Are you dreaming of a new year as your own boss? Some executives I work with in Fortune 500 companies view life as an entrepreneur as the perfect path to escape their big company frustrations. Inc magazine often sits on their desks as inspiration as they imagine the possibilities of being their own boss.
Before you quit, here are six reasons it may be the worst decision you ever make:
1. You are a cautious risk taker
Writing checks from your own check book rather than the company's is very different. Entrepreneurs don't just have to take bold risks they have to do it with their own money. Being cautious isn't an option.
2. You enjoy the camaraderie of your peers
The number one complaint I hear from executives when they move companies is they miss the connections and camaraderie with their peers. This is exacerbated when you become your own boss, you need to find ways to make new connections with other entrepreneurs with organizations like Entrepreneurs' Organization.
3. You secretly love the promotions and pay rises
Imagine a world where no one gives you a score, a promotion, a pay rise or a bonus. You have to award that to yourself. I often hear entrepreneurs secretly whisper to me they didn't realize how important that board review or feedback from their manager was to reinforce that they were successful. Instead, you now need the utmost personal confidence of your remarkable ability and impact.
4. You have never had to be frugal
In my corporate career I used to describe some teams as a group of outgrown kids playing monopoly except with real money. While you can have fiscal responsibility in your corporate career, as an entrepreneur you have ultimate accountability and likely much less money and resources to play with.
5. You can't immediately name your inner-circle
Imagine your new entrepreneurial life, who would be your advisors? If you can't immediately name five people who have expertise where you need it, then it isn't yet time to quit. Find people who are at least a year ahead of where you are and ask them to be part of your inner circle of advisors.
6. You have less than 12months cash reserves
You are used to paychecks, bonuses and stock awards like clockwork. Make sure you have at least a year of cash reserves to tide you over.
I quit my corporate life from Amazon and Microsoft three years ago to become a leadership and innovation expert, now I am an advisor to global executives at clients including Starbucks, LinkedIn and Financial Times, and speak at conferences and events. You can learn more about my unique approach to creating compassionate truth telling, fearlessness, and extensive creative, technical, and leadership gains in my next book Thoughtfully Ruthless: The Key to Exponential Growth (Wiley, May 2016). Sign up here to get early access to a free chapter
Now is the entrepreneurial life really for you?