that my personal values and motivations fit being the boss, rather than being the employee.  In my corporate job, I had so many great ideas but they would always get squashed by my clients and managers. I knew that my systems and ideas could save lots of money and make my team so much more efficient, but my hands were tied. I couldn’t convince anyone to make any changes and it was very frustrating. So I started dreaming of starting my own company where I could actually make my big ideas happen.
You absolutely must investigate what the right career path is for you.
So here are some steps to help you decide whether you should stay in a corporate or start your own business:

Step #1: List The Reasons Why You Might Want to Build Your Own Business

On a sheet of paper, list the reasons why you want to start a business. Write down what drives you, is it all about the money or do you see a strong need for the product/service that you want to offer? Is there a problem that you want to solve? Do you want to help people? What is your mission in life and how does it relate to the mission of the business you want to start?
Some of the reasons that I started my business were because I wanted to help others find work they love. I also wanted autonomy and flexibility to work when and where I wanted to, not just from 9-5pm in a cubicle. I also wanted to do be in charge of my own professional future and not rely on a company to pay for my retirement.

Step #2: Make a Pro vs. Con List 

Make an extensive list of all the pros and cons. I listed a few pros and cons here.
Working in Corporate Pros:
  • If you stay in a company for a long time, you’ll be more likely to rise in seniority. And with this, you get the chance to lead others or mentor newcomers.
  • Many organizations increase their employees’ salary if they stay for a certain number of years.
  • Working in a large company provides access to resources and technologies.
  • You will find smart and well-experienced colleagues and you can learn from them.
Working in Corporate Cons:
  • Even if you hate your boss, you have to deal with it.
  • You have no security that your job will always be available.
Working For Yourself Pros:
  • You make a living doing what you love.
  • You’re in control of your financial future.
  • You have the freedom to choose what projects and which clients you want to work with.
  • You have a chance to earn more.
  • You may feel accomplished for building something that’s all your own.
  • You hire who you want to work with.
Working For Yourself Cons:
  • Finances will be more complicated and you have to deal with uncertain income and cash flow.
  • You have to do everything yourself or hire someone else to help you.
  • Every day you have to be motivated and work as a self-starter.
  • You pay your own benefits.
[RELATED: What No One Tells You About Starting a Business]

Step #3: Decide if Entrepreneurship is Right for You

Do you have what it takes to build and run your own business? As an entrepreneur, you need to be optimistic. Starting a business can be tough and stressful. You have to be prepared emotionally and financially and you have to be committed. You need to know for yourself if you’re really passionate about your product and/or services.  Test yourself! Building a successful business takes more than a great idea and the money to get it started.
If you answer yes to some of the below questions, then it could mean that becoming an entrepreneur is the right choice for you:
  • Is it important to you to accomplish something meaningful with your life?
  • Do you typically set both short and long term goals for yourself?
  • Do you usually achieve your goals?
  • Do you enjoy working on your own?
  • Are you self-disciplined?
  • Can you afford to lose the money you invest in your business?
  • When the need arises, are you willing to do a job that may not interest you?
  • Do you usually stick with a project until it is completed?

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Hi, I'm Anna!

I’ll help you create a career strategy and plan so you can finally have a job or business you love that supports the life you really want.

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