Are you an entrepreneur at heart that's stuck in the 9-to-5 rat race? If so, you're not alone. According to a study, almost half of Americans want to become their own boss. 

As a business owner myself, I always offer words of encouragement to anyone that has the desire to dive into entrepreneurship. While it can become one of the most challenging aspects of your life, it can also become one of the most rewarding.

If you're looking to take the leap from employee to employer, here's what you should consider before quitting your day job.

Why not turn it into a side hustle?

If you've been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug, your first instinct might be to drop everything and start working on your new business idea. However, that's not always the right thing to do. New businesses take time to get off the ground. Even when it comes well thought out and planned businesses, there are always unaccounted for variables and bumps in the road. One of the best ways to initially start a business is to turn it into a side hustle. This gives you the ability to grow your business in your free time and work out all of the kinks without taking a huge risk by quitting your job first.

Understand you'll never be 100% ready to jump in.

On the flip side, if you already have a side hustle, you may be hesitating to cross the line and dedicate yourself 100% to it. The uncertainty you feel is normal. Every entrepreneur has felt that way prior to plunging themselves into their business. And every entrepreneur will tell you that you'll never feel like you're fully ready to start your own business. 

Is it a hobby or a business?

Many people get their feet wet in entrepreneurship with a hobby that they learn to monetize. However, it's important to understand that there is a big difference between a hobby and a business. A hobby is an activity that you dedicate time to that makes you happy. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle you dedicate your time to that can make you happy but can also bring you down. And unlike a hobby, you can't stop working on a business when it's not "fun" any more. In fact, those times are often when you have to work even harder.

Have you validated your business idea?

Ideas are worth nothing. It's important to test the waters before leaving your job and dedicating yourself to this new business venture. Here are some quick and simple ways to validate your business idea...

  • Has someone else already executed this idea? Chances are your business idea is already someone else's reality. But that's okay. Look for what they're doing right, wrong, and how you can improve upon it. You can use your research of their business as a foundation upon which to launch yours.
  • Ask for feedback. No initial business idea is going to be perfect upon launch. You need to refine it by learning what your target audience really needs. Stay away from asking friends and family their opinions. It's likely that they'll give you sugarcoated responses. Look for brutally honest opinions from 3rd parties that have no vest interest in your business.
  • Make a sale. It's the most important aspect of validating a business that almost everyone seems to forget. Sales are what keep your business afloat. Regardless of how amazing your product or service is, if people don't buy it, you don't have a business. Before you even technically start your business, make at least one sale to validate that people will actually pay you money for what you've created.  

Why do you want to start a business?

Last and most importantly, before you take any steps to start a business, ask yourself why you want to do so in the first place. There is really only one true answer--passion. You need to be willing to devote yourself entirely to this project. There will be hardships you'll need to push through. And those who focus on just the money or fame will abandon ship when the going gets tough. Passion and dedication will allow you to endure and overcome the toughest of times when it comes to growing your business.