After two decades in the workforce, Ohio businesswoman Deborah Wasylko found herself faced with the prospect of having to move to keep her job while dealing with challenges in her family life. Wasylko concluded that she had a choice: continue her corporate career or become an entrepreneur.
“I decided to start a corporate gift company, because that’s what I love to do,” says Wasylko, the founder and president of Baskets Galore, which creates gift baskets for corporate clients. She had long been enthusiastic about visual design and making people feel cared for, she says, and her new venture touched on both interests. “It was my opportunity to re-engineer my career and follow my passion.”
The allure of becoming your own boss seems strong: As of 2014, there were more than 29 million small businesses in the U.S, up 6% from 2010, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
4 Steps to Follow When Leaving the Corporate World for Entrepreneurship
But excelling in an office doesn’t mean you’re bound for entrepreneurial success. In addition to many logistical and financial challenges, the transition from employee to entrepreneur involves a distinct shift in mentality. Before you make the leap, take these steps to make sure you’re ready beyond the numbers.
1. Talk with Other Entrepreneurs
The best way to psychologically prepare for the jump from a corporate job to calling the shots is to talk with those who have already made the transition.
“You don’t want to reinvent the wheel every single time,” says Cathy Posner, a small-business coach in Ohio.
Ask other entrepreneurs how their roles in corporate America prepared — or failed to prepare — them to run a small business. What do they wish they had done differently? What do they wish they had known ahead of time?
And, most importantly, would they do it again?
2. Identify Your Resources
A small-business mentor from SCORE is invaluable to entrepreneurs, Posner says. This free…