How do you know if you're ready to start a business?

How do you know if you're ready to start a dietitian business? In this blog post, I walk you through 7 questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not entrepreneurship is the right path for you.

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Perhaps one of the most common questions that I get in response to my social media posts is - but how do I know if I’m ready to start my own business? 

Let me start by saying - entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Every person has a unique skill set and set of strengths that may or may not be conducive to effective business ownership…. And that is totally okay! If you are happy as a clam working a 9-5 job, then keep on keepin’ on, Pam. 

However, if you find yourself unhappy with your conventional career or itching to create something that is exclusively yours, then I encourage you to at least entertain the thought of entrepreneurship. Because the only thing worse than failing is never trying in the first place. 

If you’re considering starting your own business (regardless of what that business looks like!), ask yourself these 7 questions to assess whether the path might be right for you. 

1. What does “ready” mean to you? 

This may seem obvious, but I want you to ask yourself - what does being “ready” actually mean? And how will you measure whether you’re “ready” or not? 

Chances are, if you’ve given it a few minutes of thought, you’ll figure out that “ready” is simply an arbitrary word that has no meaning. Much like any big life event, like going off to College, having kids or getting married - are you ever truly “ready”? Or, instead, do you stop waiting for an imaginary indicator to tell you that you’re officially ready and start taking action towards pursuing your goal? 

I personally choose the latter… 

When you start taking action, something interesting happens (and I see this all the time with my coaching clients). When you start taking small actionable steps, suddenly the fear begins to melt away while your confidence starts to take its place. 

So for example, let’s say you want to start a nutrition coaching business but it feels like a massive undertaking. As a small, actionable step you could simply research if there are dietitians in your community providing nutrition coaching services. I promise you that taking one small step has a snowball effect. As you take more and more actionable steps, the goal seems a little bit less massive and scary than it once did. While the steps are snowballing… the fear around your goal is slowly shrinking. 

2. What does society tell you to do vs. what do you actually want to do? 

One of the things that drives me nuts is when people try and inflict their limiting beliefs on others. I’m talking about the people who tell others that they “shouldn’t” do something a certain way just because they’ve never done it that way. If someone has told you that you shouldn’t start your business as a new dietitian, then direct them to this episode, this episode and this episode of my podcast. All three incredible dietitians started businesses right out of school and guess what - they’re killing it! 

Don’t let other people dictate your career path. YOU have to decide for yourself which direction is right for you based on your own personal strengths and aspirations. 

3. Are you self-motivated? 

This is a big one when it comes to being an entrepreneur. Ask yourself - are you motivated by internal stimulus (ie - you!) or are you motivated by external stimulus (ie - a boss, manager, etc.) 

To some degree, most of us are motivated by external stimuli (ex. A boss, manager, partner, etc.). However, it’s important to ask yourself whether you ‘can be’ motivated internally. Are you going to be able to wake up in the morning, map out your day and get work done without anyone hovering over your shoulder asking you to? 

If not, can you train yourself to be? So, can you start adding small habits into your routine right now and see how it feels to stick with them? For example - taking the initiative to take on an extra project at work and seeing it through to completion, incorporating weekly exercise or meditation into your schedule, etc. Don’t just assume that you aren’t internally motivated because you haven’t had to be. Give yourself the time and space to explore it for yourself. 

4. What is your financial plan? 

Like I always say… 

There is NO bigger killer of creativity than the pressure to pay your bills.

And it’s true. When you first get started with a business, you want to make sure that you have a financial plan in place so you can give yourself the time to start making money. Businesses take a little while to get running and start generating cash. Plan for a few months of “cushion” (minimum) where you will be able to make ends meet if you’re not able to generate the money from your business. 

As appealing as it might be to just “go all in” and “quit your job”... I don’t recommend it. Make sure that your business is something that you love, are invested in and is feasible before you go all in. 

5. Will you be okay with making mistakes? 

This one is just a given when it comes to entrepreneurship. You have to be okay with making mistakes. In fact, you have to embrace making mistakes because they make for the best learning opportunities. 

The ability to make mistakes gracefully and productively can absolutely be learned. Start by assessing and evaluating your perfectionist tendencies and embrace the following mantras in your own life: 

  • Done is better than perfect 

  • Trying and failing is better than never trying at all 

  • You can’t learn anything from being perfect  

6. Are you willing to stick it out? 

Entrepreneurship and building a business is a long-term game. There is no such thing as an overnight success. 

Successful businesses often take years of creating content, serving your audience and providing value before they really start to “take off”. Will you have the patience to stick it out or are you going to throw in the towel when something doesn’t go your way? 

7. Are you ready to create the life of your choosing? 

Now, of course, the beautiful thing about entrepreneurship is that the opportunities, recognition and money are literally endless. You have 100% control and autonomy over your schedule and your life. 

Do you want to live a life where you can work on the couch in your pj’s? 

Do you want to live a life where you can pick your kids up from school, drive them to practice and still run a profit-producing business on the side? 

Do you want to live a life where you can travel anywhere in the world while your bank account grows? 

This is the life that you can create through entrepreneurship. If you think that entrepreneurship might be something you’d like to try out, let’s chat. I help aspiring and current business owners take their ideas from a vision to reality. 

#entrepreneurship #privatepracti