50 Signs You Need to Start Your Own Business


If you’re sitting at your desk, daydreaming about starting your own business, this is the article for you.

You already know that launching a company can be an intimidating process requiring tons of hard work. But the question has been lingering with you day and night. Maybe you're just unhappy with your current position. Perhaps you've always dreamed of opening your own shop or consulting firm. Or maybe you just need a drastic change in your life.

Regardless of the exact scenario, here are 50 signs that you may be seriously ready to start your own business:

1. The lightbulb went off. Lately many are debating whether entrepreneurs are born or made. No matter which side you agree with, perhaps you’ve been aware that you exhibit some classic entrepreneurial traits. Maybe you’re ready to take the leap and start a business?

Even if you weren’t born that way, you may have later developed some of these traits, such as a driving passion. So if you begin to notice the signs, perhaps you could launch that business of your own.

2. You're always thinking. Entrepreneurs never stop cogitating. It's a blessing and a curse. Should you exhibit this behavior, maybe it’s time to move on from the daily rat race and do something to put your thoughts in motion. And there’s no better outlet than starting your own business.

3. You’re passionate. If there's one business concept that stays with you that you've completely fallen in love with, perhaps you could turn it into a reality. Entrepreneurs and business owners are truly passionate about what they do and will do everything possible to turn their vision into a product or service for the rest of the world to enjoy.

4. You’re independent. This doesn’t mean that you're socially awkward or don’t know how to ask for help. It means that you’re a problem solver who will try to figure out most problems on your own. Now may be the moment that you feel independent enough to build an enterprise.

5. You’re motivated. You don’t always need something or someone to get you moving. You wake up every morning and do what's needed. This sense of self-motivation might steer to initiate and carry out a business launch.

6. You’re organized. Running a business requires plenty of organizational skills. At some point you may want or need to hire some experts, such as accountants or lawyers, but in the beginning you'll probably rely on yourself to track finances, delegate responsibilities and present ideas to investors. You can’t do any of that without being organized.

Related: How Giving Could Become Your Default Weapon of Choice 

7. You feel a need to help people. Should you feel a strong desire to aid others by providing a product or service, consider it one telltale sign you're primed for starting a business. This desire to help people enhance their lives can keep you going during the highs and lows of running an operation. I’ve found over the years that the strongest companies emerge from a wish to help the world solve a problem.

8. You're certain that you can build a better company. Maybe it's your confidence or egotistical side coming out, but you're realizing that you can build a better company than anyone else in the world.

9. You feel stuck at your job. If you dread waking up every morning, then you’re probably unfulfilled. A promotion or another job might abate the problem, but deep within you the prospect of an ordinary 9-to-5 gig just doesn't excite you. Figure out whether you need to be your own boss or if you just need to do something different.

Related: 3 Essential Questions to Consider Before Taking the Leap

10. You feel a need to prove your vision. Let’s say you have an idea but everyone is telling you it can’t be done. What are you going to do about this situation? This experience might be motivation enough for you to try to one-up the naysayers.

11. You want to make a name for yourself. Several of the greatest entrepreneurs and business owners realized that they wanted something more from life. Steve Jobs knew he was special. If you feel that way, too, then big things could come out of it.

12. You have always wanted to be your own boss. Whether you’re a control freak or just don’t like being ordered around, you have determined you have always wanted to be the boss.

13. The hiring of independent workers is on the rise. The Harvard Business Review reports, according to MBO Partners, the number of independent workers (freelancers, contractors or business owners) is on the rise. It's expected to increase from about 17 million in 2013 to 23 million by 2017. And Mavenlink's 2012 infographic, "The New Independent Workforce," projected that the number of independent workers to become 40 percent of the American workforce by 2020.

14. Your field lacks jobs. The economy hasn’t totally rebounded and your industry sector has a hiring freeze. Instead of waiting around or taking a job requiring fewer skills than you have, you are considering setting up your own business.

Related: Risk is the Admission Fee of Entrepreneurship

15. You can afford to take risks. If you’re single or without young children, you probably don’t have to worry about supporting others. Take advantage of this time in your life when you have the chance to be a little adventurous.

16. You can't stand the daily commute. If you sit in traffic every day muttering expletive after expletive, maybe you should set up your own business at home. After all, successful businesses have even launched from garages.

17. You possess an incredible work ethic. If you don’t mind putting in 12-hour days multiple times a week (as people do when starting a business), then why not put that to work for something you’re really enthused about?

18. You crave uncertainty. You’re the type of person who thrives when exploring the unknown. So starting a business may be right up your alley. It definitely beats being bored to death by performing that job you're tired of. I am this type of person and very proud of it.

Related: VC 100: The Top Venture Capital Firms Backing U.S. Startups

19. You always see potential. No matter where you are or what you're doing, you always feel the need to make improvements. You now understand that as a business owner, you could realize enormous potential -- making money or enhancing the lives of others.

20. More projects are going to contractors. If you’re seeing your current employer hiring outside help for a job that you know you can do better, then do something about it and venture out on your own.

21. You want to be part of a team. Maybe you just want to build your own team from the ground up with a group of people who share your vision and who are willing to embark on a journey with you.

Related: The Art of Keeping Your Team Focused on the Same Goal

22. You hate working for others. If you seriously can’t stand taking orders, loathe your boss and all his (or her) demands, start planning your exit strategy of becoming your own boss.

23. You feel it's necessary to hang out a shingle. While starting a business shouldn’t just be about the money, sometimes that’s the case when your back is against the wall. The bills are piling up and you need to put food on the table. That sense of desperation could be enough to lead you to do something great.

