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There are several reasons you might choose to become your own boss, and one big motivator is the flexibility and creative control that such a move affords an entrepreneur. At a time when more people than ever are reporting workplace stress and are struggling to juggle the demands of family, home, and work life, it is little wonder that so many jaded employees and fresh graduates are deciding to take that leap.

It’s a tempting prospect, too. Becoming your own boss will open hundreds of doors of opportunity, enable you to hold down a career around family life, and allow you to earn as much or as little as you’d like. Making such a choice isn’t without its risks, though, and no one can tell you exactly the right time to choose to become your own boss. Since when was business ever that predictable?

Do you want to become your own boss?

There are numerous things to think about before taking that leap into entrepreneurship, and what you’d like to focus on is perhaps the biggest consideration of all. Do you have a particular set of skills that would suit running a business, or have you simply decided that you’ve had enough of working for other people?

Think about the jobs you’ve held before, the industries and skills that you’re most familiar with, and the hobbies you enjoy. Is there anything that sticks out in your mind? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Consider your community; is there a gap in the market you’re eager to fill? The decision to become your own boss will undoubtedly be affected by your desire to control your workplace destiny, but it is essential that you’re qualified for the task at hand.

Be brave

Becoming your own boss is about standing up for yourself and what you believe in. It’s also the moment you start taking responsibility for your work, your schedule, and your finances. With no one to fall back on or blame, the success or failure of your business stands on your shoulders – and yours alone. It’s a daunting thought, and becoming your own boss won’t be without its risks.

However, if you truly want to succeed with your new venture, you must be prepared to take the good with the bad. Be brave and be bold; while no one could ever recommend making rash decisions, very few businesses would get off the ground without a leap of faith or two.

Look for inspiration

If you’re struggling to see past that pile of paperwork and a boss’s desk, try taking inspiration from those who have gone before you. Who inspires you? Whose business success do you hope to emulate? The concept of the entrepreneur is more popular than ever, so take a little time to familiarise yourself with success stories from around the globe. Take Vangelis Marinakis, for example. After adopting his father’s small shipping business, Marinakis created an empire, becoming one of the best-regarded personalities in the global shipping industry. The magnate now oversees a variety of businesses within the shipping sector while serving as a councillor and the owner of Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest football clubs. His story reminds all entrepreneurs that anything is possible with a little application.

Identify your goals

You’ve probably made the decision to become your own boss based on a desire to increase your income or to quit having to answer to anyone. However, what are your dreams for your little business? Where do you want to be in five, 10, or 15 years? How could you expand your venture to include these ambitions? If you want to succeed in business, it is essential that you identify your goals and work out the routes that will get you there. Your business plan is your opportunity to identify an audience, juggle your finances, and determine what resources and assistance you’re going to need. It would be impossible to become your own boss without one.

Do your research

As part of your business plan, it is important to conduct a little research. Do you fully understand your market, its audience, and the challenges you are likely to encounter? Take to scouting social media, networking sites such as LinkedIn, and the websites of those who may become your competition. What can you learn from existing start-ups and brands?

Factors such as financing your venture, promotion and advertising, and expansion should start to become clearer as you gain a better understanding of the world you’re entering. Anyone with passion and determination could become their own boss, but only those with a true understanding of their industry are likely to flourish.

Consider whether you’ve got what it takes

Above all, you’re going to need to decide whether you’ve got what it takes to become your own boss. Are you ready to invest time, money, and effort into your own start-up? You might be tempted by the opportunity to choose your own hours and to work around family and friends, but very few entrepreneurs are afforded that luxury from the beginning. Starting your own business is going to take time; is that time you can spare? You’ll also want to think about the support that is available to you and the people who rely on you on a daily basis. It’s essential that your decision to become your own boss won’t be to their detriment – or yours.

If the thought of working for yourself has become too exciting to bear, get ready to take that leap. Few endeavours are quite as exciting or fulfilling as realising your dream to become your own boss. If you have a dream, the know-how, and the support of some wonderful people, anything is achievable if you really want this. Isn’t it about time you started answering that call?

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