There are plenty of questions you ask yourself to determine if you are ready to start your company.
Do I have a good idea?
Are there enough customers to make a business?
Do I need a co-founder to augment my skills?
Can I raise money to get this off the ground?
These are but a few of the questions that are rattling around your head and I am sure you have somehow rationalized enough answers to get yourself ready to make the leap. But there is one question that every budding entrepreneur needs to ask himself or herself and there is no wiggle room or rationalization room allowed in your answer.
Am I obsessively passionate about this idea?
Your passion has to border on obsessive. Why? There inevitably will be dark days and rough patches regardless of where in the journey you are. Look at Twitter and the inflection point Jack Dorsey is faced with today. Think Travis Kalanick of Uber has it easy as he builds out a worldwide brand and service? Starting out wouldn't we all sacrifice our left arm to be in their enviable position; they made it! Believe me when I share that they are as stressed about their business as you are in getting yours off the ground.
The point is that regardless of where you are on the journey you will face extremely tough moments. There is one thing and one thing only that pushes us through those times. Passion. Passion at such a fanatical level that it crushes those internal doubts, provides us energy to battle through those partner issues and arms us with enough swagger to inspire those around us even when we don't feel it naturally.
As you contemplate your first or next startup, ask yourself this simple question--am I so passionate about this idea that I am willing to sacrifice financial security, and a lifestyle that is filled with nice cars and vacations. Do I find myself choosing to work on this idea nights, weekends and in between everything else in my life?
Rule 1 for Mark Cuban is determine if you are obsessively passionate for your idea.
Pass this test and you just might build the next big company.