24. You want to create jobs. In this tough economy, you see here really aren't enough jobs for the colleagues you studied or worked with previously. If you trust these people and know their talents, you may wish to help them out by creating a company that employs them.

25. You harbor a strong desire to develop a product or service not yet available. You’re a problem solver. You have experienced that "aha" moment, the realization that a certain product or service isn't on the market. You could use that moment of recognition to inspire you to make that idea a reality.

Related:  Eureka -- a New Product Idea! Now Ask These 5 Questions.

26. You can’t stand being in the office. If you feel restricted at your current workplace, you could set yourself free and work where you want to work: at your own company.

27. You want to set your own schedule. Maybe you're most productive from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. or you're a night owl. Instead of being told which hours to work and when to take breaks or a vacation, you could finally determine your schedule.

28. You're creative. If you’re tired of having your creative ideas go to waste, then maybe it’s time to get out there and express yourself by setting up the business you've always imagined.

Related: 10 Tips for Unleashing Your Creativity at Work

29. You need to inspire. Are you the person whom people turn to when they need advice or a little pick-me-up? And you actually like that role? Owning a business gives you the chance to inspire the people who surround you.

30. You want to build a legacy for your children. You have kids and are thinking of leaving them something that they’ll be proud of. Even if they don't want to take over a family business, they could witness how your hard work and dedication paid off.

31. You don’t mind getting your hands dirty. You'll have to do plenty of grunt work as a new business owner. And that’s not always enjoyable. But if that doesn’t bother you, then why not do these tasks for yourself not someone else?

Related: If Given the Choice, Most Small-Business Owners Say They'd Start Up Again

32. You're seeking a new challenge. Maybe you’ve hit a wall at your current position and become extremely bored. That’s not always the best situation to be in if you're someone looking for a new challenge. Starting your own business is challenging, however, and should fulfill that need.

33. You're able to solve problems. Are you the type of person who assumes the responsibility for problem solving? Let’s say the pipes under the kitchen sink come apart and you not only fix it but you make it better than before. Take this as a sign that you can start your own business.

34. You like to acquire new skills and knowledge. Some people have just an unquenchable thirst to learn new skills and knowledge. You probably won’t get that from doing the same job for many years. But you can attain that experience as a business owner.

35. You don't mind multitasking. There are people who can handle multiple tasks at once. If you’re one of those who doesn’t collapse under the pressure of multitasking, then you’re already on your way.

Related: Why Entrepreneurs Should Plan for Failure, Not Success

36. You're not afraid of failure. As a business owner, you’re probably going to encounter a failure at some moment. If that doesn’t scare you to the bone, then chalk that up as another sign.

37. You could arrange for your own job security. You're noticing that one of the worst things about working for someone else is contemplating the possibility of being laid off or the company being sold. Why not create your own job security instead?

38. There’s a gap to fill. If you notice that there’s not only a market but also that no one else is capitalizing on a particular dea, then maybe you’re the one to do some disruption.

39. A pool of talent surrounds you. Whether you just graduated college or are observing your current workplace, you're surrounded by really skilled people who seem to be wasting their talents. You might be able to entice them to join your startup by offering profit sharing, stock options, a fun environment or eventual advancement.

40. You're thinking, If not now, when? Procrastination may be the most fatal startup killer. Instead of dragging your feet, you could get the ball in motion for that business idea of yours right now.

41. You understand the tax incentives. Small business owners are eligible for tax incentives, you've learned. If you don’t want to lose out, then start getting to work. You may even be able to write off that new laptop or smartphone you’ve been eyeing.

42. You realize that you'll see results. When you’re working for someone else, it can be difficult to see how all your hard work is benefiting the company. If you want to see the direct results of your actions, then running your own business would give you that opportunity.

43. You relate well to people. Sometimes you just want to get out there and network with other people. Unfortunately, your current position doesn’t allow for that. If you’re a people person, then having your own business would surely give you a reason to network more.

44. You're tired of feeling underwater. It’s not uncommon to question your values about work as well as your personal life. If you keep being passed over for promotions or feel like you’ve hit a wall, maybe it’s time to venture out on your own. Starting your own business will probably give you an immense sense of accomplishment.

Related: Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

45. You’re a born leader. Having a great idea is one thing. Being able to communicate that idea and convince others to jump on board is another. If you have the leadership skills to round up the troops and motivate them, consider starting your own venture.

46. You’re a thrill seeker. Some people like to play it safe. You, on the other hand, are the adventurous type. Nothing is more thrilling than coming up with a business idea and seeing it through, amid all the unknowns and highs and lows.

47. You can use your street smarts. If you’re one those unique people with street smarts as well as professional skills, then you might put those talents to work at something you’re truly excited about.

48. Entrepreneurs can now tap into many different tools and advice. You've become aware there's numerous online resources to help a novice business owner starting out. That’s not even mentioning the low interests rates available.

49. You're ready to break free. For some time that inner entrepreneur has been quietly nagging at you. Why not unleash it? And once you’re free to do as please, you may be surprised by how much happier you are.

50. You've always wanted to do something you enjoy. Thomas Edison once said, “I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun!” Many successful people have uttered something similar. Instead of merely thinking about doing something that makes you happy and content, take a leap of faith and pursue your own startup vision. If you follow your dream, everything else may fall into place.

Related: Are You Starting a Business for the Right Reasons? 

This post originally appeared at Entrepreneur. Copyright 2014.